After enjoying the great documentary that was Northwords last night, I headed over to The Auburn for the next event. One of the fringe benefits of working with WordFest is getting to walk around town with different authors, and pick their brains, discuss, etc. Last night, I was able to do this with Noah Richler and enjoy a brief discussion of the documentary we had just watched.
The event taking place at The Auburn was This Really Happened, a partnership with catre blanche, and billed as an open-ended and open-minded live storytelling event. Basically, authors took to the stage for an open-mic style event, telling personal stories of their lives.
Featured at the event were, Candace Ford-Taperek, Michael Hornburg, Deni Bechard, Kirs Demeanor, Noah Richler, and Marcello Di Cintio. It was a great mix of authors and artists who offered an array of stories that took the audience through every emotion imaginable.
First up was Candace Ford-Taperek, who told the story of her parents, separated for over 30 years, re-uniting and marrying. Being the manly man that I am, I was unmoved by this story, but noticed quite a few ladies hands covering their chests as they made faces to show how romantic they felt the story was.
Humour was provided by Deni Bechard, telling the story found in his book, Cures for Hunger, Marcello Di Cintio telling of a first date gone horribly wrong, and Noah Richler on the art of seduction.
But the biggest surprise of the night, which I say only to echo his words, was Michael Hornburg, an ex pat American who has lived in Calgary since the mid-70’s. Taking the stage, Michael announced how he seemed to be the odd man out amongst these talented and more experienced authors, yet he was able to steal the show.
Michael told the story of his son who was killed in Afghanistan and how it has affected him ever since. The story was emotional on so many levels, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house by the end. When he paused, which he used to great effect, The Auburn was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop; as everybody leaned in closer to hear what he’d have to say next. It was simply a great presentation.
Despite some of its short comings, The Auburn is a nice venue for an event like this. The availability of food and drink puts everybody in a more relaxed mood, as they settle in for a night of storytelling and entertainment, and helped make this one of the more memorable events of WordFest 2012. Yes, I realize it has only been one day, but I’m confidant we’ll still be talking about this event long after the festival has ended.