Word Vancouver

Inspiring Words. A free festival of reading and writing.


Words, words, and more words will abound at various free events between September 21 and 25, all part of Word Vancouver; the big festival day happens on the 25th in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Canadian authors and book, magazine, and comics exhibitors are all gathered to share their love for the written word. This year, look forward to 100 readings, 150 authors, and 20 workshops. Fun for literature and literacy lovers of any age!

On Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm, activities are in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library (350 W Georgia St.). This year’s programming includes readings, panel discussions, professional development workshops, entertainment, site performers, the exhibitor marketplace, colouring stations, and more. 

Word Vancouver is thrilled to have authors of all genres joining us: Lynn Johnston, Joy Kogawa, Anosh Irani, Ujjal Dosanjh, Paul Yee, Ronald Wright, Yasuko Thanh, Jen Sookfong Lee, Bif Naked, Carmen Aguirre, bill bissett, Daphne Marlatt, Wayde Compton, Caroline Adderson, Lorelei Bachman, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Faith Erin Hicks, and many more!

From Wednesday to Friday, experience author readings and events at these venues: Banyen Books & Sound, CBC Studio 700, Christianne’s Lyceum, The Cottage Bistro, The Emerald, and, Historic Joy Kogawa House. On Saturday, take part in free professional development workshops at The HiVE and Carnegie Centre. 


Festival day on Sunday will include 10 venues, many of which are rebranded this year:

Family activities, entertainment, and reading venues can be found outside on the Robson St. side of the library — Imagination Island, The Quay, and The Dock. Also for families, a scavenger hunt, colouring stations, and lots of hands on activities for kids.

Check out our in-the-library downstairs venues — Port of View, Perspective Point, and The Underground — for workshops, comics and chapbooks presentations and exhibitors, and more! Also, in the Moat (downstairs too), writing consultations will take place (more details on the website!). 

Stroll venues on Homer Street — Community Garden, The Lions, and Suspension Bridge — for fiction and non-fiction readings, magazine presentations, panels, and more! Poetry readings will take place in the Sunrise Suite on Homer St.

And, festival-goers will be treated to fabulous roving site entertainment throughout the day, e.g. Circus Lab, En Route: All Bodies Dance Project, LARP and Cosplay, sword fighting demonstrations, new Poetry in Transit poems, and more!

For a little relaxation, visit our new magazine lounge in the Blenz coffee shop in the library promenade where readers can browse locally-published magazines.

And, new this year! — the Word Vancouver writing contests (for all ages). Look for details at Deadline is Sept. 15, 2016.


Daily events breakdown:


Wednesday Sept. 21, 7:00 pm: The Emerald (555 Gore Ave.)

20th anniversary celebration of Poetry in Transit

Thursday Sept. 22, 6:30 pm: Banyen Books & Sound (3608 W 4th Ave.)

Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive with Governor General’s Award-Winning Author Mark Winston (Harvard University Press)

Thursday Sept. 22, 7:00 pm: The Cottage Bistro (4468 Main St.)

Pandora’s Collective Presents Twisted Poets Literary Salon – Henry Beissel, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, and Jennifer Zilm

Friday Sept. 23, 6:30 pm: Christianne’s Lyceum (3696 W 8th Ave.)

An Evening of Faerie Magic Presented by Christianne’s Lyceum – Tiffany Stone, Kallie George, Danika Dinsmore, and Christianne Hayward

Friday Sept. 23, 7:30 pm: Historic Joy Kogawa House (1450 West 64th Ave.)

Reading and discussion with author and journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

Saturday Sept. 24, 11:00 am and 2:30 pm: The HiVE (210-128 West Hastings St.)

Professional development workshops for writers and publishers; scheduled presenters include Jami Macarty and Carmen Ostrander

Saturday Sept. 24, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Carnegie Centre (401 Main St.)

Type Up: Do you have handwritten poems, stories, and letters you would like to have typed up, but you don’t have a way to do that? Volunteers will be on hand to take your writing materials, help you edit them, and turn them into a typed file.

Saturday Sept. 24, 7:30 pm: Studio 700, CBC (at 700 Hamilton St.)

Pandora’s Collective Literary Awards Gala

Sunday Sept. 25, 11 am – 5 pm: Library Square

(in and around VPL Central Branch, 350 W Georgia St.)

Festival day! Readings, panel discussions, workshops, entertainment, a marketplace, and more!

Festival info:,, 604-684-8266

Admission: Free

Media Contact: Karen Green, Rebus Creative: 604.684.8294, ext. 24;

Word Vancouver: Over the span of more than two decades, the festival has expanded from a single day event to a five-day event, attracting thousands of local, Canadian, and international festival-goers to its events. Word Vancouver has become Western Canada’s largest celebration of reading and writing primarily by remaining 100 percent free and providing all-ages programming, making it inclusive and accessible. Held during the days leading to the last Sunday of September at various venues throughout the city, the festival promotes books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests.


Art & Design /  Career /  Education /  Events /  Fashion /  Finance / Health & Fitness /  Law / Music / Photography /  Real Estate / Relationships / Science & Technology / Social Issues / Transportation /