Room magazine launches Growing Room, a feminist literary festival

The Growing Room Festival is Room magazine’s inaugural literary festival, a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists.

Growing Room, which will take place March 8, 11-12, 2017 in Vancouver, will mark both International Women’s Day (March 8) and the publication of Making Room: Forty Years of Room Magazine, an anthology of writing by Canadian women and genderqueer writers from the magazine 1975-2016.

The festival will feature more than 40 writers and artists in more than 20 events. Among the line-up are acclaimed writers Amber Dawn, Evelyn Lau, Lorna Crozier, Audrey Thomas, Jen Sookfong Lee, Hiromi Goto, Betsy Warland, and Rachel Hartman, who’ll share the stage with a host of other established and up-and-coming names.

The festival will begin on Wednesday, March 8 with a night of celebration at The Fox Cabaret. All (ages 19+) are welcome to ring in Room’s 40th year and International Women’s Day with drinks, food entertainment, and activities to inspire and fuel your feminism.

Over the festival weekend (March 11 and 12), panels and readings will cover topics such as community building (“Writing in (the) Community”), feminist humour (“Funny Feminists”), writing about pregnancy (“Character Development”) and more. Low-cost writing workshops with veteran writers such as Ontario-based Marianne Apostolides or Kwantlen University’s Jen Currin will help aspiring writers gain valuable skills in small group settings.

To close out the festivities on Sunday, March 12, Vancouver poets Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli (who co-wrote last year’s Rom Com from Talonbooks) will host a live recording of their irreverent podcast, Can’t Lit, with special guests Juliane Okot Bitek and Leah Horlick.

Over the three days of the festival, Growing Room organizers expect an audience of 500+ to flock to Creekside Community Centre and the rooftop events space in their office in Mount Pleasant, where the majority of events will be held. Although the festival has branded itself as feminist, the organizers hope that anyone with a passion for literature will feel welcome to attend. Most panels and readings are recommended for adult audiences, but a workshop on March 12 with Fiona Tinwei Lam (presented in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library) is designed to be ‘intergenerational,’ and participants are encouraged to attend with a family member.

All events are free, with the exception of the workshops ($15-$30 to register) and the launch part on March 8 ($10 cover).

View the event schedule | Register For Events