In the past four years, Maria Lerch’s annual community book fair in Valemount has gained momentum rather quickly.
With her self-selected books, Lerch represents most general topics and assures an interest for all ages. This community event is anticipated by many locals, as it provides an opportunity for Christmas gifts and valuable reading material. The full concession and a play area for kids is appreciated by many parents as it gives them ample time for browsing.
“Many people ask me, if and when I am going to have the book fair again,” Lerch said. “I plan on continuing this event until I can one day offer them in my own bookstore. I think that many look forward to my book fair every year and I have been told, that this is the only way for some to get a hold of these books.”
The book fair also gives local authors and artists a chance to present and sell their work.
This year provided Julia Thrasher, an Inuit pointillism artist, the opportunity to sell and demonstrate her rare art form. She touched on the basics and explained what pointillism involves. Most of her images express childhood memories and experiences from the Northwest Territories.
Also present was Charlene Montpetit, with her new book Pioneers of the early 1900s – a sculptural history. With Henry Unger’s influence, Montpetit has challenged herself to compile and uncover the history of each of Margaret McKirdy’s famous clay sculptures.
The majority of these figures are displayed in the Crafters Guild at the Trading Post in Valemount.