Gwynne Hunt of Port Alberni will release her new book, Unlocking the Tin Box, this week at a pair of literary events.

Port Alberni author Gwynne Hunt releases new book

Unlocking the Tin Box is a true tale of family dysfunction

Gwynne Hunt is best known in Port Alberni for creating the Art Matters Society, organizing numerous small arts and entertainment events, writing scripts for stage productions and running the former Main Artery art supplies store at Harbour Quay. This month, she introduces the community to her skills as an author with the release of Unlocking the Tin Box, a true story about growing up in Vancouver in the 1950s and 1960s.

“This is the true story of the trials and tribulations, the joys and sorrows, the drugs, alcohol and abuse of growing up in Vancouver, B.C. in the ’50s and ’60s in a dysfunctional family,” says Hunt. “Father and mother alcoholics and the father a con man and a carny, but still a caring Dad who somehow made it work and kept the family together and surviving.”

The narrative in Unlocking the Tin Box is peppered with history and local-to-Vancouver landmarks. It is emotional, evocative and raw while at the same time an entertaining read.

Hunt has been writing, directing and producing for 40 years. She has written directed and produced more than 30 plays, and published four magazines, two poetry books, a children’s book and has been published in many anthologies and chapbooks.

She taught Creative & Freelance Writing, a course she designed, for many years at the University of the Fraser Valley through Adult Education.

Members of the public will have two opportunities in Port Alberni to hear Hunt’s tales from Unlocking the Tin Box. She will be the featured reader at Alberni Valley Words on Fire on Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m. at Char’s Landing (4815 Argyle St.). She is also holding a storytelling session and book launch on Saturday, April 27 at the Rollin Art Centre (Eighth Avenue at Argyle Street) from 1–3 p.m.

Unlocking the Tin Box can be purchased directly from the publisher at, a Kindle version at or by e-mailing Hunt at

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