Abbotsford/Mission – UFV is hosting a revitalized Fraser Valley Literary Festival this month.
The festival will be held in the Student Union Building on Fri, Sept 21 from 6-8 pm with an evening reception and keynote address shared by Billeh Nickerson, Renee Saklikar, and Carleigh Baker The festival continues on Sat, Sept 22, from 9 am-3:30 pm. The festival is FREE to all students, and $10 for the general public.
The UFV English department accepted an invitation from the Mission Lifetime Learning Centre to take over the Mission Writers and Readers Festival, which had run for a decade. Former UFV writers-in-residence Billeh Nickerson, Jen Sookfung Lee, and Anosh Irani will return to visit UFV for the festival.
Andrea MacPherson, an associate professor of English at UFV and published novelist, is chairing the festival, which is funded by the College of Arts with additional funding from UFV International and sponsorship from Savittar Productions.
“A couple of years ago, the Mission Lifetime Learners contacted the English department about taking over the Mission Writers and Readers Festival,” MacPherson notes. “Our creative writing committee took on the project, and saw it as a perfect opportunity to reimagine and rebrand the festival. We wanted to provide a bigger festival for UFV students and community, one that involved panels and readings (rather than the previous workshop-based format). I agreed to primarily take on the planning of the project, with the input and consultation of the committee. With our then–writer-in-residence, Billeh Nickerson, we curated the festival, including panel topics and invited authors.”
The mix of writers will be eclectic and exciting, according to MacPherson.
“We are very excited to host a wide variety of writers this year — we have award-winning authors, debut authors, and everything in between. We have writers from every genre, from poetry to children’s literature. It will be a dynamic festival. We curated the panel topics, and panelists, very carefully. Our goal was to allow for an enthusiastic dialogue about writing and reading. The panel topics were meant to be broad enough to allow for interpretation, giving room for writers to express themselves. Each keynote speaker and panelist was commissioned to write a piece foe the festival, and these pieces will be made available after the Festival as supplementary material for classes/teaching.”
Fraser Valley Literary Festival
Schedule of Events
Fri, Sept 21
Evening reception and keynote address.
Keynote Speakers: Billeh Nickerson, Carleigh Baker, Renee Saklikar
Sat, Sept 22
Panel 1: Local Character
Jen Sookfong Lee
Moderator: Carleigh Baker
Panel 2: Time and Place
11:30 am -1 pm
Panel 2: Time and Place
Dina del Bucchia
Moderator: Billeh Nickerson
1-2 pm Lunch
Panel 3: (In)Formed
Moderator: Renee Saklikar
For more information, see: https://www.ufv.ca/english/fraser-valley-literary-festival/