For the final instalment in Random Acts of Publicity Week, instead of talking about a single book by someone I know, I’m going to talk about a single book festival by someone I know. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you LitFest, produced by my pal David Cheoros.
As described on the website:
“Litfest is a festival, not a conference. We don’t just sit around and read books (although we do that too). At LitFest, nonfiction content comes to life. Avid readers with nonfiction content and creators through a series of events chic gatherings and gourmet experiences.
LitFest is an exclusive event. LitFest is the only nonfiction festival in Canada. It brings together some of the best-selling, award-winning and emerging authors of books, magazine and film content. It also supports Edmonton as a local incubator for nonfiction literary talent.”
Begun in 2002 as the successor to the Alberta Book Fair, LitFest provides 10-days of non-fiction literary programming. The festival presents a wide range of readings and events focused on some of the most interesting non-fiction writing to be had today. Examples: Irshad Manji discussing the content of her books The Trouble with Islam Today and Allah, Liberty and Love; Will Ferguson reading from Canadian Pie; A Taste of Scots, featuring a reading from How the Scots Invented Canada by author Ken McGoogan, followed by a reception toasting Scotland (yes, including whiskey). And this is just a fraction of the events running over the ten days; the schedule has to be seen to be believed.
One of the things I love about this festival is that it is not set in a single location in the city. Events for LitFest run at locations in St. Albert and Spruce Grove, as well as various locations around Edmonton: the Stanley Milner library, Garneau Theatre, Haven Social Club and The ARTery, just to name a few. This was a great choice by LitFest, because it gives the festival a very inclusive community feel, as well as opening up what would otherwise be and Edmonton festival to our surrounding communities.
You can buy a Festival Pass, or pick up tickets for individual readings and events. You can even grab a Gold Pass that will get you into the festival and the special events, like the Charles Taylor Prize Gala, A Brunch of Writers and Genu-Wine. Tickets and passes can be picked up in advance through Tix on the Square.
If you love reading non-fiction, and want to expose yourself to some of the best in NF literature, LitFest is the place you need to be. Check out the LitFest website for details like event times and locations, and make sure to take in an event or two or ten, during the October 12-23 run. You will likely see me there.
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