- Winnipeg International Writers Festival
The Winnipeg International Writers Festival (also known as Thin Air) is a literary festival based in
Winnipeg, Manitoba. The annual festival program runs for a week each fall, and there are occasionally other events occurring throughout the year. Programming is available in both English and French. While most of the events occur in Winnipeg, there are also some at Brandon Universityand in rural areas of the province.
The first Winnipeg Writers festival ran from October 14 to 19, 1997 [http://themanitoban.com/1997-1998/1008/arts.html] . The festival hosted approximately 50 writers from across
Canadaand around the world. The creation of the festival was explained as follows:
"It grew out of the determination to see that the writing, reading and publishing community was being served the way other [Winnipeg] cultural communities were being served.
"You have music aficionados being offered events such as the Jazz Festival and the New Music Festival, theatre-goers have the Fringe Festival - we're a festival town. People like to have large-scale events which offer them a lot of choice and that's what we wanted to do for the writing community." - Paula Kelly, coordinator for the 1997 Winnipeg Writers Festival, quoted in [http://themanitoban.com/1997-1998/1008/arts.html The Manitoban]
The festival involved collaboration from a number of organizations, including
Prairie Fire, the Manitoba Writers' Guild, the West End Cultural Centre (which had previously hosted a 'Word on the Street' series), the Interfaith Marriage and Family Institute, and the University of Winnipeg. In addition, Balmoral Hall Schoolhosted a number of school events related to the festival.
The 2008 festival will run from September 21 to 28. During the week, over 73 writers will do readings, workshops and discussions at various sites throughout Winnipeg. [www.winnipegwords.com] .
The mainstage and school stage events will occur at CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre at The Forks. The Campus Program events will be at the
University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, Red River College, Canadian Mennonite University, and Brandon University. The French program, Foyer des Écrivains, will be at the "Centre culturel franco-manitobain" in St. Boniface. The Rural Tour will cover Brandon, Altona, Morden, Holland, Portage La Prairie, Selkirk, and Carman. There will also be events at Winnipeg Public Library, Aqua Books, and McNally Robinson, among others.
* [http://www.winnipegwords.com Official site of Winnipeg International Writers Festival]
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