Michael Ondaatje and Jane Urquhart Headliners of 2017 Alice Munro Festival
The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story, celebrating Huron County’s Nobel Prize-winning short story writer, will be held June 2-4, centred mostly in Wingham, the town of the author’s birth.
The festival features guests, authors who are offering workshops for emerging writers, panel discussions and writers’ roundtables. A Jubilee Gala celebrates the work of Alice Munro and winners of the short story competition are presented their awards.
The festival kicks off Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Blyth’s Memorial Hall with a special showing of Michael Ondaatje’s film, The Clinton Special about the creation of the iconic play The Farm Show near Clinton in 1972. Ondaatje and Paul Thompson, director of the show, will be on hand to discuss the film.
Those buying a writer’s pass to the festival will be able to sit in on four master classes as well as other events. A master class will be held on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in the council chambers of the Wingham Town Hall with Newfoundland short story author and editor Eva Crocker followed by Kyo Maclear, Canadian novelist and children’s author, next door at the Alice Munro Library at 10:45 a.m.
For those purchasing a reader’s pass, Saturday morning begins at 9 a.m. with an author panel: “Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunties” with authors Falen Johnson, Cherie Dimaline and Lee Maracle at the Town Hall Heritage Theatre in Wingham. At 10:45 there will be an author reading by Marnie Jackson and Merilyn Simonds that will take place in the council chambers of the same building.
Also at 10:45 a.m. the theatre upstairs will feature the film Theatre Beyond Walls by Rachel Thompson about the work of her father, legendary theatre director and Order of Canada member Paul Thompson.
After a lunch to honour the winners of the short story competition, the afternoon program begins with the film Al Purdy Was Here by Brian D. Johnson in the theatre at 2:30 p.m. There will be a master class with Merilyn Simonds at the library and author readings by Kyo Maclear and Lee Maracle across the street at St. Andrew’s Church.
At 4:30 p.m. Eva Crocker and Falen Johnson will read at the church while Marni Jackson conducts a master class in the council chambers.
Saturday evening from 8-10:15 a discussion of the making of film of The Drawer Boy with Arturo Pérez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff will be held at Blyth Memorial Hall.
Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life, and local guide Roger Goddard will lead a birding walk along the Maitland Trail.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Livery Theatre in Goderich will host “Books & Brunch” with Merilyn Simonds, Marni Jackson and Eva Crocker.
More info and tickets is available on their website: alicemunrofestival.ca