Heading to Nevada

Great news! I’ve received funding from Access Copyright through the Marian Hebb Research Grant to support further research for the biography of Helen Foster, American geologist and unstoppable nonagenarian. I’ve been conducting interviews with Helen for the last few months via Skype and thanks to this funding, I’ll be able to travel to Nevada to interview her. It will be wonderful to meet Helen in person and go over her personal archive. This is a fantastic opportunity.

Beyond Mile Zero: Book Tour Dates

Here we go! The spring tour in support of Beyond Mile Zero. Yes, one more roadtrip: the question is, will we still be speaking to each other at the end of it…. Stay tuned to find out.

Dates confirmed so far include:

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Location: Watson Lake – Sign Post Forest Visitor’s Centre, Watson Lake, Yukon

Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 7 p.m.
Location: Audrey’s Books 10702 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, Alberta

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017, 7 p.m.
Location: Dawson Creek Public Library, 1001 McKellar Ave, Dawson Creek, BC

Date: Friday, May 26, 2017, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Coles bookstore, Fort St. John, BC

Date: Friday, May 26, 2017, 7 p.m.
Location: Fort Nelson Public Library, 5315 50 Ave S, Fort Nelson, BC

Date: Saturday, May 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Johnson’ Crossing, Mile 836.5 Alaska Highway, Yukon

Date: Friday, June 23 2017, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Location: Coles bookstore, Whitehorse, Yukon

Date: Sunday, June 25 2017, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Acacia Vintage, 118 Quill Crescent, Haines Junction, Yukon

Date: Monday, June 26, 2017, Time TBD.
Location: Discovery Yukon Lodgings, Mile 1169 Alaska Highway, Yukon

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Time 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Location: Yukon Visitor Information Centre, Beaver Creek, Yukon


Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6 p.m.
Location: Barnes & Noble, 421 Mehar Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 1 p.m.
Location: Skagway News Depot and Books, Skagway, Alaska




Book Launch for Beyond Mile Zero

It’s official! Beyond Mile Zero: The Vanishing Alaska Highway Lodge Community will be launched at Baked Cafe on Main Street in Whitehorse, Yukon, on Friday, April 7, 2017.

The fun starts at 7 p.m. with featured readers Ellen Davignon, author of The Cinnamon Mine: An Alaska Highway Childhood, and chronicler of northern living Murray Lundberg, followed by a presentation by Mark Kelly and I about our journey to uncover the vanishing Alaska Highway lodge community.

Many thanks to Baked Cafe & Bakery for providing this wonderful venue,  Mac’s Fireweed Books for being on hand to sell books, and of course our publisher Harbour Publishing.

Words and Whatnot at the Atlin Arts and Music Festival, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Atlin, B.C.

On Saturday, July 9, 2016, at 12 noon at St. Marten’s Church, Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate of Victoria, B.C., and Yukon poet Jamella Hagen will read from their works of poetry and share in a conversation with host Lily Gontard. This event is being recorded for a podcast.
Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate for Victoria, B.C.
Yvonne Blomer, Poet Laureate for Victoria, B.C.

Yvonne Blomer is Victoria, B.C.’s Poet Laureate. Her most recent collection of poems is As if a Raven (Palimpsest Press, 2014). Her previous books include The Book of Places (Black Moss Press, 2012) and a broken mirror, fallen leaf (Ekstasis Editions, 2006) which was short listed for the Gerald LampertMemorial Award. Her travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press in the spring of 2017. From 2009-2015 Yvonne was the Artistic Director of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series from which she co- edited the anthology Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press).

Jamella Hagen
Yukon poet Jamella Hagen

Jamella Hagen grew up in Hazelton, BC and has lived in Vancouver, Brazil and South Korea. Her poems have appeared in journals across Canada including Arc, Event and The Malahat Review as well as in the anthologies Unfurled: Collected Poetry from Northern BC Women, Ice Floe: New and Selected Poems and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. Her work has won The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, placed third in This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and been shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC, is a former executive editor of PRISM international and has coordinated the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. She currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, and is an instructor at Yukon College.


WEB_20160630_lilygontard_9033Lily Gontard is a writer living in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in magazines such as Geist and The Puritan Magazine; new non-fiction appears in Up Here. Her non-fiction book Beyond Mile Zero is a collaboration with photographer Mark Kelly  that explores the vanishing Alaska Highway lodge community and was published in April 2017 by Lost Moose, an imprint of Harbour Publishing.

Lily is a regular contributor to the “Endnotes” review section of Geist magazine. Throughout her career in publishing she worked as a self-employed editor and designer, as well as in different roles for several magazines, including the Malahat Review, Geist, and Arcticamag.ca. She was the founding editor of Yukon, North of Ordinary magazine and of the now-defunct circumpolar art and culture magazine Arcticamag.ca.

Lily’s film and TV projects in development include a feature-length screenplay co-written with K. G. Green and two TV series co-written with Tonya Mallet. Lily’s fiction is represented by Kris Rothstein with the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency.


  • Lily Gontard and Mark Kelly awarded the Yukon Historical Museums Associations’ Innovation, Education and Community Engagement Award for 2017
  • Emerging Northern Writers and Artists Fund, Northern Public Affairs 2016
  • “Simple Division” short-listed for the 2015 23rd Annual SiWC Short Story Contest
  • Advanced Artist Award 2014, Government of Yukon
  • Advanced Artist Award 2002, Government of Yukon