The Word on the Street

The Word on the Street

August 22, 2005 11:40 ET

The Word On The Street Announces The 2005 Programming Line-Up

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 22, 2005) - Celebrate the joy of reading and the rich diversity of the Canadian literary scene this fall at The Word On The Street, Canada's largest, outdoor book and magazine festival.

On Sunday, September 25, 2005 from 11:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. more than 200,000 book lovers will descend on Queen's Park and Queen's Park Crescent from Bloor Street West to Wellesley Street West, for an afternoon full of free family fun. Whether you're already an avid reader or just a beginner, this year's festival promises to be the best yet.


The 16th annual The Word On The Street, will be the biggest festival to date. In addition to the festival's marketplace of more than 250 exhibitors, with thousands of books and magazines for sale at fantastic prices, organizers have also planned a diverse line-up of author readings, book signings, children's activities, industry panels, and music at 14 performance venues located throughout Queen's Park.


Aboriginal Authors Tent - Presented by the Association for Native Development in the Performing Arts, this new tent features readings and performances by a wide variety of aboriginal authors, poets, storytellers, and spoken word artists. Highlights include readings from: Mohawk scholar and journalist Taiaiake Alfred, Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom; Canadian humourist Thomas King, A Short History of Indians in Canada; and Menominee poet Chrystos, Fire Power and Fugitive Colours.

Beyond The Page - Are you an unpublished author or inspiring writer? For the inside scoop on the business of words, visit Beyond The Page. Sessions include: How To Get Published hosted by Cynthia Good, former Publisher at Penguin Canada and current Program Director of Humber's Creative Book Publishing Program; Comics & Graphic Novels: Breaking In and Busting Out!; Writing for Film and Television by Amnon Buchbinder, film professor at York University; and Blogging Toronto a panel hosted by Matt Blackett of Spacing Magazine Also featured in the Beyond The Page tent, spoken word performances and an interactive segment hosted by the CNIB Library that offers festival visitors the chance to record a portion of a book.

Canadian Magazines Tent offers visitors a glimpse into the exciting world of Canadian magazine publishing. With features like: The Power Hour: The Politics of Reportage in Canadian Magazines; Kid's Stuff: Engaging the Young Reader; and Zine Showcase: The Best of the Truly Independent on 2005, the Canadian Magazines Tent is a lively mix of discussion and debate.

CBC Stage - Once again, CBC will pay host to a stellar lineup of on-air personalities including festival favourites Andy Barrie, host of Metro Morning and Matt Galloway, host of Here and Now from CBC Radio One; Evan Solomon host of CBC Newsworld's Hot Type and CBC News: Sunday; and newcomer George Stroumboulopoulos host of CBC News: The Hour.

City of Toronto Book Awards - Hear finalists for the 2005 prize read from their nominated books. This year's shortlist includes: Constance Backhouse and Nancy L. Backhouse, The Heiress vs. The Establishment: Mrs. Campbell's Campaign for Legal Justice; David Bezmozgis, Natasha and Other Stories; Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, Down to This: Squalor and Splendor in a Big-city Shantytown; Don Coles, Doctor Bloom's Story; and Russell Smith, Muriella Pent.

Citytv Mainstage -This stage will host the festival's opening ceremonies as well as a diverse array of musical performances including jazz, opera, R&B, reggae, Celtic, gospel and salsa. This year, visitors can also watch as eight modern day Cyrano de Bergeracs vie for the affection of one young woman in a segment loosely based on BookTelevsion's new reality show, The Letters.

Enbridge Gas Distribution Literacy Stage presents the Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy's 3rd Annual Poetry Challenge. Help support Toronto's adult literacy community, with a reading of your favourite poem. To participate in the Poetry Challenge, please call MTML at 416-961-4013 or visit their website

Great Books features the best in new, Canadian fiction. This year's authors include: Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road; Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout, Speechless; Claudia Dey, Trout Stanley; Sheila Heti, Ticknor; David Layton, The Bird Factory; Stephen Marche, Raymond and Hannah; Maya Merrick, Sextant; Rob Payne, Sushi Daze; Andrew Pyper, The Wildfire Season; Elizabeth Ruth, Smoke; Jason Schneider, 3000 Miles; Shyam Selvadurai, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea; and Eva Stachniak, Garden of Venus.

Multilingual Reading Tent - For the second year, The Word On the Street is proud to pay tribute to Toronto's diverse, multicultural community with readings in French, Italian, Spanish, Gujarati, Portuguese and Chinese. Noted authors include: Francophone novelist Marguerite Anderson; Italian-Canadian poet and literary translator Antonino Mazza; poet and lyricist Jose Mario Coelho; and Dr. Lien Chao, writer and founding member of Asian Heritage Month in Toronto.

Real Reads is a showcase of new, thought-provoking and innovative works of poetry and non-fiction. Confirmed to appear are: Dave Bidini, The Best Game You Can Name; David Cayley, The Rivers North of the Future; Brian Day, Azure; Barry Dempster, The Burning Alphabet; Lance Goddard, Canada and the Liberation of the Netherlands, May 1945; Craig Heron, The Worker's Festival: A History of Labour Day In Canada; Brian Joseph Davis, Portable Altamont; Jennifer LoveGrove, I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel; Margaret MacMillan, The Women of the Raj; Olindo Romeo Chiocca, College Street; Tilda Shalof, A Nurse's Story; and Michael Strangelove, Empire of the Mind.

Toronto Star Writers Tent - Watch as your favourite Toronto Star journalists take opposing sides on some of today's hottest issues in The War of the Words, the ultimate battle of wits.


KUMON Kids Activity Tent - Looking for ways to inspire your children to pick-up a book? Check out the KUMON Kids Activity Tent for engaging activity-based readings and performances. Children's authors featured in this year's tent include: Ed Butts, She Dared; L.M. Falcone, Walking With The Dead; Franklin; Sharon Jennings, No Monsters Here; Brian MacFarlane, The Baseball Thief; Robert McConnell, Norbert Nipkin; Tina Powell, Peter's Poofect Pet; Kevin Sylvester, The Sports Hall of Weird; Jeff Szpirglas, They Did What?! Your Guide to Weird & Wacky Things People Do; Teresa Toten, Bright Red Kisses; the editors of Chirp, ChickaDEE and OWL; the Stand Up and Speak gang; and Dennis Lee, who will read from a selection of his best loved titles.

Reading Rocks - Discover wonderful Canadian stories that explore and celebrate our country's diverse heritage at the Reading Rocks stage. Scheduled authors, storytellers and performers are: Sean Cassidy, Gummytoes; Aubrey Davis, Bagels from Benny; The Funky Mamas; Maryann Kovalski, Omar On Board; Gillian O'Reilly, Slangalicious; Ruth Ohi, And You Can Come Too; Bryan Smillie, A Time for Evron; The Storytellers School of Toronto; Edo Van Belkom, Lone Wolf; Audrey van Troost, Secrets of the Wizard; Jamie Wayne; and Ange Zhang, Red Land, Yellow River.

TVOkids Stage - Located right on KidStreet, the TVOkids Stage offers children of all ages the chance to see all their favourite TVOkids hosts LIVE. Meet Daniel Cook from This Is Daniel Cook; become a Book Marshall like the Reading Rangers; ask Sticks questions; sing The Friends Song with Jackie or just watch all fun as other TVOkids hosts Gisele, Julie and Milton entertain the crowd.

For more information on this year's programming schedule please check out our website (click on "Toronto") or pick up a copy of The Word On The Street festival guide distributed through The Toronto Star on Saturday, September 24, 2005.


The Word On The Street gratefully acknowledges the support of our Media, National and Regional Sponsors:

Media Sponsors Toronto Star, Citytv and CFRB 1010AM;

National Sponsors Department of Canadian Heritage, KUMON Learning
Centres, Transcontinental Printing and Webcom;

Regional Sponsors Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts
Council, Toronto Arts Council, The Association
of Native Development in the Arts, CBC Newsworld,
CBC Radio One, City of Toronto, Enbridge Gas
Distribution, TVOKids, Ontario Media Development
Corporation and Magazines Canada.

Contact Information

  • The Word On The Street
    Sarah Stewart
    (416) 504-7241