Vancouver writer Kate Braid will be reading from her women-in-trades memoir at the KSA building (606 Victoria Street) on Tuesday

Authors celebrate women in non-traditions jobs

Writers Kate Braid and Jane Byers will read stories and poems about women working in non-traditional fields

Vancouver writer Kate Braid and Nelson writer Jane Byers will bring to life through their stories and poems the successes and obstacles experienced by women working in non-traditional fields when the authors read at Selkirk College’s Kootenay Studio Arts in Nelson on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Braid will be reading from her women-in-trades memoir, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man’s World.  The book covers her 15 years working in construction from raw apprentice laborer to union carpenter, building houses, high rises and bridges along the way. “My passion was concrete,” she says.

Braid has also published five books of poetry that explore her time in the building trades as well as the lives and vision of artists Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe, and pianist Glenn Gould. She has taught at Simon Fraser University, the University of B.C., and Vancouver Island University. Her writing has won the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and the Vancity Book Award.

Byers, a seven year Nelson resident, worked for many years for the City of Toronto in corporate health and safety and now works for Worksafe BC. Her poems, essays and short fiction have been published in a variety of magazines internationally, including Descant, Rattle, and the Canadian Journal of Hockey Literature.

In a recent magazine article, Braid describes how in 1977 women in trades in BC were two to three per cent of the trades.  “Then in 2007, when I did that research again, 30 years later the number of women in trades in BC was two to three per cent. Still. Nothing had changed in the least.”

Negative attitudes toward women by men on the jobsite account for the extremely high dropout rate among women apprentices who receive trades training, Braid notes.  “We all know BC — Canada — suffers a serious shortage of skilled tradespeople. Employers are looking overseas — to the far east and elsewhere — for already trained people.” It makes more sense, Braid said, “to look locally, starting with the other half of the population, to women.” But, she observes, “the problem isn’t recruitment, it’s retention.”

The reading will take place in Room 310 at the KSA building (606 Victoria Street). The reading, part of Oxygen Art Centre’s Presentation Series, is free and open to the public.

Just Posted

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

West Kootenay radio club says local network in need of upgrades

Club president Lane Wilson estimated $100,000 of work required

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Missing B.C. boy and aunt found safe

The pair had been reported missing from Kamloops

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

Most Read