Millstone River

Join us for a special event featuring Billy-Ray Belcourt, S F Ho, and Manuel Axel Strain starting at 2pm in Bowen Park in Snuneymuxw territory (Nanaimo) hosted by the Vancouver Island Regional Library and the Nanaimo Art Gallery. We will be gathering at the lower picnic shelter near the Wall Street entrance. Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket and enjoy the arts in the outdoors!

Manuel Axel Strain will start off the with a performance centered around the Millstone River, followed by readings by S F Ho and Billy-Ray Belcourt from their latest work.

This event is part of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s huli u’tu staluẃ / Riverbed Project. Find out more here about this series of artworks, walks, performances, readings, and workshops that will move upstream on the Millstone River with events from July to October.

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation in northern Alberta. He lives in Vancouver, where he’s an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. His books are This Wound is a World, winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, NDN Coping Mechanisms, and A History of My Brief Body. Find out more about Billy-Ray here.


S F Ho is an artist who is 90% chill, 10% not, living on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ peoples. They’re into community building, books and being sort of boring. They recently finished writing George the Parasite (2020), a short novella about aliens, love and boundaries. Find out more about S F here.



Manuel Axel Strain is a 2-spirit interdisciplinary artist with Musqueam/Simpcw/Syilx heritage based in the unceded territory of the Katzie/Kwantlen peoples. Although they have attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design they are more appreciative of the knowledge they have gained from their mother, father, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and ancestors. Strain uses their lived experience as a source of agency to investigate different ways of healing and knowing. Invested with personal and political histories, their practice includes painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation, through which mental and spiritual well-being take paramount significance. Find out more about Manuel here.



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Here is some helpful map info for finding the picnic shelter at Bowen Park. See you there!


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