New Star Blogs

Mudflat Dreaming Launches in Vancouver (and Vancouver Island)


In the dog days of sum­mer, the crew at New Star Books began to put togeth­er the first of what we hope are many events in regard to the cel­e­bra­tion of Mud­flat Dream­ing: Water­front Bat­tles and the Squat­ters Who Fought Them in 1970s Van­cou­ver, a book, in many ways, decades in the mak­ing, which tells the sto­ry of two com­mu­ni­ties on Vancouver’s water­front fringes in the 1970s. So, now, as we enter into the busy month of Octo­ber, we are pleased to announce with great excite­ment our part­ner­ship with two fan­tas­tic orga­ni­za­tions who are help­ing launch Jean Walton’s excit­ing new book. The Wild Bird Trust of BC will present Jean Wal­ton in con­ver­sa­tion on Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 13th, from 1–3pm. The event is free and takes place at Cor­ri­g­an Nature House, Maple­wood Flats 2649 Dol­lar­ton High­way, North Van­cou­ver on the Unced­ed Tsleil-Wau­tuth Ter­ri­to­ry.

The event will guar­an­tee a live­ly in dis­cus­sion and gen­er­al vibe, with refresh­ments to enjoy (com­pli­men­ta­ry) and books avail­able for pur­chase. Don’t for­get to get yours signed by the author. The event will begin with remarks by Irwin Ostindie, Pres­i­dent, Wild Bird Trust of BC which oper­ates Maple­wood Flats. An option­al walk to view the Flats and Coast Sal­ish Art­work by Ocean Hyland will also take place fol­low­ing the talk.

For those on Van­cou­ver Island, ear­li­er in the week on Thurs­day, Octo­ber 11th, Courte­nay and Dis­trict Muse­um will be host­ing a lec­ture by Jean Wal­ton on her expe­ri­ence grow­ing up near these com­mu­ni­ties and what went into com­plet­ing her book. The event is $5 for His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety mem­bers, $6 for non-mem­bers (plus GST). The muse­um rec­om­mends pur­chas­ing your tick­ets in advance. Books will be on sale at the muse­um gift shop.


As a teenag­er, Jean Wal­ton lived just up the hill from Bridgeview, but it was only much lat­er that the author learned about the strug­gle embroil­ing her near neigh­bours, as well as its con­nec­tion to the Maple­wood Mud­flat squat­ter com­mu­ni­ty — not to men­tion Mal­colm Lowry and Habi­tat 76.   “Orig­i­nal­ly, I just want­ed to write some­thing set in the time and place where I came of age, in the sev­en­ties in the vicin­i­ty of Van­cou­ver- part­ly because I loved the idea of com­bin­ing fam­i­ly vis­its with research for a cre­ative project.”

Jean Wal­ton found her way, cre­ative­ly into these sto­ries is through a few doc­u­men­tary films made at the time about Bridgeview and Maple­wood, as well as Robert Altman’s break­through fea­ture film, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, shot just a few miles up the moun­tain­side from the Maple­wood Mud­flats.

Alexan­der Vasude­van, author of The Autonomous City, calls Mud­flat Dream­ing “a won­der­ful­ly evoca­tive account of the var­ied ways in which an alter­na­tive Van­cou­ver was imag­ined, con­struct­ed and lived by its res­i­dents in the 1970s.”

Mud­flat Dream­ing is the per­fect Christ­mas gift. And no it’s not too late to be think­ing about hol­i­day shop­ping! For more infor­ma­tion on these events, please vis­it us on Face­book and fol­low us on Twit­ter.


author Jean Wal­ton