Sask Festival of Words Begins Thursday


Nick Murray

It's that time of year again, in Moose Jaw, where the sweet summery streets fill up with the ruffling of book pages and the light steps of acclaimed Canadian authors.  The Saskatchewan Festival of Words is back and a slew of Canada's most successful writers of the last year are in the city to introduce their work to the province's bookworms and lit-lovers. Saskatchewan's biggest and best annual literary festival begins on Thursday July 19th and runs until the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd.

This year's showcase sees 27 different writers as presenters including Angie Abdou, who will be reading from her latest book, In Case I Go, Sharon Bala and her latest novel, The Boat People, as well as Trevor Herriot, who will be here in support of his latest work Islands of Grass. Also on hand to give presentations will be Dave Margoshes, Katharena Vermette and Karl Subban, the father of the legendary hockey players PK and Malcolm Subban, as well as many others

The events officially kick off Thursday morning at 9:00 when Kai Cheng Thom, author of Fierce Femmes: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir, will host Kids Ink, for kids between the ages 10 and 13.

Trevor Herriot   

Trevor Herriot


Also on Thursday, Trevor Herriot, who is a writer, bird expert and a naturalist who has been published in Canadian Geographic on many occasions, will be leading a group of people on a nature hike through Moose Jaw's former Wild Animal Park.

On Friday, the readings will begin. If you've never been before and are uncertain of how these readings work, typically, a pair of the presenters will be on hand, in one of the reading rooms at the Moose Jaw Public Library. The presenters will take turns reading excerpts from their latest books. Following the readings there is typically a question and answer session. 

The Friday Feature is titled Ballads, Bob Dylan and Beyond: The Music of Literature. It will be hosted by Tom Wayman, John Lent and Mark Nishihara. That will be at the Mae Wilson Theatre.

Bobby's Place is, once again, hosting the ever-popular Trivia Night and Author Auction. Where citizens and authors meet to take part in a good old fashioned game of Thursday Night Trivia at Bobby's. 

Following that, the Slam Poetry Competition takes place at the Mae Wilson Theatre.

The readings continue all day Saturday.

At 4:00, in the Mae Wilson Theatre, Karl Subban will be interviewed by Mark Medley, the Opinion editor at the Globe & Mail. Karl is there to discuss How We Did It, his biography time piece about raising his four sons to be incredibly successful hockey players.

At 5:00, Coteau Books will be launching Sharon Butala's latest instant classic Zara's Dead. That will take place in the upper lobby of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.

READ an interview Sharon Butala conducted with MJ Independent in regards to Zara's Dead

At 7:30 RuBarb Productions will be presenting their latest play, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, at the Mae Wilson Theatre. Sunshine Sketches... is best on the classic Canadian novel by Stephen Leacock


On Sunday, at 10:00am, a panel of newspaper types, including Mark Medley and Rob Ritchie, will discuss "the future of newspapers in the digital age". It will be moderated by Angie Abdou. I only wonder if they'll talk about MJ Independent.

That's only a small sample of all the great events taking place around Moose Jaw this weekend. For a detailed list, please check out the full schedule by clicking here

moose jaw