Archive for the ‘2014 Festival’ Category


Another Year, Another Fabulous Festival

October 6, 2014

Our 20th annual festival was a whale of a good time! Following events at The Paper Hound, Banyen Books & Sound, The Cottage Bistro, Christianne’s Lyceum, Historic Joy Kogawa House, VPL Central Branch, and SFU Harbour Centre from Wednesday, September 24 to Saturday, September 27, our main festival day returned to Library Square on Sunday, September 28 in all its glory. With clear blue skies above, festival attendees enjoyed entertaining performances, thought-inspiring readings, educational workshops, and more!


New to this year’s festival were the Words On Chapbooks venue, which featured chapbook exhibitors, readings, and a panel; and the Pop-Up Magazine Stand, where free magazines were given out to passers by in downtown Vancouver during festival week.

Did we mention that all the events were 100% free? Here at Word Vancouver, we believe that that is one of the best things about the festival, and that’s why we introduced our Keeping It Free campaign this year. Thank you to all the donors who donated to the campaign through Indiegogo. We appreciate your support of the festival!

We are already looking forward to next year’s festival, and we hope to see you all there again!


Marvels of the Mainstage

September 25, 2014

The 20th annual Word Vancouver festival is now underway, with the main festival day returning to Library Square on Sunday, September 28. Also returning is our Mainstage, a festival favourite! Check out this year’s line-up:

Dixie Star photo11:00 am   Dixie Star Storytelling
Dixie Star Storytelling fires the imagination of children and grown-ups alike with its innovative and interactive shows. The young company evokes a fantastical world through words, music, movement, and playful props, while inviting the audience to take part in creating some magic. Based in Vancouver, Lisa and Tim Sars of Dixie Star Storytelling animate family-friendly events throughout the year.

11:30 am   Too Tall Terry
Too Tall Terry is Peter G-G—circus artist, musician, and professional actor of 30 years. Peter has performed across Canada with Zero Gravity Circus, Heath Tarlin Entertainment, and Circus Orange. Peter’s comically acrobatic ground and stilt characters have performed across Canada for: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza promotion; the 100th Grey Cup, in Toronto; and the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. He currently plays soccer on stilts as Sammy Soccer for all Vancouver Whitecaps games at BC Place. He also teaches stilting, juggling, and physical theatre skills.

11:40 am   Fiddlin’ Frenzy — Kai and Lia Gronberg
Fiddlin’ Frenzy has taken the Western competitive fiddle scene and talent shows by storm. In 2014 Kai won his first BC provincial championship and was invited to compete for the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, and Lia is in the showcase for the event! They’ve released three CDs-on-demand, they’re number one on the ReverbNation local Celtic charts, and they top the National Radio Chart.

12:10 pm   Stories on Wheels
Stories on Wheels is an original street theatre storytelling act for the whole family. Tales are brought to life by a high-energy comic performer, using beautifully illustrated picture cards displayed in a magnificent miniature wooden stage attached to the back of a unique bicycle. Inspired by Kamishibai, a traditional Japanese travelling storytelling show that was popular from the 1920s through the 1950s, the show combines the best of oral storytelling and narrative painting. You’ve never been told a story this way before!

Jillian Christmas and Chelsea D E Johnson12:20 pm   Jillian Christmas and Chelsea D. E. Johnson
This lyrically driven, East Vancouver collaboration combines the spoken word & writhing rhythms of poet Jillian Christmas with the boot-thumping vocals and guitar melodies of singer Chelsea D.E. Johnson. Top that with savage accordion lines, heartbreaking harmonies, and a few secret ingredients and you’ve got yourself the remedy for whatever ails you. Returning after their fifth tour, this duo brings its raucous affections home to Vancouver.

12:50 pm   Mascall Dance
The Nijinsky Gibber Jazz Club (NGJC) is currently engaged in a process we call Public Research…all over Vancouver, with all kinds of partners. The Jazz Club is improvising on a score with its collaborators. These are meetings from which Mascall Dance will make its new creation. Track us. Watch the work arrive: Mascall and the NGJC are interested in engaging in an open dialogue with our audiences, reaching beyond our loyal viewers to those less familiar with dance.

1:00 pm   Barbara Adler and Ten Thousand Wolves
Barbara Adler and Ten Thousand Wolves deliver exuberant word and song mash-ups, with help from guitarist Gavin Youngash and members of The Company B Singers. For the Johnny Horton Remix, writer and accordionist Barbara Adler has staged lyrical and musical interventions on the songs of Johnny Horton. It’s a love letter to, and critique of, classic Horton characters, including mushing huskies and the Northern Cowboy. And yes, you can dance to it.

1:30 pm   Dragon Dance
Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy dragon boat team performs an improvisational multicultural dragon dance. Created and led by “Toddish McWong,” literary and cultural activist, this dragon has made rare and auspicious dances at unlikely locations such as St. Patrick’s Day parades, dragon boat festivals, and Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

Ukesters 2 cropped1:45 pm   The Ukesters
A ukulele ensemble composed of the student alumni of Ruby’s Ukes Ukulele School in Vancouver, The Ukesters play a diverse repertoire of swing, jazz, folk, and more! Their sense of fun and love of ukulele makes them a popular festival addition. Joining them is Ruby’s Ukes founder, Daphne Roubini, and teacher and uke mentor Guido Heistek.

2:30 pm   Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam Team
The 2014 Youth Van Slam Team are the 2014 Canadian Youth Poetry Slam Champions winning the title at this year’s YouthCanSlam Festival in Ottawa. They are a belt-out loud hog’s wallop of ballistic theatrics and guttural grace. They speak of heart break and politics and the balancing act between gender norms and our perceptions of the world and ourselves. They dance on tables with their words and invite you to shake a leg with them. They are Sebastien Wen, Melissa Illing, Mariah Dear, and Andrew Warner.

3:10 pm   The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Full-time students and best friends, Calvin “Kalvonix” Tiu and Rick “Big Love” Kumar are also rap artists. Kalvonix has been rapping since 2005 and has a range of experience, from performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics to working with Grammy-winning producer Chin Injeti. Big Love began by writing poetry and transitioned into rapping in 2009. As a writer, he’s been published in various outlets, including locally in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s The Runner.

3:50 pm   Vancouver Youth Theatre
VYT has a 30 year history of producing innovative, original productions centred on themes of community and immigration, cultural sensitivity and anti-racism, and inclusion and diversity. VYT’s teen ensemble actors are co-playwrights and performers. Tapping into the groundwork of VYT’s previous one-act plays, including Identity (2013), Identity II (2014)—the sequel, with original music—is a collaborative teen ensemble exploring how to find, lose, keep, and be oneself within youth culture. Special thanks to the Shewan Foundation for their outstanding support.

VanCity Soul Quartet Image4:30 pm   Van City Soul Quartet
Van City Soul Quartet was formed in 2013 with the notion of combining classic, and rare soul and funk tunes with an outlet for original like-minded music. The band owes allegiance to the James Taylor Quartet, Quantic, SixToys, Booker T & The MGs, and Deep Purple. In 2014, the band recorded four tunes at Nimbus Studios: the original “Silver Shoes” plus three covers, including Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (now available through iTunes and other fine online music retailers).

Check out the program guide or our website for the full festival schedule.


Two Full Days of Workshops

September 18, 2014

The 20th annual Word Vancouver festival will have tons of fantastic workshops to choose from again this year. With two days chock-full of these workshops — Saturday, September 27 and our main festival day Sunday, September 28 — there are plenty of topics to choose from!

George Murray_Colour_Print

George Murray

On Saturday, September 27, you’ll discover a plethora of workshops at the VPL Central Branch taking place in the Alma Van Dusen and Peter Kaye Rooms from 11 am to 5 pm. In the Alma Van Dusen Room, get some tips on writing for children from Janet Love Morrison; learn how to develop solid self-promotion skills and create an author profile from Monique Sherrett; and discover how to find revenue in a digital world of books and magazines with Trevor Battye and Suzanne Norman. In the Peter Kaye Room, Colin Moorhouse will provide freelance writers with strategies for finding better-paying work; Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White of Page Two Strategies will explain how to create a publishing road map, whether you decide to self-publish or work with a publisher; and Newfoundland’s George Murray will help poets create stronger lines and thus stronger poems.

Also happening on Saturday, September 27 is a chapbook-making workshop — Chapbooks: From Inspiration to Marketing — with Heidi Greco and S.R. Duncan at SFU Harbour Centre. There are many ways to assemble, bind, and finish a chapbook, and you’ll learn all about these elements and more. You’ll also learn about ISBNs and get tips on how to promote and sell your finished chapbook. Space is limited, so please be sure to register for this awesome workshop!

Taryn Boyd

Taryn Boyd

On Sunday, September 28 — our main festival day — you will find more workshops in Word Talks and Writing Talks from 11 am to 5 pm. In addition to some great panel discussions and author readings in Word Talks, Mark Leslie Lefebvre will discuss the Kobo Writing Life platform, which allows self-published authors and small publishers to publish their work to Kobo’s catalogue. In Writing Talks, Taryn Boyd will inform writers about what most publishers want in the way of submissions and how to research the right publishers; Michelle van der Merwe will discuss freelance writing for magazines, from how to approach them to getting an editor’s attention; Naomi Beth Wakan will give you the encouragement you need to begin writing your memoirs and give you some ideas about how to give your memories shape when you begin writing; John Maxwell and Pablo Alperin will provide a primer for self- and indie publishers who want to understand the range of digital options open to them; and Peter Cocking will introduce basic principles of effective book cover design, and how successful results can be achieved on a budget.

Check out the official program guide for full workshop details.


Family Fun at Word Vancouver

September 11, 2014

Word Vancouver is known for its wonderful variety of activities, readings, and performances for children and families, and our 20th year will be no different!

Norman SpeakOur Kids Words venue will once again be located inside the Harvey Southam Room in the children’s library of the VPL Central Branch. Readings most appropriate for kids under age 8 will be from 11:00 am to 2:40 pm then for ages 6+ for the rest of the day. There will be readings from some of our great local children’s authors, including Victoria Miles (Sea Otter Pup), Dan Bar-el (A Fish Named Glub), Caroline Adderson (Norman, Speak!), and Lori Sherritt-Fleming (Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On). We also have a few authors coming from a far: Kathy Beliveau (The Yoga Game by the Sea) from Lantzville on Vancouver Island, Willie Sellars (Dipnetting with Dad) from Williams Lake in Northern BC, and George Murray (Wow-Wow and Haw-Haw) all the way from St. John’s, Newfoundland! There will also be readings appropriate for young adults in Kids Words from Sarah Ellis (Outside In) and Rebecca Chaperon (Eerie Dearies). More YA readings will take place in the Canada Writes venue from Ann Walsh (Whatever), Maggie de Vries (Rabbit Ears), and the VPL writer-in-residence Gabrielle Prendergast. Visit FortisBC’s Energy is Awesome tent for story readings by their Street Team, and you’ll get your own book to take home! Also join us on Friday, September 26, at Christianne’s Lyceum for Shake a Paw: An Evening of Dog Stories in Memory of Joan Betty Stuchner, with readings from Caroline Adderson, Jacquie Pearce, Linda Bailey, and Cindy Heinrichs.

Stories on Wheels

Stories on Wheels

In addition to all the fantastic readings, you will also find plenty of family-friendly entertainment and activities through-out the site on Sunday, September 28. The Kids Lit tent will feature fun activities, including a listen sketch stretch activity and a beanbag toss carnival game. There will also be performances by Stories on Wheels and Too Tall Terry! And don’t forget to visit the Mainstage, where Dixie Star Storytelling will be performing! You can also collect treasure and explore the festival site with the Book Bag Treasure Hunt.

Be sure to view the official program guide for a full list of festival events!


Word Vancouver Returns in 2 Weeks!

September 9, 2014

Word Vancouver returns for it’s 20th annual festival this month, and we’re very excited about it! Join us at Library Square on Sunday, September 28 for the main festival day you know and love, as well as at the other venues hosting awesome events throughout Vancouver from September 24-27.

northerndancer_hcOur main festival day will once again host our bustling exhibitor marketplace and be jam packed with a huge variety of presentations, activities, and entertainment. Author readings will include Ashley Spires (The Most Magnificent Thing) and Sarah Ellis (Outside In) in Kids Words; Janet Rogers (Peace in Duress), Billeh Nickerson (Artificial Cherry), and Renée Sarojini Saklikar (children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections) in Poetry On The Bus; Nancy Lee (The Age), Grant Lawrence (The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie), and Kevin Chong (Northern Dancer) in Canada Writes.

Prism Mag CoverIn addition to all the awesome author readings, we will also have a number of presentations from local literary magazines, including subTerrainEVENT, and PRISM international, in Magazine Words. If you love panel discussions, be sure to check out Word Talks. You’ll learn from the experts about “Getting Started and Staying Motivated as a Published Children’s Book Author or Illustrator,” “The Importance of Diversity in the Publishing Industry,” and “Creating Outside the Box.” As always, there will also be a wonderful variety of workshops in Writing Talks, including “Have You Started Writing Your Memoirs Yet?” with Naomi Beth Wakan and “Book Design for Self-Publishers” with Peter Cocking. Many more workshops will take place at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch on Saturday, September 27 as well.

Fiddlin' FrenzyReturning to this year’s festival will be our beloved Mainstage hosted by comedian David C. Jones. Here you will find performances by Kai and Lia Gronberg of Fiddlin’ Frenzy, Barbara Adler and Ten Thousand Wolves, and Calvin “Kalvonix” Tiu and Rick “Big Love” Kumar in “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.”

A new addition to this year’s festival is the Words On Chapbooks venue. Here you will find chapbook exhibitors, readings, and a panel discussion. For another great chapbook event, register for Heidi Greco and S.R. Duncan’s chapbook-making workshop entitled “Chapbooks: From Inspiration to Marketing,” which will take place at SFU Harbour Centre on Saturday, September 27.

secret life of babies rgbIn addition to our main festival day and the workshops taking place on Saturday, September 27, there will also be readings and events held at The Paper Hound and Banyen Books & Sound on Wednesday, September 24; Banyen Books & Sound and The Cottage Bistro on Thursday, September 25; and Christianne’s Lyceum and Historic Joy Kogawa House on Friday, September 26.

For the full schedule of events, you can view the official program guide online or visit the Schedule page on our website for the most up-to-date information.

This year’s festival boasts 20 workshops, 100 readings, and 150 authors; and everything is FREE! Here at Word Vancouver, we believe this is one of the best things about our festival, and we really want to keep it that way. But we need your help. Our Keeping it Free campaign on Indiegogo runs from September 8-29, and any amount you can donate would be greatly appreciated!

We can’t wait to see you all at the festival!


Gearing Up for the 2014 Festival

June 10, 2014

Plans for this year’s Word Vancouver festival are well underway! The 20th annual festival is shaping up very nicely, with new events and readings being confirmed every week. Here’s a sneak peak at some of our programming.

What Makes Olga RunWe will once again partner with Banyen Books & Sound this year for not one, but two fantastic events. Join Olga Kotelko, of What Makes Olga Run? The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star, and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives, for an in-store talk and book signing on Wednesday, September 24; and Mia Kalef, author of The Secret Life of Babies: How Our Prebirth & Birth Experiences Shape Our World for a talk and signing on Thursday, September 25. Both events take place from 6:30-8:00 pm and are free of charge.

Kim Fu

Author Kim Fu

A number of authors have also been confirmed for our main festival day on Sunday, September 28. Caroline Adderson will share her latest novel for adults, Ellen in Pieces, and debut novelist Kim Fu will read from For Today I Am a Boy in our Canada Writes venue. Children and family programming will include yoga instructor and writer Kathy Beliveau (The Yoga Game by the Sea) and Newfoundland author George Murray (Wow Wow and Haw Haw). Dina Del Bucchia will share her second collection of poetry, Blind Items, in the Poetry Tent.

More programming details are on their way, so stay tuned!