Wordfest is turning 25 this year and we were planning an ambitious live festival in September to celebrate our anniversary, featuring 25 authors in 25 events. But everything is different now. So we’ve decided to try something different. Something that could ONLY happen online.
We started with a question: Who? Whose turn should it be in the spotlight? Who can blow it all up? Who can pull us back together? We know is that is no longer about one voice, one vision, one curator, one way forward. We know that we’re in this together.
Imagine, instead, that we create something different: a series of genuine connections that add up to a kind of daisy chain. A daisy chain of 13 weekly online events – authentic, unexpected author pairings – every Tuesday night between September 8 and December 8.
Who to invite? Who to pair? We put the invitations – the Daisy, if you will – into the hands of Wordfest’s most beloved alumni (who also happen to Canada’s tastiest writers) and asked them who they most wanted to connect with on our virtual stage. It could be someone emerging. A peer who deserves the spotlight. Someone they just like talking to. Or an author they’ve never met, but whose work has stuck with them.
All of the authors’ choices have been so deliciously inspired that each one blew our minds. They will blow your mind too. But here’s the fun part: you won’t know who is appearing until one week before they take our virtual stage at Wordfest.com. At the end of every Tuesday event, the authors will reveal the names of the next authors that will be following them in our Daisy Chain.
To give you a taste of the incredible talent in the 25@25 lineup, we’ve also leaked four more of the author pairings: Lawrence Hill & Zalika Reid-Benta (Oct. 6), Seth & Leanne Shapton (Oct. 20), and Eden Robinson & Emily St. John Mandel (Nov. 17) and – yes, even we were floored by this one – Ian Williams & Margaret Atwood (Nov. 24). Single tickets are on sale now for the Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 events, but your best value is the pass.
As a special bonus (and so this adds up to 25 authors), there will be one solo event, featuring the legendary Thomas King on Sept. 22nd. He will be interviewed by Shelagh Rogers, host of The Next Chapter and one of Wordfest’s most enthusiastic supporters.
That leaves 14 more authors to reveal. We know who they are and can make you a promise: the Daisy Chain connects the most phenomenal talents in Canadian literature: past, present, and future. Yes, these are challenging times, but this extravaganza could only have happened online. You won’t want to miss a single minute.
I can’t give away the full roster – discovering who the authors are will be part of the magic of the experience – but I can say that I squealed in delight many times over the past month. Big minds. Big hearts. Big books. The best.”
–Shelley Youngblut, Wordfest’s CEO & Creative Ringleader
The only thing missing from the Daisy Chain is you. Let’s turn our shared belief in the best in each other into this daisy chain, an authentic, unexpected, creative, heartfelt thing in these challenging times. So please JOIN US every Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT for these one-hour conversations, exclusively available through the 25@25 pass. You’ll be able to watch each event via our live stream on Wordfest.com or on demand on our website.
You will also receive a personalized gift from one of the hundreds of authors who have appeared at Wordfest since 1996. (It will be another delightful surprise!)
To help writers whose 2020 book releases have been impacted by COVID-19, we asked our 25@25 authors to choose a book published this year that they would love you to read. Calgary independent booksellers will be offering you a 25% if you buy five of these recommended books, or books from the 25@25 authors back lists.
Online access to 25@25 is available now. Ticket packages:
Single tickets to 25@25 events will be made available online seven days before each event, as the author pairings are announced, for $15 + gst, and include the on-demand viewing option for just that event.
Accessibility: All of the online events will be close captioned. For those who are unable to purchase a pass or single tickets, please contact Everett Wilson at email@example.com and we will provide complimentary access, thanks to the support of our donors.
Need help buying passes online? Looking for tips and tricks on how to make the most of your live-stream experience for the 25@25 extravaganza? Get in touch with Everett, Wordfest’s Director of Audience Engagement, at any point. He’s just an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, he can answer all of your questions and even schedule a phone call with you if you’re looking for more assistance.
If you are an existing Platinum or Platinum Plus Pass Holder and are unsure how to get registered for 25@25 with your exclusive access code, please contact Everett and he will get you set up in a flash.
Check our detailed FAQ page for more assistance and for more videos from Everett, where he’ll share all of his insider secrets on how to get the most out of your pass and maximize your 25@25 online experience.