VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The pandemic has forced event organizers to get creative and the people behind the Vancouver Writers Festival are no exception.
For more than three decades, one of North America’s premiere literary events has allowed readers the chance to delve between the pages, and explore the world of storytelling ever year on the third week of October.
But after the world turned upside down last year, the festival organizers were forced to rethink the annual event at Granville Island, which typically saw some 20,000 attendees.
Turning the page and putting 2020 behind them, organizers say they are excited to finally return to some in-person events with world-leading writers set to lead conversations in a range of themes.
Artistic director Leslie Hurtig says the program features in-person and digital events, and a third option that combines the two to allow the event to run safely.
However, it will still feel far from normal.
On Oct 23, @jessewente (appearing online) and @TanyaTalaga (in-person) discuss how to how to move forward through the myth of reconciliation, and transcend our current systems, for a fair and equitable future. Presented w/ @PenguinRandomCA.https://t.co/MjVy06YI38#VWF2021 pic.twitter.com/NM18GiBVP8
— Vancouver Writers Fest (@VanWritersFest) September 12, 2021
“We are going to be running movie-theatre style cinema down here on Granville Island where people can come and join together in a socially distanced way with masks,” she said adding that everyone will be required to be vaccinated.
Under the guidance by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, all indoor festivals will be required to ask attendees to show a proof of immunization.
“We have our usual in-person events, we have a very large selection of 100 per cent digital events, and then we have hybrid events where you may have one or two authors on a stage with a moderator and a flat screen tv where another author is beaming in for a conversation,” she said.
The event will also allow some adaptability, to maximize the comfort level for all involved, as some may not feel completely comfortable with a group after more than a year and half of social distancing.
To find out more about the online options, attendees are urged to go to their website.
“Frankly, I can’t wait to get back to the majority of our events being in person again down here on the beautiful Granville Island using all the venues that we possibly can,” Hurtig said.
Tickets for the 2021 edition are now on sale, the festival runs from Oct. 18 – 24.