Welcome to Word Vancouver

This is Word Vancouver, Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading. Held during the week leading up to the last Sunday of September at various venues throughout the city, our festival promotes books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests.This year’s festival will take place from Wednesday, September 26 to Sunday, September 30, 2018. Check out what’s happening at this year’s schedule!

Letter from the 2018 Interim Festival Manager, Bonnie Nish

From the 1963 poetry conference featuring Allen Ginsberg, to the long-standing magazines that have originated in this city like The Georgia Straight and EVENT, the printed word has always had a place in Vancouver’s rich cultural landscape.

Since 1995, WORD has seen the evolution of this city’s literary arts scene and we’ve evolved too. What was once a one-day festival called Word On The Street has transformed into the only multi-day free festival focused on bringing the entire literary arts community together. 

Every fall on the blocks surrounding the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouverites can look forward to new discoveries: the community groups thriving with our city’s most avid readers and writers; and the freshest talent ready to burst out on the Canadian literary scene. Our festival was founded to celebrate book lovers of all ages and backgrounds bringing established authors together with readers, and publishers with emerging writers.

As a community organizer with decades of experience, I know that our vibrant literary arts scene is not happenstance, but has taken an entire community to build and nurture. Dedicated volunteers, community organizers, donors and supporters give selflessly to create these engaging and inspiring events that none of us should take for granted.

We’ve seen this first-hand through our Adopt an Author program, where anyone can sponsor an individual voice at the festival and it’s these seemingly small contributions that compound to make WORD happen year after year.

WORD 2018 is bringing the focus back to what makes Vancouver’s literary community so unlike other cities in this country. New to the festival this year, we have created space for the community organizer who volunteers countless hours to launch a reading series to showcase their unique programming. We are providing a platform for those authors who challenge our ways of experiencing the world around us. And we honour the diverse voices that make reading such an expansion of our collective consciousness.

Our full schedule will be announced soon. Our festival will continue its enduring legacy with vibrant talent like Vikram Vij, Charlie Demers, and Storytelling with Drag Queens. And we’ll continue to bridge our community with organizations like World Poetry, CWILL, Crime Writers of Canada, and The Writer’s Studio at SFU.

Whatever brought you to the page as book lover, reader, writer, librarian or community organizer WORD 2018 celebrates you.

Bonnie Nish,
Interim Festival Manager of WORD 2018


Message from the WORD Board

We are pleased to announce that we will be continuing our 23-year legacy of celebrating the literary arts in Vancouver with a dynamic and free festival in 2018.

WORD Vancouver has had to adapt quickly to numerous changes following the resignations of key members of our leadership team. As part of this transition, we conducted an in-depth analysis of our financial situation with an independent accountant and spoke with a legal consultant, who have confirmed that our responsibilities to our funders, donors, readers, and staff can be met with confidence. We have also spoken to each of our major funders (Canada Council, Canada Book Fund, Canada Periodical Fund, Dept of Canadian Heritage, City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council, DVBIA) and they are all pleased that we are moving forward with the funding they have provided for the festival.

This year’s Interim Festival Manager, Bonnie Nish, brings years of experience in festival production, having spearheaded the Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival and Pandora’s Collective over the past decade. Bonnie has shown her deep commitment for Vancouver’s literary arts community by programming an amazing festival for 2018 in a short time frame. And we are so excited for what she has been able to accomplish.

We kick off our celebration of the printed word on Wednesday September 26th, 27th, and 28th with events at our partner sites: Banyen Books, Christiane’s Lyceum, Cottage Bistro (now Hood 29), and Historic Joy Kogawa House. On Saturday the 29th, we will run free community workshops for the public at the Carnegie Community Centre. And on Sunday the 30th, we will have over 100 presenters on the main day, Western Canada’s largest free literary festival – authors from every genre, panelists, writing groups.

We are committed to our supporters – the funders, donors, volunteers, readers and writers who dedicate their time each year. We know that an arts festival of this magnitude does not happen without your support. We are committed to operating under our value of community and we will be releasing a report shortly.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@wordvancouver.ca.

Mary-Ann Yazedjian
President, Word Vancouver Board

Laura Farina
Vice President, Word Vancouver Board

Tiffany Stone
Director, Word Vancouver Board


Inspiring words.