The 2012 Word On The Street Festival kicks off tonight at Banyen Books & Sound and Historic Joy Kogawa House! The festival continues tomorrow at Carnegie Centre and the VPL Central Branch, and runs into Sunday for the main festival day you know and love at Library Square and CBC Plaza.
There is lots to see and do over the weekend, with plenty of workshops, panels, readings, and more to enjoy. You’ll definitely want to stop by the Mainstage on Sunday too for excellent performances all day long! Here’s the fun and exciting line-up for this year:
11:00 Literary Writes 2012 Awards & Author Readings
BC writers bring fiction, non-fiction and poetry winners to the stage this year! The Federation of BC Writers, Canada’s largest provincial writers’ organization, honours the three winners of their 24th annual Literary Writes Competition. The 2012 judges were Dennis E. Bolen, fiction; George Fetherling, non-fiction; and David Fraser, poetry.
12:00 The Carnival Band
The Carnival Band is a 30-piece, full-tilt boogie brass band explosion from East Vancouver that plays funk, calypso, samba, and world-beat for you to cut a rug to! Under the musical direction and spiritual leadership of Ross Raymond Barrett and Tim Sars, The Carnival Band believes that community music is a way to empower individuals.
12:40 Vancouver Squeezebox Circle
Immortalized in poetry by Robert Service and in Annie Proulx’s novel Accordion Crimes is the noble and unfairly vilified accordion. Presenting the world’s first literary-accordion-slam event! Expect songs never-written-for-accordion, such as Bach, Strauss, and maybe even “Purple Haze” and big band. Join Vancouver’s about-town accordionistas Todd Wong (Gung Haggis Fat Choy) and Barbara Adler (Fang), and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle led by Alan Zisman (Gram Partisans) and Rowan Lipkowits (Creaking Planks), the perpetrators of the Accordion Noir Festival, and other accordion shows.
1:20 The Ukesters
The Ukesters are a ukulele ensemble that came out of Ruby’s Ukes Ukulele School in Vancouver. They play once a month at the Cafe Montmartre and build their varied repertoire of swing, jazz, folk, and other interesting tunes. Their sense of fun and love of playing the ukulele makes them a popular addition to the Ukulele craze! Joining them will be teacher and mentor Guido Heistek.
2:05 Vancouver Hug Day
Come join us for a huge hug fest in celebration of love. A Vancouver Hug Day. How willing are you to hug a stranger? This event is like a high school dance without the dancing: all the jitters AND all the fun! Bring yourselves as you are. Don’t worry about sweaty palms. Let’s rewrite those memories! Readings from “heart” poems followed by lots of hugs. Hosted by poet Ray Hsu and writer Elaine Woo.
2:50 Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam
The 2012 Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team is made of five diverse voices that include our Grand Slam Champion Scout along with Floyd VB, Moe Lawrence, Chloe Selarque and Jasmine Harvey. In the mix are Harry Potter fanatics, river rafting guides, lovers of Marlin Brando and a healthy dose of queer politics. They are a lot of fun and happy to be performing at The Word On The Street once again.
3:35 Vancouver Youth Theatre
Vancouver Youth Theatre`s Teen Ensemble performs The Festival Show! with a “light” look at environmental justice & sustainability, with music by folksinger-songwriter Glenn Chatten. The Kids’ Writes project for elementary school-aged authors also celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012! VYT is a creative partnership between young actors and adult theatre professionals, with a mandate for social justice, tolerance, and peace.
4:20 The Upbeats
The Upbeats are a community-based group of dedicated drummers who were bitten by the rhythm bug several years ago and have been advancing their skills and their love of percussion under the skillful hand of master drummer Joseph Pepe Danza. Performing traditional rhythms from Africa and Latin America, The Upbeats have learned that to play the music, they have to feel the music—and they hope you will, too.
The full festival program is available online, and be sure to visit our website for the most up-to-date schedule. We hope to see you all this weekend!