Nino Ricci, Great Lake Swimmers at Dunedin Literary Festival

By Trina Berlo
September 1, 2017

This year’s Dunedin Literary Festival will feature author Nino Ricci and band Great Lake Swimmers.

Ricci’s first novel, Lives of the Saints, garnered international acclaim and won a host of awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and was adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren. He is also the author of Testament, winner of the Trillium Award, and of The Origin of Species, which earned him his second Governor General’s Award. His most recent novel is the critically acclaimed Sleep, voted one of the top 5 books of 2015 by the Toronto Star and one of the top 100 by the Globe and Mail.

He will join The Great Lake Swimmers on stage for the headline act. They will collaborate with readings, performance, original songs from the band, and a Q&A with fellow musician and radio personality Vish Khanna. Great Lake Swimmers is a Canadian band built around the melodic folk rock songs of singer-songwriter Tony Dekker. A Forest Of Arms is the sixth album from Great Lake Swimmers and the follow up to 2012’s New Wild Everywhere. With a surging rhythm section, razor sharp violin, and flourishing banjo and guitars, Dekker and band mates have pushed their sound significantly, creating some of their most dynamic songs ever recorded.

The band’s album Swimming Away features “Condition White,” commissioned for the series Torn From The Pages and is based on the novel Sleep.

Earlier that day, Ricci will be in conversation with good friend and fellow novelist Antanas Sileika discussing “A Life in Literature”.

In its second year, Dunedin Literary Festival is from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The festival line-up also includes Alison PickClaire CameronDoug SaundersTrevor ColeAndrew PyperNick CutterDan NeedlesCecily RossKate HiltonKerry ClareBrent PrestonCatherine BushRoo BorsonMichael FraserPat Raible and Paul Eprile, who has just finished a translation of Melville by Jean Giono. There will be panel discussions, author readings, and poetry performances throughout the day.

Soon-to-be published Dufferin Hikes: Loops & Lattes author Nicola Ross will lead a guided hike in the area, as well as a travel-writing workshop.

Attendees can also purchase a ticket for a special workshop and dinner at The New Farm with bestselling author and farmer Brent Preston, his wife and co-owner Gillian Flies, and Toronto Chef Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station for the night before the festival Friday, Sept. 8.

At Storybook Park, younger readers can participate in daylong activities with children’s authors and librarians, which focus on fun. Story time and crafts abound. There will also be a live bird demo and educational talk.

Readings and activities in the park are free.

Tickets ($15 each) will be available for Nicola Ross’ guided hike and travel-writing workshop, and for Nino Ricci and Great Lake Swimmers evening performance and reading at the Dunedin Hall ($25). Tickets to the Friday workshop and dinner at The New Farm cost $100.

Creemore-based indie bookstore Curiosity House Books & Gallery will set up a pop-up shop in a vintage trailer to sell books. There will also be food stands, an artisan vendor area and a playground for the kids.