WordFest is pleased to welcome Emmanuelle Fontaine, the new Education Program Assistant, and Cassandra Paul who is joining the team as Operations Coordinator.
Leading up to the Festival this year, which runs October 14-20, 2013, Emmanuelle will be working closely with Book Rapport Manager Sandra Paire on the rollout of WordFest’s children’s and youth programming as well as coordinating the French-language component of WordFest — Festival des mots.
Emmanuelle speaks fluent French, having recently moved with her family to Calgary from France. She recalls fondly her hometown of St. Malo, which has a fascinating historical relationship with the early development of the fishing industry in Quebec. Perhaps a little known fact is that Jacques Cartier, the sailor and explorer who discovered the shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1534, and who also named this territory ‘Canada’ upon arrival, was born in St. Malo in 1491. During this period, the city’s economy developed thanks in part to a series of major fishing expeditions through “Terre Neuve.” St. Malo continues to celebrate this historic trade relationship to this day. As a symbol of the exchanges and friendship between Quebec and St. Malo, a House of Quebec was established in 1984 in the French city.
Emmanuelle also volunteered several years ago for a literary festival in St. Malo that was held within steps of the area’s beautiful coastline. The experience of being among fellow book lovers celebrating the art of storytelling has certainly whet her appetite for more. Now living on “the other side of the pond,” she looks forward to being part of WordFest in Calgary and Banff.
As Operations Coordinator, Cassandra will oversee a number of key areas — from streamlining organizational systems and managing special projects, all the way to administering the box office and coordinating the Festival’s team of over 200 volunteers.
She graduated from The Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) with a BFA in painting, and recently finished a diploma in Business Administration from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Apart from her work at WordFest, she co-runs AVALANCHE! Institute of Contemporary Art, a gallery space that is focussed on showcasing experimental practices by emerging artists. She is also an administrator at the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation.
Although her background is grounded primarily in the visual arts, writing was a focus during her early development as an artist. Now at WordFest, she is excited to reconnect with the literary arts and discover new artists and authors through the Festival.