Thursday, September 19, 2019
Alice MacKay Room, Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia Street

Kiskajeyi—I Am Ready: Michelle Sylliboy

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Alice MacKay Room, Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia Street

Join us on September 19, 2019 at 7pm for a book launch & performance by TCR Writer in Residence, Michelle Sylliboy.

Sylliboy will be reading selections from her new book, Kiskajeyi—I Am Ready, a collection of photography and Mi’kmaq (L’nuk) hieroglyphic poetry, accompanied by musical guests M’Girl and Heather Hay, Cameron Wilson, and Jillian Lebeck.


Michelle Sylliboy, a Mi’kmaq (L’nu) artist/author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised on unceded territory in We’koqmaq Cape Breton. Arriving on the art scene in 1995, her interdisciplinary art practice embodies some of her own life experiences which has led her to work with emerging and professional artists from all over Turtle Island. Sylliboy recently moved back to her territory after living and working on unceded Coast Salish territory for the past twenty-seven years. While in Vancouver, she learned to capture and intrigue the art community with her interdisciplinary style of work. She gathers much of her inspiration from personal tales, the environment, and her L’nuk culture. Currently a PhD candidate, Sylliboy is working on her Philosophy of Education fieldwork where she will combine her artistic background and education by creating a L’nuk Komqwejwi’kasikl (hieroglyphic) curriculum with L’nuk teachers and Elders in Cape Breton.

M’Girl is an ensemble of Indigenous women with stories and songs about the gifts received from Mother Earth. Though officially performing for over 15 years, their musical histories and cultural practice spans each of their lives. Their hand drum songs blend harmonies into a contemporary style that reflects both their expertise in voice and their personal story of home. The message in the music is an emergence of their cultural ideals and worldviews, drawn from their Metis, Cree (Nê-heya-win), Anishnaabe (A-nish-naw-bay), and Saulteaux (prairie Anishnaabe) backgrounds. For this event, M’Girl will be Renae (Wren-eye) Morriseau, Tiare Laporte, and Tracey Weitzel.

For cellist Heather Hay, chamber music is one of the most enjoyable ways to make music. In 1989, Hay moved to Vancouver to join the Purcell String Quartet; with the quartet she recorded and performed for Radio France in Paris, and toured in Europe, and throughout BC. Hay has been an active part of Vancouver’s music scene. She is Assistant Principal Cellist with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and has performed with the CBC Radio Orchestra. She has also been an invited guest with the West Coast Chamber Music Concerts, Music on Main, and for Vancouver New Music. Hay is frequently heard on CBC Radio Two’s regional programme, Westcoast Performance.

Cameron Wilson is a violinist/composer who has performed with numerous ensembles including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the National Broadcast Orchestra. He is currently a member of the classical crossover piano trio Joe Trio; the gypsy jazz quartet, Van Django; the modern jazz big band, Hard Rubber Orchestra; the Marc Atkinson Quartet; and Mariachi del Sol.  His compositions and arrangements have been performed by various orchestras and ensembles across North America and he has collaborated with CBC storyteller Stuart Mclean, Canada’s former poet laureate George Bowering, and vocalist Elanor McCain, to name a few.

Pianist Jillian Lebeck‘s powerful solos and intricate rhythmic playing has made her one of the city’s favourite players. Her work often draws on the history of jazz piano to present both standard tunes and original compositions.


The Alice MacKay Room is located on the lower level of Library Square (350 W Georgia St), and can be accessed via the elevator located directly across from the main library entrance in the atrium, or from the parkade. Accessible washrooms are located next to the event room. If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, feel free to email us at, or call the VPL’s Accessible Services department directly at 604.331.4100.


Special thanks to the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library, Grunt Gallery, Rebel Mountain Press, and Simon Fraser University for sponsoring this event.


This event takes place on unceded Skwxwú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ lands

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