What is Wordfest?

Wordfest connects Calgarians of all ages and backgrounds with life-changing ideas through live events featuring some of today’s most compelling writers, thinkers, and dreamers.

Our year-round programming culminates in a 7-day reader’s festival held every April and October. Wordfest’s trademark events include readings, workshops, panel discussions and in-school presentations from authors writing in every genre and for all ages.

20,520 fans a year

Our audience continues to grow after each event. We attract a broad spectrum of age groups, backgrounds, and interests to our programming.

181 events last year

Did you know that Wordfest has more than doubled the number of events it produces annually, since becoming a year-round presenter of life-changing ideas?

119 days until October Festival

The 23rd edition of Calgary's #1 Reader's Festival will transform the Beltline district along 12th Avenue for a week-long fan frenzy with more than 70 artists in up to 50 live events.

6,847 new visits

This is the number of Wordfesters who have walked through the doors of Memorial Park Library to experience our events since we moved into our new home in December 2016.

What to Expect

October Festival

Now in its 23rd year, Calgary’s #1 Reader’s Festival from October 8 to 14, features more than 70 authors over seven days in a variety of highly entertaining, innovative theatrical formats. Programming ranges from traditional readings and interview-style presentations to storytelling events; and from stimulating conversations held in high-profile restaurants and bookshops, to book-themed trivia nights and poetry cabarets. More than 1,200 writers have presented at the festival since 1996.

April Festival

Beginning with the premiere of Wordfest’s week-long celebration of non-fiction in 2018, Sane Takes on an Insane World, Calgary audiences can now look forward to an April festival held each spring that showcases the best authors, thinkers and dreamers working in a particular genre. Who knows what next year’s featured genre could be? Oh the suspense!

Wordfest Youth

Wordfest connects Calgary’s youth with the world’s best children’s and young adult authors through unique in-school visits and in-theatre events that share first-hand what inspires a writer to write. This fosters self-confidence, sparks conversations, and seeds imaginative potential. Wordfest Youth events also profoundly affect the writer, giving authors first-hand impressions on just how much their work can inspire their audience (with many authors given the “Rockstar” treatment by the kids). Wordfest subsidizes literary events for high-needs and at-risk youth. Wordfest supports accessibility and engagement for readers of all ages. Find out more…

Monthly Series

Here are some of the new monthly series currently launched or in development at Wordfest’s new home on the top floor of Memorial Park Library:

  • Dick Lit Trivia: The most fun you can have in Calgary for $5! This multi-generational competitive mixer pairs host (and award-winning author Richard Kelly Kemick) with a Canadian author, such as Glenn Dixon, Suzette Mayr and Mark Kingwell to crown the smartest person in the library.
  • Wordfest Book Club: Hosted by Anne Logan, we delve into the most talked-about Canadian novels.
  • Potent Talks: featuring authors exploring human potential.
  • The Way We Wear: Storytelling event around the significance of clothing and accessories, featuring a mix of published authors, professional artists and would-be writers. (Forthcoming)
  • Exhausted Parents Book Club, hosted by Michal Lavi. (Forthcoming)

Contact Us

Wordfest, 2nd Floor, Memorial Park Library, 1221 2 St SW, Calgary, AB, T2R 0W5
9:00am - 5:00pm
403-237-9068

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