LITERARY FESTIVALS IN CANADA YOU SHOULD KNOW
Sitting on a chair with our minds engrossed in the world painted by books while sipping our favorite drink is a figurative feel of heaven for book lovers. Of course, no one appreciates anything more than complete silence when taking these book vacations. So, why should you opt to look out for a literary festival instead of relaxing and drowning in an exciting read alone, especially if you’re around Canada?
For readers and writers, attending literary festivals is a rare kind of uncommon fun. Canada has always been known for maintaining a constant love for books and literary publications – the reason why it pops up first in your search for literary festivals. Canada has several literary events laced with art pieces you will definitely not pass by. For you, here are some highlighted literary events you should look out for if you’re in and around those places in Canada.
Canada Book Day
This is one of the most prominent literary festivals in Canada, with thousands of attendees to grace the program. The Writer’s Trust of Canada organized the first Fest to support the literature of Canadian English. It is an annual event celebrated on April 23rd, the same day as the World Book and Copyright day organized by UNESCO to promote the publication, reading, and protection of intellectual works of literature via copyright. The Canada book day promotes reading and books and cultivating a sound reading culture amongst the younger ones. There’s always a series of intelligent panel discussions and events carried out on this day for your enjoyment.
Word on the Street
Massive book fest? Check! Fun with lots of like-minded people on the streets? Check! This event should be at the top of your bucket list if you’re around the vicinity, not least because this event is rumored to be the biggest literary Festival in Canada, and there’s very little reason to doubt an event that lives its name.
Word on the street was organized years back by some big authors and literary communities. That includes The Canadian Library Association, Professional Writer’s Association of Canada, and the League of Canadian Poets, a few amongst the numerous organizers, with a commission “To unite the country in an annual national celebration of reading and writing to highlight the importance of literacy in the lives of all Canadians. ”
This event holds in various cities of Canada – Toronto, Kitchener, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, and Halifax – so you can try to attend the closest one to you. It promotes literacy and a comprehensive understanding of Canadian literature texts. Word on the street has hundreds of incredible authors and local superstars in attendance.
If you want to get diverse books, this is an ample opportunity you shouldn’t miss for anything.
Read By The Sea
If your children have inherited your flair for reading books, Read By The Sea is an excellent summer vacation option for the whole family. It is a summer literary festival held in early July, annually. This event entertains everyone who loves to read, with competitive programs to keep all busy and entertained while it lasts.
Read By The Sea was organized in 2000 by some North Scotia women who saw the need to draw authors to that region and keep children entertained while relaxing beside River John. Over the years, it has drawn renowned authors like Margaret Atwood, James Laxner, Sheree Fitch, and others towards the small region to grace the event.
Read by the sea also has a fascinating program called Wordplay, which is an extraordinary literary competition that’s found entertaining by Children of all ages. This annual Fest organizers ensure that you feature Canadian Poets and Writers so you won’t know when you put the paperback down and start listening to some exclusive gist. Also, you’ll just need to sit and relax, while the finest writers read books to you, themselves!
This is where you should look for the premium book-loving family relaxation experience.
Eden Mills Writers’ Festivals
This is an annual event that draws the finest Canadian writers and poets’ attention to a small village located on the Eramosa River, some kilometers from the east of Guelph, a city in Ontario.
The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival started in 1989 and was first held at the original General Store built-in 1877. On the second Sunday after Labor Day in September, it happens on the second Sunday and attracts hundreds of attendees to the Festival. At this event, Unpublished and young writers take a shot at the limelight by presenting their literary works to be read and judged in a session called “The Fringe.” The Festival features two literary contests: the Ishar Singh Poetry Contest and the Festival Literary Contest for writers over 16 years. The Eden Mills Festival also features a books bazaar!! So, get your wallets ready if you’re interested in acquiring books at lower prices when you visit the Fest.
Whistler Writers Festival
Organized by the Whistlers Writing Society, this event is held annually every October in Whistler, British Columbia. The first literary Festival was born in 2002 and has grown to have a few thousand attendees. The event features the reading of literary works, workshops, speaker panels, and a series of spoken word events.
If you’re around Whistler in October, attending this event would be worth it.
The Frye Festival is a literary event in a class of its own. It is an annual literary festival held every April in Moncton to honor Herman Northrop Frye, a celebrated literary theorist, and critic that hails from the small town. Frye festival features symposiums and literary conferences, amongst other activities. Another thing is, it is not solely English! It is a bilingual event, with French events running concurrently.
If you have ever resided in Canada, hearing about Word Fest shouldn’t be something new. Conceived by Donald Stein in 1996, WordFest is an annual literary event held in Calgary, Canada, organized by a not-for-profit arts organization. This is one of the largest international literary festivals, with well-established writers and poets from all over the globe. Word fest features an average of 70 events over the ten days it runs. It aims to help young people, writers, and poets discover the importance of writing and reading. Over 80 renowned writers attend the program, and thousands of attendees are recognized yearly. It features spoken word performances, panel discussions, readings interviews, and lots more. If you want a literary event with plenty of exclusive information and kindred spirits, attend the WordFest at Calgary. You won’t want it to end!
Thin Air: The International Winnipeg Writers Festival
This fantastic event was founded by Andris Taskans, Robyn Maharaj, and Mark Steven Morton in 1996 and had been in existence for over two decades. It features French and English streams of fun-filled readings, lectures, poetry, and other fun literary activities that run simultaneously in the two different languages for a whole week! The program is designed for younger readers with a passion for literary poetry arts. The Winnipeg festival is great if you’re young and full of love for books.
The literary Festival happens in Sidney, a city located on the beautiful Vancouver Island, also known as “Canada’s bookstore.” It was launched in 2013 to bring global readers to local Canadian authors they adore.
Fun Fact: Vancouver Island gets this name from the large number of individual bookstores it owns.
Yukon International Storytelling Festival
If you are the adventurous kind and will love to know more about some cultures’ literary, cultural heritage, the Yukon storytelling festival should be your go-to Fest. The Yukon fest is held every summer in Whitehorse, Yukon, and was created in 1988 after Angela Sidney of the Tagish tribe shared her native stories, inspiring storytellers to develop the event. It is to that origin that this Fest owes its outdoor setting.
The Festival, which started small, outgrew Yukon and Canada’s city to attract storytellers keen to share their native stories from all over the world. It is now celebrated annually to preserve the native heritage of the Tagish people and other native tribes that might have gone extinct.
If you enjoy stories of native tribes being told, the Yukon festival should be one you shouldn’t miss.
March Hare Festival
This Festival started towards the end of 1987 and the beginning of 1988 as a poetry festival in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada. The March Hare Festival takes its name from Alice’s Adventures’ character in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll.
It was Atlantic Canada’s biggest poetry festival before 2018. It features an array of poetry, spoken word performances, and other literary activities.
Ottawa International Writers Festival
Founded in 1994 by Irish-born Neil Wilson, this literary Festival is one of Canada’s biggest numbers. The large number of attendees only increased with each passing event, which is now held twice annually. One at spring and another at fall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Festival is characterized by literary publications consisting of fiction, poetry, science, politics, philosophy, and lots more from the locals. It is held at Christchurch Cathedral Centre, and it hosts people thirsty for books.
Short Line Reading Series
For book and music lovers, this Festival combines a good ratio of the two art elements to spice up the duration of the Festival. The Festival was first hosted by Memewar Magazine, with its first meeting held in railway club, Vancouver, British Columbia. Memewar Magazine hopes to unite writers from different circles and provide a platform for connection and collaboration. The event features music and lots of writing. If you like to sing and read, then the Short-line series was made for you.
Canadian Festival of Spoken Word
The Canadian Festival of spoken words, created in 2003, was produced by SpokenWord Canada is annually held in Ottawa, Ontario. It first aired in 2004 as Canadian spoken-wordlympics. The event is poetry and spoken word-oriented. The Festival started to mirror the National Poetry Slam that holds in the USA. The Festival is held in Canada’s big cities like Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax, and Toronto. That way, you can attend any of the festivals close to you.
Cabot Trail Writers Festival
If you adore serene literary festivals that are not full of people, this small Festival is the answer. The Festival holds yearly at St. Anne’s Bay, Baddeck, where the heights meet the sea. The Festival is small but full of writing workshops and lectures. It is adorned with artworks and beautiful displays to make your stay there quiet and worth it.
No one will mention literary festivals in Canada and leave Blue-met out of it. Blue metropolis is the first multilingual literary Festival globally, and it is held in Montreal since 1999. It was founded by Linda Leith and put on by Blue Metropolis Foundation, established in 1997. It features poetry, readings, lectures, symposiums, and workshops similar to other literary festivals; only this time, it is done in different languages!
Blue Met does justice in incorporating different languages for the literary event.
Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival
For mountain climbers and hikers, the Banff mountain festival is a great one if you love movies where they do some mountain climbing. The literary aspect has some publications of locals on mountain climbing and other related activities. You hear the work of others being read, and you get new information on mountain climbing. Since the Festival holds on the famous Mountain, you can also explore Banff’s mountains’ heights.
The ArtsPeak Arts Festivals
This Festival is one great event I know to combine art and literary works perfectly. It is held in Canmore, Canada, every June. The Festival features artists, artisans, street performances, and art walks to spice and cap the whole event. If you’re artsy about literature, I will definitely recommend you visit to see for yourself when you’re in Canmore someday.
Canada isn’t called the Book Capital for no reason. And now that you know some great literature-based events in Canada you should look out for, you shouldn’t waste time in looking out for one to satisfy your ever-growing craving for books. Get in there!