Wordfest is upon us once again! For those of you that don’t know, Wordfest sparks lively, illuminating and meaningful conversations between Calgary’s readers and the world’s most engaging writers. Their year-round literary events culminate in a 10-day festival every October, and are programmed to inspire Calgarians to live more creative and empathetic lives. Wordfest’s trademark events include readings, workshops, panel discussions and in-school presentations from authors writing in every genre and for all ages.
There are a ton of different Wordfest events happening downtown during the festival. To help you decide, we have picked out a couple of neat events that should spark some interest!
Saturday, October 8th – Workshop: Live Performance with Ivan Coyote
10am – 11:30am. Westin – Eau Claire Room (Lower Level) – 320 4th Avenue SW. $20
Join consummate storyteller Ivan Coyote in this intimate workshop designed to help writers, poets and storytellers transform their nervous energy into a memorable reading. With tips on selecting material, preparing your work for performance, memorization (or not), and how to make your body language work for you.
Tuesday, October 11th – Tuesday Night Showcase
7pm – 8:30pm. Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre – 205 8th Avenue SE. $20
An impressive range of storytelling gusto is on display as four award-winning writers give short readings and on-stage interviews about their latest books. André Alexis explores themes of honor, faith and sin in The Hidden Keys, inspired by a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Booker Prize longlister Madeleine Thien delves into the lives of two successive generations in a novel set before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Tim Falconer — a self-confessed “bad singer” — is one of the 2.5 percent of the population afflicted with amusia. Jim Lynch gives us a grand and idiosyncratic family saga set on a seafaring vessel. In Precious Cargo, Craig Davidson tells the unvarnished story of his unlikely relationship with the kids he drove on School Bus 3077.
Wednesday, October 12th – Literary Death Match
9:15pm – 10:45pm. Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre – 205 8th Avenue SE. $20
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 boisterous audience. Dubbed “the most entertaining reading series ever” by the Los Angeles Times, the event is co-created and hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga.
Thursday, October 13th – Bad Sing-A-Long with Tim Falconer
12pm – 1pm. Eau Claire Market – 200 Barclay Parade SW. FREE
Join Tim Falconer, author of Bad Singer and Calgary’s own Kenna Burima and embrace your unique vocal stylings at the first deliberately Bad Sing-a-Long of the 2016 Street Piano Series. Hosted by Kenna Burima. Sponsored by Downtown Calgary.
Friday, October 14th – Poetry Cabaret
7pm – 8:30pm. Glenbow Museum Theatre – 130 9th Avenue SE. $20
Anything can happen when award-winning poets and master storytellers use the stage as the page, cabaret-style, and push the limits of the spoken and written word. Hosted by Dymphny Dronyk. Featured artists include Shane Book, Jane Byers, Jillian Christmas, Anne Fleming, Helen Hajnoczky, Richard Harrison, Kelly Kemick, Lee Maracle, and Sandra Ridley.
Saturday, October 15th – Gals & Good Times
9:30am – 11:30am. Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre – 205 8th Avenue SE. $20
Start off your Saturday morning with a deliciously entertaining Double X lineup of writers who reveal the love and laughter that infuses their lives, careers and passion for writing — regardless of genre or subject matter.
Sunday, October 16th – Mystery & Suspense Showcase
10am – 11:30am. Glenbow Museum Theatre – 130 9th Avenue SE. $20
Without giving any of the suspense away, the internationally acclaimed authors on this panel will leave you in a page-turning frenzy, eager to connect all the dots as they give short readings and drop clues about how they approached their latest novels.
There are many, many more events on top of these, so be sure to check out all of them on Wordfest’s schedule! Tickets for all events can also be purchased on their website.