For four years, the Victoria Festival of Authors hosted writers from across Canada and welcomed patrons for a celebration of reading and writing. Last year, the fifth annual festival was virtual, with free podcasts and web-streams.
This year, VFA will be a hybrid festival, combining the best of both. It runs September 29 to October 3.
In 2021, VFA will host 30 authors, taking part in 11 offerings. The festival will present seven in-person events to small-but-necessary audiences. Book-lovers can also take part from the comfort of their living rooms, since all in-person programming will be live-streamed for free. These events celebrate the writers from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Three of the events are composed solely of authors from Victoria, including A City of Their Own, an event with music accompaniment by Victoria’s artist-in-residence Kathryn Calder.
“Because there are voices from outside our region that we want to hear from, we will have four Zoom events, taking place Saturday and Sunday afternoon,” notes press material.
These sessions feature authors from across Canada, and include the festival’s capstone event, presenting Governor General award-winner André Alexis in conversation with Hal Wake.
As was the case last year, Zoom programming remains free of charge or by suggested donation.
This year’s festival is hybrid in more ways. While most of the events were programmed by VFA, others have been conceived and created by guest curators, including Indigenous curator Samantha Nock, and Danny Ramadan, who has created an event featuring new Canadians.
The bookends of this year’s festival feature work at very different stages of completion. New Works, on the Wednesday evening, showcases four local writers who are gifting audiences a sneak peek at their manuscripts in-progress, while Sunday evening, in conjunction with the Victoria Book Prize Society, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize will be awarded.