While the actual festival may not begin until October 9th, WordFest 2012 got under way yesterday with the Official Launch. An August tradition for book lovers in Calgary, the Launch is where who’s coming to WordFest is announced. This year’s event was held at the, dare I say, ‘swanky’ Westin Calgary. Coffee, tea and other refreshments were on hand for everybody in attendance, which I was naturally unaware of and arrived with a breakfast sandwich and extra-extra-large coffee in hand.
‘Okay, okay, we get it, you eat and drink a lot; now get to who’s coming to WordFest!’ you say. Sure thing. No problem. The line-up announcement naturally creates a lot of buzz with the crowd at any launch. After all, this is really what WordFest is all about, who’s coming to what event. I could feel the anticipation in the air as Festival Director Jo Steffens took to the stage, and the crowd leaned in a couple of inches, eagerly awaiting the names she would soon announce.
I was already privy to this information however, so I could sit back and take it all in. The ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd as different names were announced shows just how exciting it is for book lovers, to have these authors from all around the world descend on Calgary to share their stories and discuss their craft. And who wouldn’t be excited given the names that will be attending this year?
Of course the launch is more than just finding out who’s coming to WordFest in October. It’s also a chance to reconnect with people you might not have seen since last year’s Festival. The beauty of being at a book event such as this, is everybody has a common interest. When talking to people I haven’t seen for so long, it’s always nice to catch up, and of course that usually means talking about what you’ve read in the past few months. It seems I’m going to have to read Canada by Richard Ford ASAP; everybody is raving about it. But I’m having that same problem I had last September; with so many authors coming to WordFest, there are too many books to read!
Another neat thing I saw at the launch, was what I can honestly say are the greatest business cards I’ve ever seen. Not only are these so unique, they fit in so well with “The Power of Story.” Kudos to whoever came up with this clever idea.
But while the launch is a lot of fun, and it’s exciting to see who will be coming, it’s also almost 40 days away from WordFest! This means that the list of authors and artists offered up yesterday was really just a tease, a way of building up our anticipation. I suppose it’s only 39 more sleeps. Plus, there is Richard Ford here on September 24, sort of an appetizer to the main course, if you will. He’ll be at the John Dutton Theatre at the downtown library, to talk about the above-mentioned Canada. I guess I only have 25 days to read it.
Oh, one more thing: Shane Peacock, Anne Perry, Sandy Pool, and Kim Purcell. Those are just the P’s who will be amongst the over 70 authors and artists attending WordFest 2012! Others guests include Jian Ghomeshi, Deni Bechard, and Melanie Watt. An event I will be particularly interested in is The Banff Distinguished Author Series, which will feature British author Martin Amis. I have read several of his novels, including his newest, Lionel Asbo. I think my favorite part of hearing an author read from a book I’ve already read, is trying to guess what passage they’ll read. So far I’m 0 for 5 in this little game however.
You can see a full list of who will be at the festival right here, and start planning out your WordFest week now! Early bird ticket packages are available until tomorrow.