Vic has been teaching English at the university level since 1987, and Creative Writing at the university level since 2001. As a writer and visual artist he has always been interested in exploring the themes of generation and regeneration; this is clear in his poetry and short fiction publications throughout the years, but in his novel The Road to Vermilion Lake, with sincere gratitude he believes he’s been given the opportunity to collect and focus into a single unified surge everything he has learned.
Vic Cavalli grew up in Vancouver B.C. surrounded by narratives of immigration and the Canadian wilderness, the arts and the trades. His Swiss mother (who spent her youth in Smithers, B.C.) taught sewing for most of her life and was a professional seamstress. His Italian father (who spent the prime of his youth gold mining in the Yukon) was an excellent musician, carpenter, and master welder who literally signed his finished projects with his welding rod as if they were paintings. Vic’s childhood home was filled with music, art, large house parties (optimally with two or three accordions, a mandolin and a guitar), Italian songs, wine, and spaghetti dinner feasts. Within this context, he and his father lived for the weekends and summer holidays when they would camp and fish in some of the most beautiful settings imaginable: the rivers and lakes of the Interior of British Columbia, and the Pacific ocean shoreline from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish, and off the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.
Also, Vic was mentored as a boy in state of the art photography by his uncle Lucius, who had hiked the Alps as a young man and had photographs of newly discovered species of wildflowers published in scientific journals in his early teen years. He’ll never forget the 35mm camera Lucius gave him and his patient instruction.
During the 1960s, in secondary school, Vic focused on the visual arts and music (fronting a couple of rock bands), plus studied ceramics on Saturdays at The Vancouver Art School. After high school he worked for seven years at various manual labor jobs: operating machines and driving forklifts in factories, building steel fishing boats, and logging—setting chokers and falling trees. Eventually, taking the advice of an educated friend, Vic signed up for first-year College. He vividly recalls that friend’s then puzzling admonition: “Read some Russian novels.” He had inspiring professors, and he immersed himself in his formal education and completed a B.A. and soon after an M.A.