COLLINGWOOD - Listen to an author - or be inspired to become one yourself - at the inaugural edition of Wordstock, a celebration of the written word in downtown Collingwood on Sept. 10 and 11.For the last several months, a dedicated committee of volunteers have been putting the pieces together for the day-long event that will feature something for the entire family.Looking for something funny? Former Toronto Star humour writer turned mystery writer Linwood Barclay will be one of the featured authors, along with Detective Murdoch series author Maureen Jennings, and John Geiger, whose latest work explores the fate of the Franklin Expedition.
The event also features local authors such as Dorris Heffron, and Karolyn Smardz-Frost, who won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction for I've Got a Home in Glory Land, the story of two Black slaves who made their escape to Toronto in the late 19th century.
Perhaps your tastes tend toward the edgy. The Toronto Poetry Slam Team is composed of the top four poets from the Toronto Poetry Slam season, representing the cream of the spoken-word crop. The TPS Team will bring a 'mini-slam' to Collingwood, hosted by David Silverberg, the artistic director of Toronto Poetry Project.
From the west, Owen Sound Poet Laureate and founder of the Grey/Bruce Slam Poetry Team Kristan Anderson will also perform, along with Toronto poet Robert Priest, and Collingwood's own Harry Posner.If you're more inclined toward the artistic side, first-time author Ruth Garrett will take you through the highs and lows of getting published, while On The Bay editor Janet Lees and freelance writer Judy Ross will provide insight on the business of freelancing.
Wordstock is more than just about books and poetry; music will also have its place. Local musicians Aaron Garner and Jason Redman will join Toronto-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Patrick Ballantyne to present a workshop on songwriting and performing music.
There's also a full slate of activities for teens and the younger set, including rap, graffiti and creative writing workshops, puppetry, and a live musical performance by the Funky Mama's.The whole thing kicks off the night before at a gala featuring local performers stretching their usual boundaries to interpret the written word through storytelling, theatre, songwriting, poetry, music, and visual arts.
The event is a partnership of the Town of Collingwood, Downtown Collingwood BIA, and the Collingwood Public Library."The community support has been outstanding," said organizing committee chair Marg Scheben-Edey.Scheben-Edey says the event is a celebration of Collingwood, and three of its most important assets: the new, LEED Gold Collingwood Public Library, the soon to be completed downtown, and the people of Collingwood."So many people have come together to bring this festival to life," she said. "The event is philosophically a community cooperative, bringing together a diverse group of people from all community sectors."For more information on Wordstock, go to www.collingwoodwordstock.com
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