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L.A. Beat

Word on the Street goes online for this year

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Arts Days usually kick off with Word on the Street— a  beautiful  get together held  literally on the street outside the downtown branch of the Lethbridge Public Library featuring tents full of authors, book sales, food trucks and live music.Jolene Draper playing Word on the Street in 2018. Photo by Richard Amery
 This year, due to Covid, everything is online.

“This year we’re worrying about wi-fi rather than  the weather,” said Word On the Street Festival festival director, Elisabeth Hegerat, Festival Director.
This year participating authors will be giving their presentations and readings online through Zoom.
 “Though they will be on video for people to watch afterwards,” Hegerat said, noting the events will be spread across two weeks  running Sept. 14-26 though the core of the events will be happening Sept. 18 and 19.

She observed the technical aspect of the Festival won’t be a problem.
“We’ve already been providing online programming for a few months,” she said.

She noted none of the highlights, Edmonton based Indigenous Dene nation author Richard Van Camp will be giving a presentation for children  called “May We Have Enough to Share,” as well as reading from his own works.

Another one of the authors, Gil Adamson, has since made the long list for the Giller Prize for her book “Ridge Runner.”

“It’s a  sequel to her epic novel, ‘Outlander,’ which takes place in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta in 1917, ” she said.

“We also  have (playwright and author) Cheryl Foggo. She has written a memoir about growing up black in Calgary in the ’50s and ’60s,” she said.
The University of Lethbridge bookstore has arranged to sell the participating authors‘ works online.

 Even though  all of the seminars are free to partake in,  participants must register in advance  by going to the Word on the Street website and looking under schedule at .
 “ You can register right up to the day of the event,” Hegerat said.
“We‘re hoping to attract people who may not actually be here to participate,” she continued.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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