Outside the Lines – A Festival of Diverse Stories by Diverse Storytellers

pen and crumpled piece of paper
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) is planning to organize Outside the Lines – A Festival of Diverse Stories by Diverse Storytellers – as part of the City of Thunder Bay’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The aim of this Festival is to locate, celebrate and foster the literary arts and engagement with the written word. Readers, writers and book professionals will come together to share author talks, panel discussions, mini-classes and craft seminars.

We want to tap into the rich literary talent that exists in our City. We have a number of established and emerging writers. We have several writers’ groups. And we have many reading groups. This will be an opportunity for them all to come together and showcase their talent to a local audience.

We also want to reach out beyond the city to other local communities and make them a part of this event.  It has been some time since the city held a literary Festival and we want to use the City’s 50th birthday to launch a bi-annual celebration of reading, writing and storytelling.

The model for this Festival will be the long established and successful North Shore Readers & Writers Festival that is held bi-annually in Grand Marais and other similar festivals in Canada such as the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

Celebrating diversity will be a major theme of this Festival. It will be an inclusive and non-elitist event that is open to anyone with an interest in the various forms of storytelling, including reading, writing, spoken word and other forms.

TBPL will endeavour to reduce or eliminate any barriers to attending or taking part in this Festival; we will make a deliberate effort to create a space where all abilities, nationalities, genders, identities and backgrounds will feel welcomed. Everyone has a book (or a poem or play or story) in them and the aim of this Festival is to bring out this storyteller so that we can celebrate the amazing cultural talent that exists in our City.

Outside the Lines will be a companion event to the ‘From Here’ Music Festival that will celebrate the musicians from Thunder Bay who started out in 1970 and went on to make successful careers.

Outside the Lines will be held in early November 2020 and is timed to optimize the engagement of local schools. This will also be in step with the North Shore Readers & Writers Festival that is being held in November 2019. TBPL will seek to include a wide range of partners. If your organization would like to be a part of this Festival, please let us know.

Angela Meady (Director of Resources) is leading this project and will establish an Organizing Committee of internal and external stakeholders. Community hub librarians can provide interested parties with more information on TBPL’s efforts with the festival and how the event fits our strategic plan.  Margaret Demillo will be working full time on Festival coordination. You can contact her at mdemillo@tbpl.ca.

All are welcome.

John Pateman – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!

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