The Canadian Literary Scene: From the Writer to the Reader

Spring 2023 - In-Person or At-Home (by Zoom)

No Upcoming Lectures

Past Lectures

Local Bookstores Anchor and Build Community

Thursday, May 04, 2023

This  session will be presented as an interactive conversation with David and Mandy, co-owners of Words Worth local, independent bookstore.  They will talk about the challenges and rewards of owning their own business in a very competitive market.  Mandy and David will share how they support authors, educators, and contribute to the local community.

Location, Speaker & Other Details

Creativity Unplugged: The Radical Act of Reading and Writing (and Publishing) in an Age of Distraction

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023

Writing (especially imaginatively involved works of fiction) and reading (especially fiction) are radical acts in our culture today. To do either requires deep attention. It requires swimming in a different ocean than the one most of us exist in right now. How do we turn off distractions in order to attend deeply to these pleasures?

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The Power of Children’s Literature

Thursday, Apr 20, 2023

Most everyone has experienced the “bedtime story” at some time. This familiar ritual is a treasured memory for many of us: a loving parent, grandparent or caregiver reading aloud to ease a child’s transition from daytime activity to sleep. Whether fairy tales or fables, princesses or pirates, silly or serious, children love a good book, especially when shared with a loved one.
Whether reading to a child at bedtime or at any other time, children’s literature has the power to support their development and well-being in many ways. Today, the shelves of bookstores and libraries are filled with quality books written for children that all have something to offer them. There are books to make them laugh, transport them to imaginary places and immerse them in make-believe adventures. There are books that can help strengthen a child’s social-emotional development or introduce them to diverse cultures and people whose life experiences and perspectives may be quite different from their own. There are books that can teach them about almost anything.
Focusing on children from 3 to 12 years of age, this lecture will examine some of the children’s literature available on bookshelves today and discuss how reading them with a child can support not only the development of their literacy skills, but help them to better understand themselves and others and acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that can help them navigate the complex world in which they are growing up.

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Read Any Good (Canadian) Books Lately?

Thursday, Apr 13, 2023

There are approximately 10,000 books published in Canada every year – how many of those make it to your bookshelf? Despite authors promoting their books through festivals, contests, book lists, podcasts, blogposts and of course, through libraries and local bookstores, most Canadian readers only see a glimmer of the rich literary landscape every year. Events such as the Giller Prize and Canada Reads will shine a spotlight on some of these Canadian writers, leaving many more without high profile coverage. What is the impact of this disproportionate promotion on certain Canadian authors and what happens to other authors who struggle to reach readers?
In this lecture Pamela Mulloy, editor of The New Quarterly and creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival, will explore how writers find their audience, and the ways in which readers can develop their own reading list and become good literary citizens.

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The Story of North Wind Man

Thursday, Apr 06, 2023

North Wind Man, a memoir of healing co-authored by Clarence Cachagee and Seth Ratzlaff, was officially released on January 31, 2023. A Sixties Scoop survivor with lived experience of addiction and homelessness, Cachagee is now the Executive Director and founder of Crow Shield Lodge, a non-profit Indigenous organization that focuses on land-based healing and teaching for all nations.
Our lecture will speak to Clarence Cachagee’s challenging and inspiring path to becoming a helper and leader in his community — a multi-generational healing journey that reveals cycles of trauma and oppression, beauty and resilience. After being displaced into foster care as a young child, and raised by a Mennonite family, Cachagee struggled for years with addictions and homelessness, until he embarked on a new path by reconnecting with his Indigenous culture and accepting the support of his community.
We will also share on how we collaborated as co-authors to craft a memoir that honours Clarence’s voice and life, while including the voices of his community. Along with Cachagee’s storytelling, the book includes interviews with family members, social workers, and community leaders, and integrates local history of the Waterloo Region and Chapleau Cree First Nation.

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Public Libraries today and their role in supporting Canadian authors

Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

Mary Chevreau, CEO for Kitchener Public Library, will provide an overview of the role of public libraries in today’s climate and how Canadian authors are promoted and celebrated through its collection policies and programs.

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