The poets behind the Fraser Valley Poets Society’s latest anthology O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years.

Fraser Valley Poets Society celebrates Canada’s 150th

Abbotsford-based group releases latest anthology

by Daniel Liebe, Contributor

The Fraser Valley Poets Society (FVPS) has added its voice to the collective that continues to celebrate Canada’s 150th.

The group’s project for this year was to publish a book of poetry celebrating the country’s 150th birthday. They officially launched O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years on June 26 at the Clearbrook Library.

“Wow!” said book editor Alvin Ens in unveiling the book before a crowd of 50 people. “150 years old. Let’s celebrate!”

“In this anthology, O Canada Celebrating 150 Years, the Fraser Valley Poets have contributed poems that bring attention to different aspects of Canada and Canadian culture and identity, along with poems on many other subjects,” said society president Brayden Sawatzky.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun wrote the following dedication for the book: “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Canada’s 150 years than by sharing what makes Canada and the Canadian experience unique.”

The 208-page book consists of poems by 18 members of the FVPS.

The main idea behind the book was to encourage members of the Fraser Valley Poets Society to get published and promote local talent within the community.

This isn’t the first book made by the FVPS.

In 2006, they published Poetic Spirits of the Valley, a celebration of the environment.

In 2012, they published Picking Flowers, a tribute to a long-time member. In 2014, they published Encouragement, a tribute to their founder, Donna Bishop.

“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, it is important to remember the great contributions that the arts have made to our national identity,” said Jati Sidhu, member of parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

“The poems in this anthology offer brilliant insight into the Canadian experience – all different, and all beautiful.

“The Fraser Valley Poets Society has given us a wonderful testament not only to the craft of poetry, but a great gift that will be enjoyed in this, the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation, and for many years to come.”

O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years can be purchased for $20 from the society treasurer, Ted Goodrich. More information about the book and about the launch can be found on the society web page, fraservalleypoets.com.