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An Evening With Billy-Ray Belcourt

September 16 @ 6:30 am - 9:30 pm PDT

On Friday, September 16, join Massy Books, SFU Public Square, SFU Library, Massy Arts Society, SFU Galleries and Penguin Random House for an evening with daring literary talent Billy-Ray Belcourt and the launch of his latest book, A Minor Chorus. An urgent first novel about breaching the prisons we live inside, Belcourt will do a reading—introducing characters as alive and vast as the boreal forest—and Q&A, moderated by award-winning author Cecily Nicholson.

Hosted at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, this event is free, with the option to purchase a copy of A Minor Chorus upon registration. A book signing and reception will take place following the event.

Please make sure to register for the event.


COVID Protocols: This event requires attendees to wear a mask. If you are showing any symptoms, stay home. Please be respectful of staff, volunteers and fellow attendees and mindful of others’ comfort levels. We appreciate your continued cooperation!


Accessibility: The Djavad Mowafaghian cinema is located at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, a brief walk from Waterfront station and numerous bus stops. Bike stalls are available outside. Nearby parking is available at 500 & 400 W. Cordova St.

The building is accessible at street level on the Hastings side or via a ramp on the Cordova Street Courtyard side (across from JJ Bean Coffee). There are two ramp entry points, one is located against the building, near the entrance to the Woodward’s Westbank Atrium (which houses London Drugs and Nesters) and one is located against the building, beside the alley. Both the Hastings doors and the Cordova Courtyard doors can be operated by accessibility buttons located beside the doorways.

The venue has a gender-neutral washroom. All floors within the building are wheelchair accessible and serviced by elevators.


The Book

An unnamed narrator abandons his unfinished thesis and returns to northern Alberta in search of what eludes him: the shape of the novel he yearns to write, an autobiography of his rural hometown, the answers to existential questions about family, love, and happiness.

What ensues is a series of conversations, connections, and disconnections that reveals the texture of life in a town literature has left unexplored, where the friction between possibility and constraint provides an insistent background score.

Whether he’s meeting with an auntie distraught over the imprisonment of her grandson, engaging in rez gossip with his cousin at a pow wow, or lingering in bed with a married man after a hotel room hookup, the narrator makes space for those in his orbit to divulge their private joys and miseries, testing the theory that storytelling can make us feel less lonely.


The Author

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He lives in Vancouver, where he is an Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Writing at UBC. His books are This Wound Is A World, NDN Coping Mechanisms, A History Of My Brief Body, and A Minor Chorus.


The Moderator

Cecily Nicholson is the author of four books, and past recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. She teaches at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and collaborates with community impacted by carcerality and food insecurity.



September 16
6:30 am - 9:30 pm PDT