If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer
I am both excited and humbled to be the new artistic director of the hybrid 2022 Whistler Writers Festival. Founder Stella Harvey was a phenomenal mentor to me, and a welcoming host to all who made the festival a success: guest authors and presenters, publishers, volunteers, staff, sponsors, and our audiences.
The past two years have been extremely turbulent for everyone. The pandemic, combined with rising social movements, have personally given me greater insight into the critical role the literary arts play in positive social change.
Storytellers and their stories have the power to bring new ideas into the world; amplify underrepresented voices; challenge systemic injustices; combat misinformation; and join people together in meaningful conversations. This year our theme is sharing stories together. To keep our festival accessible and inclusive, almost all events will be offered in-person and via livestream, allowing participants and guest authors to join us in the way that works best for them.
On October 13, please join us at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre for readings with Canada’s Best Independent Authors featuring the books of the finalists of the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Afterwards, we are thrilled to present a brand-new event, Sharing Traditions: An Evening of Oral Storytelling with Tsawaysia Spukwus (Squamish Nation), Tanina Williams (Lil’wat Nation), and eight local storytellers.
Friday October 14th showcases our Booklovers’ Literary Salon, featuring journalist and author Marsha Lederman and her memoir Kiss the Red Stairs: The Holocaust, Once Removed.
Following the salon is The Literary Cabaret, hosted by local scribe and musician Stephen Vogler. The night combines readings from some of Canada’s best-loved authors and rising stars with live music from West Coast Front. This year’s cabaret features guest authors Amber Cowie, Joseph Dandurand, Norma Dunning, Gary Geddes, Tamar Glouberman, Hasan Namir, Mari-Lou Rowley, and Shyam Selvadurai. The winners of the Whistler Independent Book Awards will be announced just before the Literary Cabaret.
If you’re keen to elevate your writing skills and industry knowledge, take a creative writing or publishing workshop with Brandon Barrett, Amber Cowie, Joseph Dandurand, Kilmeny Denny, Lynn Duncan, Ann Eriksson, Kagan Goh, Marsha Lederman, or Merilyn Simonds. Thursday’s workshops will focus on independent publishing while Friday will feature a morning panel discussion with publishing industry professionals, and one-on-one pitching sessions with publishers and agents in the afternoon.
Our popular Saturday reading events are back, each featuring authors of different genres: Poetry, Non-Fiction, Fiction, and a Mystery and Crime Writers session.
On Saturday night, we welcome all to Sharing Stories Together: A Festival Celebration & Fundraiser to mingle, enjoy live music, share a tale, enjoy delicious appetizers, and raise a glass to celebrate how our community has come together to make the festival what it is today.
The festival’s Saturday Night Gala features an illuminating conversation between moderator Marsha Lederman and authors Méira Cook (The Full Catastrophe) and Iain Reid (We Spread).
Moderator Wayne Grady will join us on Sunday October 16th for an insightful, wide-ranging conversation with authors Cody Caetano, Lisa Moore, Heather O’Neill and Jamal Saeed at our Sunday Book Talk: Coffee and Conversation reading event.
The best way to show your support for our guest authors is to buy their books. Once again, we’re delighted to have pop-up stores Armchair Books and the Whistler Independent Book Awards onsite at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Welcome to our 2022 festival. Let’s share stories together.
Rebecca Wood Barrett