Tonya Lailey

I grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake that my great-grandfather cultivated. As a kid I much preferred the tangled growth Niagara River bank to the rows of vines and trees on the farm. In those days, we were free, as kids, to wander around the land unattended. We played in the tall meadow grasses along the concessions, climbed crab apple trees and swung off a black walnut branch into the river. 

I now live in Moh’kinstsis (Calgary, Alberta) on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3). 

I’m a writer finishing my MFA through UBC’s optional residency program. I live with my two daughters and our cat Talou, who spends days up in the old willow in our backyard. As a side gig, I sell wine for Sperling Vineyards, leaders in organic and biodynamic farming in BC. Every year I turn more of my small lawn into garden.