Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 22, 2011 21:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in WordFest: Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2011) - WordFest: Banff–Calgary International Writers Festival will be able to carry out its activities for the next three years, thanks to funding from the Government of Canada. This announcement was made today by Lee Richardson, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

In addition to allowing WordFest to deliver its annual festival for the next three years, this funding will help develop long-term plans to promote literacy and the enjoyment of literary works. The 2011 edition of WordFest, which will take place from October 11 to 16, 2011, will stage more than 60 public events, including readings, discussion groups with authors, and new artistic experiences such as spoken word and multimedia presentations.

WordFest offers programming featuring French, Aboriginal, and culturally diverse artists, WordFest and engages the community with year-round outreach programs to promote literacy. For example, its Book Rapport program provides an extensive teachers' resource guide and reaches 6500 local students every year.

"Our Government is pleased to provide Canada's third-largest literary event with a stable funding source for its annual festival," said Minister Moore. "Our support will enable WordFest to plan its activities over a longer term with continued emphasis on developing interest in the literary arts."

"Once again this year, WordFest introduces to us writers from Canada and abroad whose creativity and talent will inspire audiences," said Mr. Richardson. "In addition to promoting ongoing contact between writers and readers, this festival contributes to the cultural and economic vitality of Calgary and Banff."

"WordFest is a nationally and internationally recognized writer's festival that brings the best of the literary arts to Calgary and Banff, while promoting Alberta's regional talent nationally and abroad," said Jo Steffens, Director of WordFest. "The critical and ongoing support of the Government of Canada will enable WordFest to continue to bring readers and writers together and to expand its outreach to a variety of culturally and socially diverse communities."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $210,000 for the 2011–2012, 2012–2013, and 2013–2014 editions of WordFest through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada's culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Perry Boldt
    A/Regional Manager - Communications