During the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries and literary festivals, like countless businesses and organizations across Canada, have created innovative strategies to connect with their patrons.
Here in Kingston, Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) has moved their programming onto YouTube and Zoom, and Kingston WritersFest offered their entire annual festival virtually as Zoom webinars. According to a joint release from both KFPL and Kingston Writerfest, the success of both has shown that there’s an appetite for virtual events in our community, and the same is true across Canada.
One Page Canadian Literary Series is a ground-breaking initiative, according to the release, which is bringing together Canada’s largest literary festivals and library systems to help readers and writers connect virtually. One Page aims to offer events that are engaging, relevant, and reflective of contemporary book culture in Canada and abroad with live and pre-recorded events that the public can access for free across the country.
“For readers, there’s something magical about meeting a writer – getting a glimpse into the creative process, connecting with the creator who imagined favourite characters into being, or discovering someone new whose books you’ll anticipate dipping into,” explains Kimberly Sutherland Mills, Manager of Programming and Outreach. “One Page will help us broaden our own programming, bringing international voices to our local audience.”
Barbara Bell, Kingston WritersFest’s Artistic Director, is a founding member of One Page, sits on the steering and curation committees, and has been actively involved in the planning since the spring.
“It has been an invigorating and positive collaboration with four other literary festivals and Toronto Public Library to shape this initiative in the midst of the pandemic, and wonderful to have the opportunity to present programming that might otherwise never be available to audiences in Canada,” says Bell.
In late September, organizers reached out to library systems and other literary festivals across the country and KFPL came on board. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer such high-quality content,” Sutherland Mills says. “Collaborating with One Page allows us to bring events featuring international literary stars to our patrons.” Adds Bell, “Kingston WritersFest looks forward to working with KFPL to promote One Page events, as well as other more local programming, which will also be included on the One Page website.”
All One Page events will be offered via Crowdcast. Subscribe to receive notifications at onepagelit.ca. KFPL and Kingston WritersFest also encourage readers to sign up for their e-newsletters to receive the news about their local events.
Read more and register for this week’s event, Anne Enright: Actress, through the KFPL event page: https://calendar.kfpl.ca/event/4639788