Archive for the ‘2012 Festival’ Category


Our 18th Year and Still Full of Surprises!

November 6, 2012

We here at The Word On The Street Vancouver would like to thank everyone for all their support in making this year’s 18th annual festival yet another success!

Continuing with our three-day programming, attendees again got a chance to visit Banyen Books & Sound, The Historic Joy Kogawa House and Carnegie Centre alongside our usual appearances at the downtown Vancouver Public Library and Library Square.

Straight from the festival grounds, highlights included readings by such notable figures as W.P. Kinsella (author of Butterfly Winter) and Brian Calvert & Chris Cannon (authors of America, but Better: The Canada Party Manifesto). The appearance of well-known Canadian actor, Jackson Davies (aka Constable John Constable from The Beachcombers) was a major hit with the crowd.

Premiering for 2012, we also introduced to audiences “The Unwritten Word,” a new programming initiative exploring the power and impact of story that is not in written form. Key components included Reliquum, a 48 foot long photo exhibition showcasing the inspirations of library and publishing figures from across Canada and abroad, and documentation of The St. George Rainway, Vancouver’s first sanctioned street art mural.

Thanks again to all our sponsors, various panelists, presenters and performers, and in particular our dedicated team of volunteers. We look forward to seeing everyone again in our 19th year!

Above: Close up detail of Reliquum 
Curated by WOTS 2012 site art coordinator, Samson Tam.




Mainstage Entertainment

September 28, 2012

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!


Magazine Programming

September 25, 2012

In addition to the bountiful book programming at The Word On The Street, there is also plenty of magazine programming to explore, including readings from literary magazine contributors, advice from experts, and more!

This year’s line-up of exciting magazine programming begins at Carnegie Centre on Saturday, September 29, with readings from Megaphone contributors. It then continues on Sunday at Library Square with readings and presentations in the Poetry Tent, Authors Tent, and Magazine Life Tent.

Be sure to drop by the Poetry Tent on Hamilton Street for readings from Malahat Review contributors Ben Rawluk, Russell Thornton, Rachel Rose, and Bren Simmers. Readings from Room Magazine contributors Carol Shillibeer, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Crystal Sikma, and Katherine Poyner-Del Vento will follow.

The Authors Tent will also host some excellent magazine readings, including subTerrain contributors Barbara Stowe and Madeline Sonik, and PRISM international contributors Yasuko Thanh and Katie Fritz.

For a full day of magazine programming, check out the Magazine Life Tent! Learn about “Kale – The Easy to Grow Superfood” from BC Home & Garden contributor Sharon Hanna; how to “Make Your Home Magazine Beautiful” from Western Living‘s lifestyle and fashion stylist Nicole Sjostedt; and about “Healthy Eating on a Budget” from Health Action Magazine contributor Sondi Bruner. There will also be a discussion of the Sea Legs pinhole photography workshop conducted by Sad Mag and QMunity with queer youth; readings from Room Readers’ Choice Award semifinalists, as well as EVENT contributors Cathleen With and Evelyn Lau; and panel discussions including “There Is No ‘I’ in Reporter,” and Queer Poetics with Poetry Is Dead.

Full descriptions for all magazine programming can be found on our website or in the festival program guide.


The Unwritten Word – New This Year!

September 20, 2012

The Unwritten Word is a new programming initiative for 2012 that explores the power and impact of story that is not in written form. This initiative includes visual displays, workshops, panels, and performances throughout the festival on Sunday, September 30.

Two visual components of the Unwritten Word will be on display near the entrances to the library. Reliquum, “the remaining” or “the things yet to be,” will be an exhibition of various photographs collected from publishers, editors, authors, and individuals from the BC literary community. The photos represent those things that inspire the individual to conduct their everyday work. St. George Rainway is Vancouver’s first officially sanctioned street mural and an installation that captures the story of its creation will be on display at the festival. Sad Mag will also present “The Sea Legs Pinhole Photography Display” in the library moat, where images from the Sea Legs pinhole photography workshop conducted with queer youth will be on display.

You will find Unwritten Word workshops in The Word Under The Street and the Magazine Life Tent. Join Peter Bagge from 3:00 to 4:00 for “Creating a Silent Comic” in The Word Under The Street and learn how to tell a story without using words. You’ll also have a chance to create a pinhole camera at one of the camera-building stations during Sad Mag‘s presentation in the Magazine Life Tent from 2:00 to 3:00.

Join four lively storytellers in Word Talks from 3:00 to 4:00 for “Tell Me a Story: Orality and Storytelling in a Textual World,” a panel where the unique traits, challenges, and opportunities of oral storytelling across cultures, traditions, and approaches will be celebrated.

Unwritten Word performances include the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team on the Mainstage from 2:50 to 3:20 and Dixie Star Storytelling on the Family Stage from 1:00 to 1:30.

Join Vancouver New Music and the Vancouver Soundwalk Collective for Soundwalking Stories on Foot, and explore The Word On The Street festival site with your ears. Listen to the sounds of the street as a musical-sonic adventure and discover that the ordinary can be extraordinary!

“Foolin’ around” by Audrey Hill – from the Hope in Shadows Exhibition

Also be sure to check out “Hope in Shadows: Portraits of Our Community” at Carnegie Centre from September 21 to October 1, 2012. This exhibition displays images from the 10th annual photography contest for Downtown Eastside community members. The images presented show a breadth of community values ranging from compassion for those who are suffering to friendship, fighting for justice, and embracing diversity.

Check out the official program guide for more details! All activities for this new initiative are marked with the Unwritten Word icon shown above.


Workshops Galore

September 18, 2012

From chapbooks and comics to poetry and memoir, there are plenty of fantastic workshops at this year’s The Word On The Street Festival; and like the festival, they are all FREE!

Join us on Saturday, September 29, for some excellent workshops at Carnegie Centre, including “Controlling the Means of Production: A Chapbook Workshop” with Mercedes Eng, where you will have the opportunity to  make up to 10 copies of your own 10- to 12-page book. There will also be a great Type-Up event prior to the chapbook workshop where attendees can have their work typed by volunteers. Also at Carnegie Centre will be an environment-themed poetry workshop with Vancouver-based author and activist Christine Leclerc and a live reading workshop with artistic director of the Vancouver International Writers Festival Hal Wake.

Also on Saturday, the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage present “Writing Rights,” a workshop on writing, translation, and copyright, in the Alma VanDusen Room of the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.

On the main festival day, Sunday, September 30, you will find plenty more workshops to explore at Library Square. Inside the library in Word Talks and Writing Talks you will find some wonderful writing workshops, including “Memoir Writing” with Naomi Wakan, “How to Write a Love Letter” with Ray Hsu, and “The Practice of Prolific Poetry” with Madeline Sonik. Also inside the library, in The Word Under The Street, there will be comic and cartooning workshops with Gord Hill, Robin Thompson, and Peter Bagge. For families and the creative-minded, check out the Family Literacy Tent and learn how to carve soapstone and make collage buttons. There will also be the opportunity to make pinhole cameras in the Magazine Life Tent during the Sad Mag presentation.

Visit our website or view the festival program for full descriptions of this year’s workshops!


Check Out The Word Under The Street!

September 13, 2012

In addition to all the fantastic programming taking place around Library Square on Sunday, September 30, be sure to check out The Word Under The Street, located inside the library and down the stairs. You’ll discover interesting visual displays in the moat, exciting exhibitors and workshops in the Alice MacKay Room, author presentations in Word Talks (Alma VanDusen Room), and panels in Writing Talks (Peter Kaye Room).

As you enter The Word Under The Street, you will be greeted by some outstanding visual displays. Ricepaper magazine presents “Real Live Love Letters,” which is a display of actual love letters. If you feel inspired to write your own, you can join the Love Letter workshop with Ricepaper‘s Ray Hsu at 11:00 in Writing Talks. Also on display will be images from the Sad Mag Sea Legs pinhole photography workshop conducted with queer youth in partnership with QMunity. If you want to try your hand at making your own pinhole camera, you will find camera-building stations in the Magazine Life Tent during Sad Mag‘s presentation from 2:00 to 3:00.

The Alice MacKay Room plays host to a variety of exhibitors including independent comic book artists, illustrators, publishers, and more. You can also check out the Carnegie Centre Chapbook Exhibition and Sale, where chapbooks created at the Carnegie Centre workshop on Saturday, September 29, will be on display and up for sale. In addition to browsing all the fabulous booths, you will also have the chance to take a workshop with established comic book artists:

11:00-12:00 – “DIY Comic Workshop” with Gord Hill
1:00-2:00 – “Cartooning Workshop” with Robin Thompson (ages 11-16)
3:00-4:00 – “Creating a Silent Comic” with Peter Bagge

Author presentations, panels, and workshops will take place in Word Talks, located in the Alma VanDusen Room. Join authors Susan Safyan, Lisa Anne Smith, Sam Bradd & Robin Folvik, and Darren Fleet for presentations about their latest books; learn how to write your memoir with Naomi Beth Wakan; take in a panel regarding orality and storytelling; and join Canadian Authors Association members Patrick Taylor and Dennis E. Bolen for a reading.

Writing Talks, located in the Peter Kaye Room, will also be full of excellent workshops and panels. Learn how to write a love letter with Ricepaper‘s Ray Hsu, discover the practice of prolific poetry with Madeline Sonik, witness a panel regarding the role of villains and politics in storytelling, and listen in as the professionals discuss how ideas become non-fiction stories.

Be sure to visit our website or check out pages 56-62 of the official program guide for full details on what’s happening Under The Street!


Festival Fun For Families

September 11, 2012

If you are looking for family-friendly fun this fall, be sure to check out The Word On The Street Festival on Sunday, September 30. There are plenty of wonderful events and activities the whole family will enjoy! From author readings and live entertainment to scavenger hunt madness and crafting, you and your little ones are sure to have a blast.

As always, you will find plenty of outstanding children’s authors and illustrators reading from their latest books in the Kids Tent on Hamilton Street. The youngest of your youngsters will enjoy the illustrations of Julie Morstad and Raphaëlle Albert and the poetry of Robert Heidbreder, while your older ones discover what they want to be with Lauren Howell and travel to Kenya with Lois Peterson. There are also plenty of young adult authors your teens and tweens will love. Authors such as Kit Pearson and Susin Nielsen will be in the Kids Tent, but you will also find a number of YA authors in the Authors Tent from 2:00 to 3:15, including Hiromi Goto, John Wilson, and Glen Huser. Be sure to check out our website or the full festival program for a complete listing of children’s and YA authors appearing at this year’s festival.

In addition to the fabulous entertainment you will find on the Mainstage, there will also be performances perfect for families on the Family Stage on CBC Plaza. Join Max Tell and Anna Banana Boots for Monkey Mumbo Jumbo, get hands on with mad scientists Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone while learning about Hockey Science, and be inspired by Dixie Star Storytelling.

The Kids Only Scavenger Hunt returns this year, so be sure to get in on the fun! For only $1, purchase a Scavenger Hunt Card, follow the clues, and win a prize!

Looking to get creative? Visit the Family Literacy Tent for fun, interactive family activities all day! You’ll have the chance to make a collage button with Laura Bucci using paper from magazines and books. Combine images with text to create your own unique button you can take home! You can also join Studiostone for an interactive demonstration and try your hand at soapstone carving.

You will also find many family-related exhibitors in the Marketplace, including children’s publishers, independent authors, and literacy organizations. Many of these exhibitors are also participating in the Book Bag Treasure Hunt, so be sure to stop by their booths and say hi!

Visit our website for full details on all the family fun to be found at this year’s The Word On The Street Festival!