COVID-19 Response

Dear Wordfesters

While our live in-theatre programming remains on pause during COVID-19 public health restrictions, we are imaginairing new ways to connect you with the world’s best authors. Please join us for complimentary Online Happy Hour conversations with best-selling authors from around the world. Pour yourself your favourite libation and tune into our landing page on every Thursday at 5:30 PM (MT). We will send you a personal reminder and further instructions on making the most of your online event experience when you RSVP. We’ll also send you an event reminder and our unique Digital Doggie Bag after the event, sharing all the links, goodies and references from the Happy Hour. Please contact for assistance.

We thank you for your understanding and continued support. Know that we are still planning BIG magical things, including our 25th anniversary celebration this fall, and that we truly value the connections we have with all of you, even if the hugs, the laughter, and the inspiration have to be virtual at this moment. Best of all, we’re READERS at heart, so this pause gives us a chance to finally tackle those delicious books from past Wordfest events stacked by the bedside table.

Year-Round Events

All events currently on our schedule are provided online through live streaming technology that respects social distancing measures. Admission is free, but we accept donations as a registered charity (CRA# 850647835rr0001) and through the Shaw Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink (BFK), which matches contributions by up to 50%. Wordfest’s home at Memorial Park Library remains closed to the general public. We encourage compliance with public health advisories to keep yourself and your neighbours healthy.

Youth Program

We are working actively with schools and teachers to see how Wordfest can support students in this difficult time and help make life-changing connections with authors from a safe distance. Wordfest’s extensive youth engagement, including our Indigenous Youth Program, connects leading Indigenous authors for free to junior and senior high school students. Last year, we were able to present 23 authors – including Cherie Dimaline, Jesse Thistle, Humble the Poet and Emma Donoghue – to 11,386 students at no charge to schools who qualify for complimentary programming.

Fall Festival

Our 25th anniversary Imaginairium Festival is just around the corner. We are cautiously optimistic that everything will proceed as usual and we are continuing in full-on planning mode.

In the meantime, we are following the Public Health Agency of Canada‘s mass gathering risk assessment protocol. We are being vigilant, and we are communicating with our colleagues, stakeholders and the City of Calgary. We are, of course, committed to the health and safety of everyone — our audiences, volunteers, staff and artists — and we look forward to seeing you soon.

If you have any questions or concerns related to COVID-19, please contact us.