Women Making A Difference

Standing up and saying something is the first step to making a difference. This fall our festival is showcasing some amazing women writers whose memoirs and fictions shed light on important social issues, such as quality of life on Canadian reserves, war, immigrant experience, sexual assault and gender identity. Be part of the conversation and stand up to make your own change at these fall events.


The Personal is Political. What does it mean to visit the site of disaster? What is it life to live it? And what do you do once you are a witness? In their memoirs, journalists Deborah Campbell and Alexandra Shimo share their experiences of working on the front lines of journalism in the Middle East and on Canadian reserves. In Gently from Nagasaki, award-winning author Joy Kogawa traces lines between her family's time spent in Japanese internment in Canada and the events unfolding in Japan at the same time. Do not miss these unbelievable stories of strength, perseverance and the desire to drive change. They join us on October 24th.

Fiction Mirrors Fact. Two astounding Canadian novelists explore the darker sides of our family ties on October 24th. Nominated for the Giller Prize, Zoe Whittall's The Best Kind of People takes peers into the darkness that is sexual assualt to understand how it affects the victims and the family of the accused. Set in Winnipeg's West End, Katherena Vermette's Governor Genral's Award nominated book The Break explores the urban indigenous experience from cultural loss to prejudice and family breakdown.

Walking the Line. In their new works of poetry, Vivek Shraya and Gwen Beneway explore both the racial, cultural and gender lines they cross in their lives and art. In Passage , two-spirited trans poet, Gwen Benaway's poems travel from Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes in poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Vivek Shrayas debut collection,   even this page is white, is a bold, timely, and personal interrogation of skin–its origins, functions, and limitations. They will perform on October 23rd.

Truth in Character. In our Character Studies panel, Jowita Bydlowska and Mary Morrissy crawl into the intimate and personal lives of their characters to show us how they think and what makes them tick. Bydlowska's Guy investigates the elements that contribute to toxic masculinity, while Morrissy's Prosperity Drive takes on an Alice Munro approach to the private lives of the men and women that live in the Irish suburbs.

Spotlight on Jane Jacobs. On October 22nd we are putting a spotlight on the woman who radically changed how we see cities and think about infrastructure and design. Two new books take a look at the life of Jane Jacobs, her thoughts and the contributions she made in New York City, Toronto and around the world.