On May 28th, Dr. Brian Goldman presented his latest book, The Power of Kindness, which searches out some of the most empathetic people alive, to hear their stories and learn their secrets. This event included an on-stage interview and audience Q&A, followed by a book signing.
George Saunders is an award-winning short story author and screenplay writer who recently released his first long-form novel set in the 1800's. At his exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on April 9, 2017, George Saunders presented his new book, "Lincoln in the Bardo," followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.
Before a packed audience of 680 fans at the Bella Concert Hall, Robbie Robertson presented Testimony, his new memoir published by Penguin Random House about the band that changed music history, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half-century.
Comedy superstar Mike Myers came to Calgary for a special Wordfest launch of his book Canada, a hilarious and heartfelt new book that is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment, featuring photographs and Canadiana from his personal collection.
On May 16th, we launched 'Drifting Like a Metaphor,' edited by 2016-2018 Calgary Poet Laureate Micheline Maylor. The evening included performances by featured poets, followed by a Q&A and book signing. There were readings by Cobra Jo Collins, Tyler Engström, and Dale Lee Kwong. It was also a celebration of Calgary's newly appointed fourth Poet Laureate, Sheri-D Wilson. Complimentary tasty treats and beverages were served.
Tima Kurdi presented an intimate and poignant memoir about the family of Alan Kurdi — the young Syrian boy who became the global emblem for the desperate plight of millions of Syrian refugees — and of the many extraordinary journeys the Kurdis have taken, spanning countries and continents. Hosted by Amanda Lindhout, coauthor of A House in the Sky, this event included an on-stage interview, followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.
On November 25th, Wordfest, The Banff Centre’s Literary Arts program, and the Calgary Public Library launched the special issue of Granta, celebrating the diversity of social, political and literary life in Canada. Granta 141 is edited by Catherine Leroux and Madeleine Thien. The event featured conversations and readings from Madeleine Thien, Alex Leslie, Lisa Moore & Anakana Schofield. Included an audience Q&A. 75 minutes, followed by a book signing. Hosted by Zsuzsi Gartner
On November 19th astronaut Scott Kelly presented his stunning memoir about a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station. Scott Kelly presented a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years. An audience Q&A and book signing followed the event. Hosted by David Gray of the No. 1 rated CBC Eyeopener
On November 10th Nate Blakeslee presented The Wolf, the enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone world, and the people who loved or feared her. Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West
On October 17th rupi kaur, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller milk and honey (Simon & Schuster Canada), presented her long-awaited second collection of poetry, the sun and her flowers. Chapters Indigo is the official bookseller for this event
On December 6th, Tom Wilson presented his memoir with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. This is a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are. Tom Wilson's Wordfest appearance was followed by an audience Q&A, book signing, and musical performance
On November 13th, bestselling author and Hall of Famer Ken Dryden presented the story of NHLer Steve Montador (who was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2015), the remarkable evolution of hockey itself, and a passionate prescriptive to counter its greatest risk in the future: head injuries. An audience Q&A and book signing followed the event. Hosted by Marcello Di Cintio
On November 21, Alan Doyle presented A Newfoundlander in Canada (Penguin Random House). Following the fantastic success of his bestselling memoir, Where I Belong, musician, actor, and Great Big Sea front man Alan Doyle returned with a hilarious, heartwarming account of leaving Newfoundland and discovering Canada for the first time. The event included a live interview and book signing
Clem and Olivier Martini launched their new illustrated book, The Unravelling at Wordfest on September 14, 2017. In a follow-up to their award-winning book Bitter Medicine, brothers Clem and Olivier Martini continue the story of their family’s journey through mental illness, dementia, caregiving, and the health-care system. The event included a Q&A and book signing.
From October 9-15, the most delicious writers from Canada and the rest of the world served up life-changing ideas at theatres around Calgary, as well as Wordfest’s new home at Memorial Park Library. Audiences came with a hungry mind and left with a replenished soul. Trademark events included readings, workshops, panel discussions and in-school presentations from authors writing in every genre and for all ages.
This summer, join Calgary's hottest book club ever - the perfect threesome for book lovers! For volume 3 of the Summer Reads Threesome, we dove into Kate Hilton's novel, Just Like Family,
a witty and insightful exploration of juggling the demands of three husbands — a work husband, an almost husband and an ex-husband — and figuring out the true meaning of family
Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of New York City’s renowned restaurant, Prune, treated Calgary audiences to a delicious conversation in the Wordfest Engagement Lab on July 14th, 2017. A James Beard Foundation winner, she is the author of the New York Times... Read More
Wordfest presented the 3rd edition of Dick Lit’s Trivia Night with host Richard Kemick and author Mark Kingwell. All trivia questions were loosely inspired by Kingwell’s latest novel Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters
In the greatest double header of the season, Mark Kingwell and Stacey May Fowles knocked the cover off the ball in the Wordfest Lab at Memorial Park Library. Both heavy hitters presented new books that toss a curve ball into... Read More
Omar El Akkad is an award-winning Canadian journalist living in Portland Oregon. At his exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on May 24, 2017, Omar El Akkad presented his first published book, American War, followed by an on-stage interview, reading and book signing.
Wordfest presented the 2nd edition of Dick Lit's Trivia Night with host Richard Kemick and author Suzette Mayr. All trivia questions were loosely inspired by Mayr’s latest novel Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall.
Barbara Gowdy is an internationally acclaimed author of seven previous books, including Helpless, The Romantic, The White Bone, Mister Sandman, We So Seldom Look on Love and Falling Angels. At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on May 18, 2017, Barbara Gowdy presented her new book, Little Sister, followed by an on-stage interview, reading and book signing.
Kelly Oxford is an activist, author, blogger, screenwriter and more. She is using social media to normalize conversations about sexual assault and anxiety using platforms such as Twitter to engage millions of followers using hashtags like #notokay. At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on May 5, 2017, Kelly Oxford presented her new book, "When You Find Out the World is Against You: And Other Funny Memories about Awful Moments" followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.
Canadian actress, comedian and author Mary Walsh took on the John Dutton Theatre on May 2nd to talk about her new book, "Crying for the Moon." At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event, Mary Walsh read a passage from her book, interviewed with comedian Cory Mack, took part in an audience Q&A, and signed her book for Wordfest patrons.
On April 21, 2017, Wordfest featured the Alberta Theatre Projects’ Playwrights Unit, Word Play takes you behind the scenes in the making of a new Canadian play. The event included the reading of excerpts from six new scripts in development and a conversation with the playwrights.
Powerhouse storytellers Emma Donoghue and Susin Nielsen appeared before an all-ages audience to present their new novels, each celebrating the love that binds together even the most extraordinary family configurations and unique friendships.
Heather O'Neill is a novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist as well as the winner of Canada Reads 2007 and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on March 10, 2017, Heather O'Neill presented her new book, "The Lonely Hearts Hotel" followed by an on-stage interview, reading and book signing.
A thrilling mix of authors take the stage to perform their most electric passages in seven minutes before a judging panel made up of their peers and cheered on by a boisterious audience. Dubbed “the most entertaining reading series ever” by the Los Angeles Times, the event is co-created and hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga
Susan Casey is the former editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine and the author of New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks. At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on July 6, 2016, Susan Casey presented her new book, Voices in the Ocean, followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.
May 20, 2016: The Banff Centre, Calgary Public Library and Wordfest hosted an evening with Chris Cleave, acclaimed author of Little Bee, and Michael Crummey, award-winning Canadian poet and author of short stories and novels.
May 16, 2016: Wordfest hosted an evening with the international bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven, River of Stars, and now his latest Children of Earth and Sky set in a world where history and fantasy collide.
April 27, 2016, Calgary, Sam Maggs presented her bestselling debut book, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom.
Wordfest presented Adbusters guru and protest innovator Micah White in conversation with Blake Brooker about his new book, The End of Protest, April 15, 2016, at the Big Secret Theatre in Arts Commons.
In partnership with the Calgary Public Library and Owl's Nest Books, Wordfest presented bestselling author Yann Martel who appeared in conversation with Harry Vandervlist about his new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal.
Wordfest had the honour of hosting Kirstine Stewart for a noontime conversation in Calgary on Oct. 30, 2015. In her new book, Kirstine Stewart draws on her extensive leadership experience with Twitter, the CBC and Alliance Atlantis to take the conversation about women and work to a whole new level.
A former child soldier, Michel Chikwanine has already endured and overcome unimaginable pain and struggles. His debut children’s graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, is the sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring true story of the triumph of the human spirit.
Wab Kinew was named by Postmedia News as one of “9 Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know.” He is the Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at The University of Winnipeg and a correspondent with Al-jazeera America. After successfully defending Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda on CBC’s Canada Reads literary competition, he was named the 2015 host. In 2012, he also hosted the acclaimed CBC-TV documentary series 8th Fire. His hip-hop music and journalism projects have won numerous awards. He appeared at Wordfest 2015 thanks to generous support from the Calgary Foundation.
Patrick deWitt is the author of two critically acclaimed novels: Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Stephen Leacock Medal, and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Wordfest's 20th Anniversary culminated in very special evening events on Saturday, October 18. Our founders understood the vital role Wordfest would play in creating Calgary's identity and well-being, and we can't wait to see what we can spark together moving forward.
Twenty years after the genocide that left Rwanda in ruins, Will Ferguson traveled deep into the “Land of a Thousand Hills” with his friend and cohort Jean-Claude Munyezamu, a man who escaped Rwanda just months before the killings began. Both Ferguson and Munyezamu appeared in Wordfest 2015.
David Robertson and Richard Van Camp both write graphic novels about the history of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Their appearance at Wordfest, October 13-18, 2015, was a great way for readers of all ages to learn about Indigenous history.
Wordfest poets and artists Derek Beaulieu, Lorna Crozier, Joshua Edwards, Ulrikka S. Gernes, Monica Kidd, Patrick Lane, Peter Midgley, Damian Rogers & Nick Thran used the stage as the page, cabaret-style, and pushed the limits of the spoken and written word.
A thrilling mix of famous and emerging authors from the Wordfest 2015 lineup performed their most electric writing in seven minutes before a live audience. Featuring Jeff Vandermeer, Sara Tilley, Sherwin Tija, Anakana Schofield and guest judges Zsuzsi Gartner, Susin Nielsen and Sean Dunnigan.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier appeared at Wordfest on Thursday, October 15, 2015, in Calgary, Alberta, thanks to generous support from the Calgary Foundation. She presented her book, The Right to Be Cold is a human story of resilience, commitment and survival told from the unique vantage point of an Inuk woman. In spite of many obstacles, Watt-Clouitier rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential and decorated environmental, cultural and human rights advocates in the world.
Lawrence Hill's 2007 novel The Book of Negroes won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and both CBC Radio Canada Reads and Radio-Canada's Combat des livres. At Wordfest in Calgary, he presented his fourth novel, The Illegal, from October 13 to 14, 2015.
"Wordfest, which took place in Calgary from Oct. 13 to 18, celebrated its 20th anniversary with programming featuring more than 70 authors – such as Lawrence Hill, Anakana Schofield, Raziel Reid, Susin Nielsen, and Nino Ricci – in panels, workshops, readings, and more this year." - Quill and Quire
Here's a glimpse into David Suzuki's reading in #yyc
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