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Lethbridge Word On The Street Festival 2011What a great day! Fabulous weather, amazing musicians, authors and performers, dozens of dedicated volunteers, awesome food, and great support from the almost 2000 people who came out to enjoy the day down at the first Word On The Street Lethbridge!  On behalf of the Festival team and the Library staff who have worked so hard to pull this event together, we thank you.

Now we want to hear what you thought. For anyone who took part in some way, we invite you to fill out this 10 question survey and be entered to win an E-Book Reader! Here’s the survey link:

And if you’d like to share your impressions please submit photos or comments on our Facebook WOTS Lethbridge page:

Thank you to everyone! Let’s do this again next year!


spoken word performer Sheri D here live at Lethbridge Word On The Street 2011So excited to have Sheri D performing at our Lethbridge Word On The Street Festival! Here’s a clip from our CKXU radio show featuring Sheri D right after the intro from host Blaine Greenwood, and check out her amazing accomplishments below:

Sheri-D Wilson has seven collections of poetry; her most recent, Autopsy of a Turvy World (2008, Frontenac House), was launched in April at the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. Her last collection, Re:Zoom (2005, Frontenac House), won the 2006 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the CanLit award. She has two Spoken Word CDs (arranged by Russell Broom), and four award-winning VideoPoems: Airplane Paula (2001), Spinsters Hanging in Trees (2002), Surf Rave Girrly Girrl (2004), and The Panty Portal (2008), all produced for BravoFACT.

Other Awards Include:
CBC Arts Top Ten Poets in Canada (2009), ffwd Readers’ Choice – Best Poet (2007-2010), Global TV’s Woman of Vision Award (2006), SpoCan Award (2005), Bumbershoot Heavyweight Title for Poetry USA (2003), Gold Award at the Houston Film Festival (2003), Three ACE awards (2003), AMPIA (2003, for best short or vignette), CBC Face-off (2002)
Reading Highlights:
Maple Stirrup en El Arco de la virgin 2010 (Barcelona), Art 4 Change 2010 (Harlem), FiEstival maelstrÖm reEvolution 2010 (Brussels), Blue Met 2009 (Montreal), Voix d'Amériques 2008,‘05 (Montreal), Bumbershoot 2003, ‘99, ‘92, ‘91, ‘89 (Seattle), Vancouver International Writers Festival 2002, ‘00, ‘95, ‘93, ‘90 (Vancouver), The World Poetry Bout 2002 (Taos, New Mexico), Poetry Africa 2001 (South Africa), Shakespeare and Co. 2001 (Paris), WordFest 2000, ‘95 (Calgary, Banff), Harbourfront Reading Series 1993 (Toronto), Small Press Festival 1990 (New York City).

Other Highlights: Women and Words, 2003-2008 (instructor), Vagina Monologues, 2007: Calgary, First Time Eyes: Unearthing Spoken Word, 2007 essay (Canadian Theatre Review), Heart of a Poet, 2006, featured poet documentary series, Bowery Project, 2005 (Instructor), Alberta Scene, 2005 (a commemoration of Alberta's centennial), Human Rights Symposium 2005: Victoria, Sounds Like Canada, 2002 CBC Poet in Residence, Addicted: Notes From The Belly Of The Beast, 2001 essay entitled Blackout, Confessions a Jazz Play, 1991 text of play (Theatrum). Of the beat tradition, in 1989 Sheri-D studied at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in Boulder, Colorado.


Southern Alberta singer songwriter Jean Greer McCarthy

Southern Alberta singer songwriter Jean Greer McCarthy

We are pretty excited about the variety of music talent that will be performing alongside the Festival authors. Some of the featured acts include singer songwriter Jean Greer McCarthy, who I first met about 10 years ago when I was doing an article for Lethbridge Living Magazine.

Since that time, Jean has received recognition for her numerous roles as a community leader; one of the founding partners for Alberta home builder Greer Homes, she was selected for both  2007 and 2008 Profit Guide Top 100 Canadian Women Business Owners and was the president of the Lethbridge Canadian Home Builders Association.

In recent years she has also found time to develop a second career as a singer songwriter and we are thrilled to have her take part in The Word On The Street Festival September 25th. You can find her in our archives for the CKXU radio interview  on our Festival facebook page, and listen to some of the songs she will be performing on this CBC link:

Happy Tuesday from the Festival crew… :-)


Making history both relevant and interesting to read is a very challenging genre to work in for a writer, but Jane Harris Zsovan makes it look easy.  She writes on subjects that are fascinating for her and I was completely hooked as she shared details of both the Eugenics book and the history of the Galt family during our recent interview on CKXU.

Author Jane Harris Zsovan brings history to life

Her publisher provides a bit more detail here:

“Jane Harris Zsovan’s writing combines a fierce commitment to accuracy, thorough research, and a lively style to reveal the personalities and issues behind contemporary and historical Canada.  Her newest book, Eugenics and the Firewall (J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, November 2010, Dist. University of Toronto Press) investigates the role of populism and religion in Alberta’s political culture. It  looks at how that culture contributed to the largest eugenic scandal in the British Empire.  She also authored Stars Appearing: The Galts’ Vision of Canada (Volumes,2006), which explores the unique place of Lethbidge Alberta, the  only city in Canada co-founded by a Father of Confederation, through the lives of John Galt, founder of Guelph Ontario; and his son and grandson, Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt and Elliot Torrance Galt.  Jane’s anthology contributions include “Jessie’s Generation: Canada’s Firebrands of Mercy and Justice” in Hot Apple Cider: Stories to Warm the Heart and Stir the Soul and “Wen-dizing the West” in Taking Care of Business( HB Fenn 1997)

Her  articles and columns on contemporary Canadian culture, history, social issues, faith, and business have been published in more than a dozen  magazines including  National Post, Alberta Views, Alberta Venture, Lethbridge Living, Western Standard, Award Magazine, Alberta Home, The Anglican Planet, and Faith Today and Christian Herald.  She`s also written commissioned histories for the Sir Alexander Galt Museum (The Public Spirited Life of Arthur George Baalim 1992) and the Lethbridge Community College Faculty Association (A Place Built By Special People 1995).”

Lots of exciting things happening in and around The Word On The Street Festival! The Lethbridge Public Library in conjunction with The Most Vocal Poets Society is bringing Radio Personality and Poet Nik Beat to Lethbridge.

“Nik Beat has spent much time writing and playing music, and this shows in the lyricism of his work. His images and narratives are celebrations of pop culture, which allow his poetry to be direct, unpretentious, and uninhibited. ” (

Find him in the Theatre Gallery at the Lethbridge Public Library on September 22nd.  He’ll be setting the pace for what is guarenteed to be an awesome weekend of spoken word, authors, music and fun!  

Check out Nik Beat’s God Is A Romantic Scientist, Night Makes Us All Stars or Sir Real on our Myspace Page or keep your ears tuned to CKXU Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m  to catch his tracks on The Word On The Street Radio Show.

Y.S. Lee wrote "The Traitor In The Tunnel"

Wow! I am starting to feel as though the Festival is developing a life of it’s own! Every day, we are being contacted by more and more authors, musicians, volunters and community organizations who are hearing about how much fun this is and want to get involved. Thank you Lethbridge!

The Library staff are an amazing connection into the author world and have been busy dreaming up great ideas for innovative Festival programs.  Teenbrarian (love that job title!) Paige McGeorge has organized a series of Skype chats for Festival day with authors including Y.S. Lee, Erin Bow, Maryrose Wood, Natale Ghent and Don Calame with more in the works to be announced soon.  

This Sunday on CKXU 88.3 FM listen to Alderman Liz Iwaskiw and LPL Associate Director Christina Wilson live from 5:00 til 6:00 pm …  have a happy Street Wheelers weekend from the Festival management team!

The Lethbridge Public Library, in conjunction with CKXU Radio Network, has launched a summer-long live radio show to promote the inaugural The Word On The Street Festival and celebrate literacy and literary art in our city. Each segment features one or more local personalities in discussion with the radio host along with music and spoken word! Keep your dials tuned each Sunday from 5 to 6 p.m to CKXU 88.3 for updates on the festival, sneak peaks of the artists and authors involved and hints at where our next live FLASH MOB will be!

Out of range? You can tune in online at

Missed an episode? Thats A-OK, you can catch up here or on our Facebook page anytime!


The Word On The Street Festival is pleased to announce that Betty Jane Hegerat will be joining the festival line up for this September!

Betty Jane writes from a longstanding fascination with relationships and families and the secrets and lies that bind ordinary lives together. She is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories.  A book of creative non-fiction, The Boy, which is told around a mass murder in Alberta in 1959, was published by Oolichan Books in spring 2011.  A social worker by profession, Betty Jane now teaches creative writing for Continuing Education at the University of Calgary and for the Alexandra Writers Centre and other venues. She was the 2009 Writer in Residence at the Memorial Park Library.

Take a listen to Betty Jane read from her new novel The Boy  from The Word On The Street CKXU Radio show. The program will be running all summer long until the Festival debuts on September 25th! So keep your dials tuned to 88.3 FM or online from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday nights for more interviews with local celebrities and authors, music and festival updates.


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