Drive-by Saviours Book Launch
I had the great pleasure of attending Chris Benjamin’s book launch (Drive-by Saviours) last night at the Company House in Halifax and it was awesome! By the end of the night everyone was sweating as the sheer number of guests raised the temperature about 10 degrees. Throw in a little sing along with the incredibly entertaining Heather Kelday and you’ve got yourself a proper sauna experience!
Our MC, the host of CBC’s Mainstreet Halifax, Stephanie Domet, started the night with some quips about how awed she is that publishers entrust their livelihoods to authors (tell me about it!), and how equally awed she is that authors write books (and again). Then she introduced Heather Kelday - a performer from the Valley - who entertained us (a great deal) with her songs about life in the Valley. Most notably a truly hilarious song about the joy of living life with dial up internet.
Did I mention she made us sing along? Which, fortunately, enough people did to make… well, you know… some noise. (I’m always happy to sing along, so I was one of the people making this noise.)
Then we heard two spoken word pieces from the incredible, talented Shauntay Grant. Halifax’s very own Poet Laureate. She did one piece about racism and the continued debt owed to the people of Africa, and a second piece about “Life Lessons” - focusing on sisterhood particularly, but relationships between people generally. She’s amazing. So insightful, powerful, challenging, critical. Seriously, I was blown away.
Then Chris took to the stage and read four sections of his book - demonstrating yet again why this book (to quote a recent review) WILL be considered for an award or two (or ten). The raucous applause almost drowned out Stephanie Domet calling for an intermission during which Chris would sign copies of his book. The books were sold out within minutes (sorry to those of you who missed out on the book last night) - and Chris signed books til his hand hurt and he could small talk no more!
Okay, I admit that I left the event at this moment (way past my bedtime) - but that was not the end of the evening. Those hardcore believers stayed strong for a performance by another brilliant Halifax musician, Kev Corbett. I’m sorry I missed it. It was an amazing, lively, fun night. Who knew that a book launch could be so much fun? Congrats to Chris on a successful launch! And good luck with the rest of the tour. If you’re in the path of Chris’s tour - check it out!