WordFest has announced the full Festival line-up for the 16th annual WordFest, which runs from October 11-16. Outside of the more than 60 events during the six day festival, WordFest is also hosting two special events in November featuring Adrienne Clarkson (November 1) and Wade Davis (November 9).
On Tuesday, November 1, WordFest presents Adrienne Clarkson at the Central Library, John Dutton Theatre (616 Macleod Trail SE in Calgary) at 7pm. The event will feature the former governor general of Canada presenting her new book, Room For All of Us, followed by a signing. Clarkson’s book is a collection of personal stories that explore the immigrant experience. Tickets are $15.
On Wednesday, November 9, WordFest returns to the Central Library, John Dutton Theatre to present bestselling author and adventurer Wade Davis at 7pm. Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, will present his latest book, Into the Silence: the Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest. Tickets are $15.
Jo Steffens, Festival Director, revealed the list of 76 writers showcased in the Festival with an eager response from readers, local writers, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, media and WordFest patrons. WordFest will feature 17 Albertan writers, 64 Canadian artists and writers from Australia, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, St. Lucia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“I am really excited about this year’s line-up, there’s an exceptional group of Canadian and Albertan writers and some very strong emerging and first-time novelists,” said Steffens. “WordFest is introducing new programming this year, including more free events in addition to annual favourites.”
“This year WordFest is sharing the power of words in new ways. The Festival is showcasing a radio play based on the work of Jessica Westhead and a text-based installation on outdoor billboards. With this mix of talent, genres and themes there is really something for everyone,” said Steffens.
Annual WordFest favourites are included in the line-up of events this year, including Poetry Bash, Lattes, Love and Laughter and the Evening Showcases. New events such as Alberta (Un)Bound, Persuasion, Word Powered Art and Franklin Family Fun Day! show the breadth of WordFest programming that includes industry events, poetry and diverse multilingual programming.
WordFest is proud to offer the Festival favourite Festival des mots, the Francophone and francophile component of the Festival; featuring Lucie Bergeron, Édith Bourget, Dany Laferrière, Anne Bernard-Lenoir and Maryse Rouy. WordFest remains committed to providing multilingual programming and presents José Manuel Prieto in the Spanish-language event ¡HOLA! and is debuting Guten tag!, a German-language event featuring Thomas Pletzinger.
Festival highlights include Word of Mouth and Poetry Cabaret, events where powerhouse poets merge word and music together with wordsmiths to create unforgettable experiences. Other highlighted events include panels exploring topical subjects, such as the digital world of writing and publishing as Lynn Coady, JJ Lee and Emma Ruby-Sachs headline Social Publishing. International talent will be showcased on Thursday evening as Linda Grant, Lev Grossman and Lisa See are presented alongside their Canadian peers Dany Laferrière and Miriam Toews.
On October 14 the Festival moves to The Banff Centre for Friday Night in the Club featuring Tanya Davis, Jeramy Dodds, Kaie Kellough, Dany Laferrière and Angela Silver in an annual Festival favourite. On October 15, the Banff Distinguished Author Series presents Guy Vanderhaeghe. This marquee event will also feature the alternative-country singer/songwriter Justin Rutledge. Other artists appearing in Banff events include Zsuzsi Gartner, Ian Hamilton, Helen Humphreys, Scott MacBride, Madeleine Thien and more. The evening showcases, which kick off Wednesday, October 12, include literary headliners Anita Rau Badami, Peter Behrens, Elizabeth Hay, Wayne Johnston and Johanna Skibsrud.
First Calgary Financial Book Rapport, the youth and education program of WordFest, brings over 6,500 students in contact with an eclectic mix of children and youth authors. This year the program boasts authors Paulette Bourgeois, David Bruins, Marty Chan, Bryan Perro, Cathy Ostlere, Arthur Slade, Meg Wolitzer and illustrators such as Brenda Clark, Hilary Leung and cartoonist Scott Chantler.
To purchase tickets please visit wordfest.com or call 403.237.9068. Tickets can also be purchased through the EPCOR Centre Box Office at 403.294.9494. Copies of Room For All of Us and Into the Silence: the Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest will be available for sale at the events. Following the readings, the authors will be available to sign their books.