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Taghum Hall events keep the winter blues away

A writing group, Robbie Burns Night and winter markets are among the upcoming events
Writers Heather Haake (left) and Anne DeGrace get ready to lead the writing group Write On!, one of several programs coming up at Taghum Hall. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Taghum Hall

Beating the winter doldrums is the goal of the folks at Taghum Hall in the coming weeks

“It’s a cold, dark time of year,” explains events co-ordinator Heather Haake. “We thought we’d warm things up with a little something for everyone.”

Starting Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., Write On! with writers Anne DeGrace and Haake aims to bring emerging writers out of creative isolation and into something more convivial. This writing group will meet every other Thursday for 10 sessions to explore aspects of the craft, tackle writing challenges, do some co-critiquing, and laugh through writerly angst. Write On! is free, but registration is required as space is limited.

Robbie Burns Night at the Hall is a beloved event for the Scots and the Scot-ish among us. It takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. as part of Taghum Hall’s free Food for Thought potluck-and-talk series. Angus Graeme will pipe in the haggis and offer some rousing words about the celebrated poet. Folks are asked to bring a Scots-inspired dish to share.

“We’ll have Scottish Country Dancing, caber-tossing and hammer-throwing for the bairns, and a fine bit o’ craic,” says Haake in a suddenly thick brogue. “Ye just need ta bring a pot o’ scran — that’s a potluck dish — and yer fine auld self.”

February’s Food for Thought topic, on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m., is also timely as writer-educator Mike Stolte offers tips on how to “Beat Them Winter Blues.” Folks are asked to bring a dish to share and a curious mind; initial grumpiness is allowed.

Write On! And Food for Thought series are offered free thanks to Neighbourhood Small Grants through the Vancouver Foundation.

Winter Markets return starting Saturday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. With more than 20 vendors in the Hall, folks can browse handmade treasures and then enjoy a soup lunch to warm bones and banish doldrums. Two more markets are planned for Feb. 25 and March 25.

A Winter Literary Tea takes place on Sunday, Feb. 12. It’s a chance to hang out with literary legends while enjoying three courses of delectable treats, lovely local music, and some edifying literary trivia. Lunch with Stephen Leacock! Munch with Margaret Laurence! Sip with C.S. Lewis and toast with J.R.R. Tolkein! There are two sittings, 12 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, and advance reservations are a must.

Drop-in events are ongoing at the Hall (entrance by donation), and these include bridge on Mondays at 1:30 p.m., table tennis on Mondays at 5 p.m., and watercolour painting on Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

In addition to building community, Taghum Hall is working to rebuild the kitchen to be up-to-code and skookum. Many of our events double as fundraisers, and Taghum Hall is always looking for folks who’d like to be a part of the fun — and fundraising — by volunteering.

Information about the Hall can be found at For information, registration, tickets, or to volunteer, the best place to start is by emailing the Hall’s epicentre at