Creemore collective plans literary festival

Quill & Quire
July 1, 2016

A group of booksellers and authors residing near Creemore, Ontario, are organizing the area’s first-ever literary festival, a one-day event taking place Sept. 17.

Curiosity House Books owner and operator Rina Barone, fellow staffer Jennifer Hubbs, local self-published author Simon Heath, and writer Kristi-Ly Green have had a vision of sharing literature and arts with the community amid a picturesque, natural setting for some time now.

“We all have a strong interest, obviously, in literature. There’s this really magical place, Dunedin, a tiny hamlet seven kilometres west of Creemore. It’s right in nature, there’s a river and a beautiful park; it’s a respite from busy life. We always thought it would be the perfect setting for a literature festival,” Barone says. “We’ve always talked about doing it, and this year [decided] we’re going to.”

The Dunedin Literary Festival, to which the facilitators have lent the epithet Words in the Woods, will offer a mix of free and ticketed all-day literature-based activities for adults and children, including multiple events with award-winning poet and novelist Anne Michaels – a performance reading of her children’s book, The Adventures of Miss Petitfour; a dialogue with music and words alongside local musicians; and an in-depth Q&A on the 20th anniversary of Fugitive Pieces – and a guided hike and nature-writing workshop with author Nicola Ross.

The children’s area will feature life-sized wire horse installations by a local artist, large-format colouring pages by colouring book creator Steve MacDonald, and award-winning sheep from a local farmer to complement a reading of Jennifer Churchman and John Churchman‘s children’s book, The Sheepover.

“We just want to do things a little bit differently, more Dunedin style, how things happen here. And we’re really using the setting. The setting is like a character,” Barone says. “Our mission is to bring arts and culture and literature to everyone, to make it accessible and break down any perceptions, and do it in a fun atmosphere. We’re bringing everything this area is known for, like music and food and arts, all to one place with literature as its core.”