Two years ago Kootenay Co-op Radio’s Catherine Fisher asked author Fred Wah to write a radio play for KCR, based on his novel, Diamond Grill. Fred is one of Canada’s best-known poets. He was appointed Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate in 2011 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.

Fred graciously agreed.

Diamond Grill is an amazing piece of West Kootenay history. Named after Fred’s family’s restaurant, which opened in 1951 on Baker St, it describes Wah’s experiences growing up as a child of Chinese/Swedish heritage in Nelson in the 1950s.

The name of the radio play is A Door to be Kicked, and its central metaphor is the restaurant’s kitchen doors that swing “between the Chinese cooks in the kitchen and the white customers in the dining room, representing a noisy site of racial and cultural hybridity.”

Join us for a public reading on Sunday, May 26th at 4 pm or at 7:30 pm, at the UBC Campus in Nelson (266 Baker St.). A limited number of advance tickets ($20) are available at Otter Books. The venue is very small so please get them early if you’d like to attend.

This has been a group effort. Musician, theatre-maker, educator, and 2015 City of Nelson Cultural Ambassador Bessie Wapp is directing the reading, and Don MacDonald, who teaches at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology Program, has composed an original score.

Actors include: Brahm Taylor, Clement Lam, Don Gordon, Marya Folinsbee, Jason Xiao, and Tashi Higgs.

The event is presented by Kootenay Co-op Radio in partnership with Touchstones Nelson, and was supported by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, the Osprey Foundation, the Kootenay Co-op, the Nelson and District Credit Union, and several private donors.

Check out our Facebook event and let us know you are coming. And invite your friends!


While we have your attention…

It’s fundraising season here at KCR. If you have never made a contribution, or it’s been a few while since you have, please make this year the one you support our work. While KCR runs mostly on volunteer power, we can’t do what we do without your generous support. Any amount helps! 

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