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June 25, 2018

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May 30, 2018



In a ceremony on May 29, 2018, at the legendary Copacabana in Times Square, Canadian author and CBC personality Grant Lawrence won a medal for his latest book, Dirty Windshields: The Best And The Worst Of The Smugglers Tour Diaries (Douglas and McIntyre, 2017).

Dirty Windshields has been awarded the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards medal (“IPPY Award”) in the category of Performing Arts (Music/Dance/Cinema/Theatre).

Dirty Windshields is Lawrence’s outrageous non-fiction chronicle of his 14 years of touring the world in the infamous Vancouver garage rock band the Smugglers, for which he was the lead vocalist, frontman, and raconteur.

“Over the years, the Smugglers played plenty of shows in New York, from CBGB to the Roxy to Coney Island High”, remembers Lawrence. “But I have to say, receiving a medal for those sordid stories all these years later, at the Copacabana in Times Square, is something I won’t forget.”

The Copacabana has served as a set for such films as Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and Carlito’s Way, and was the nightclub of choice for the Supremes’ 1965 live album Live At The Copa.

“It was amazing to be in that room full of authors and publishers from all over the world, and to receive an award for a bunch of tour diaries that I scribbled down in Hilroy notebooks twenty years ago”, noted Lawrence.

“The Smugglers tour diaries were originally a deal I made with my dad. The only way he would allow me to be in a touring band was if I promised him I’d write the misery down. So… thanks Dad!”

Lawrence’s previous two books, Adventures in Solitude (Harbour Publishing, 2010) and The Lonely End of the Rink (Douglas and McIntyre, 2013), were both award-winning bestsellers. The 2018 IPPY medal is Lawrence’s first international award for writing.

The “IPPY” Awards launched in 1996 and are designed to recognize excellence in independent publishing, and to bring increased recognition to deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers. Established as the first awards program exclusively for independent publishers, thousands of “IPPYs” have been awarded to authors and publishers around the world. Read more about the IPPY Awards here.



Jul 14 Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Jericho Beach Park

Aug 18 – Quadra Island, BC – Heriot Bay Inn

Aug 19 – Gabriola Island, BC – Gabriola Island Arts Festival

Oct 11 – Oct 14 – Whistler, BC – Whistler Writers Festival

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April 11, 2018

Juno Cup, BC Book Prizes, Stories and Songs: 2018 is so far a blur

Yes, that’s Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo without the helmet, and yes, that’s me trying to make the save (for the record, Cuddy didn’t score). This photo was taken at the 2018 Juno Cup charity hockey game by none other than Canadian Olympic gold medal champion rower Kevin Light. The craziness of those last few sentences pretty much sum up my 2018 so far. It’s been busy, and a bit of blur. You can read more about my Juno experience here.

Book news: I’m honoured to announce that Dirty Windshields: the best and the worst of the Smugglers tour diaries has been nominated for a BC Book Prize! The award show gala is on Friday May 4 in Vancouver.

Radio news: I’ve had an amazing time telling the life story of “Cougar” Nancy Crowther, the Cougar Queen of Okeover Inlet, in weekly segments on CBC Radio 1 in BC this year in a series called The Cougar Lady Chronicles. If you’ve read my first book, Adventures in Solitude, you may remember Nancy as the first person in the Desolation Sound area that my family ever met. Most people extended a hand. She extended a gun. If you missed the series, it’s available on podcast by searching ‘Cougar Lady Chronicles’ or you can listen to all 15 episodes here.

Live show news: We’ve been having a blast with our new touring show Grant Lawrence and Friends: an Evening of Stories and Songs. The event is exactly that: I read stories from my books and songs are performed by friends between stories. It has so far featured my wife Jill Barber, my pal and hockey teammate Dustin Bentall, and the Smugglers acoustic at each show (co-founding members Adam Woodall and Nick Thomas), as well as special guests like Craig Northey (the Odds) and Lauren Mann (CBC Searchlight winner). So far we’ve hosted sold-out BC shows on Bowen Island, Pender Island, and in Brackendale and Deep Cove. We’ll do a few more this summer. Please see dates below.

Writing news: After three years of scribing Vancouver Shakedown, a weekly column in the WestEnder, the paper suddenly ceased to exist at the end of 2017 after about 80 years of publication. Then, after about a month or so of actually enjoying not filing a column every week, I had the honour of being asked to continue Vancouver Shakedown as a joint-column, appearing in both the weekly Vancouver Courier and on Here’s a recent one on Vancouver band Slow.

Upcoming shows and appearances:

Friday April 20, North Shore Writers Festival, West Vancouver Public Library
Friday May 4, BC Book Prizes, Pinnacle Harbour Front Hotel, Vancouver
Friday May 11 – Sunday May 13, Word on the Lake Writers Festival, Salmon Arm BC
Saturday July 14, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Jericho Beach Park, Vancouver BC*
Sunday August 19, Gabriola Island Arts Festival, Gabriola Island, BC*
Thu Oct 11 – Sun Oct 14, Whistler Writers Festival, Whistler BC

More details and tickets here.

*Grant Lawrence and Friends: Stories and Songs event

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