Elmdale Public School’s BookFest lands literary headliners

Special to KT by Claus Anthonisen

Frances Itani, the multiple award-winning author of books for children and adults, whose latest work, Tell, was short-listed for a Giller, will be reading from her work at the Elmdale BookFest.

While it will surprise no one that, after nearly 25 years of annual festivities, Elmdale Public School’s BookFest will be returning on Feb. 27-28, this year, organizers have found a way to highlight the literary aspect of the festival.

“We felt that, over time, fundraising had maybe taken priority over reading and writing at BookFest, and that we should think more about hands-on book-related activities for the kids,” says Peter Laughton, festival organizer. “We’d also heard that author readings were once a prominent part of the celebration, and that this would be a good way to shift the emphasis back.”

This year, Elmdale students will once again join with the community in a race to collect books to raise funds for a variety of causes, including the school’s many programs. But just down the hall from the sale, several prominent authors will read from their work. Expected to appear are: Frances Itani; Mark Sutcliffe, author of Why I Run; Bob Plamondon, author The Truth about Trudeau; Robert McMechan, the author of Allison’s Brain; and Charles Gordon, journalist and author of At the Cottage and The Canadian Trip.

In the lead up to BookFest, kids will participate in a variety of literacy oriented activities including a ‘Make your own Book’ project so that kids can add their own literary projects to the school library.

BookFest will take place in the school gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday Feb. 27, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28.

“Every year the kids and the community get pretty involved, but this year will be something special,” says Laughton.

More information about the author readings and BookFest itself, can be found at elmdalecouncil.com, or by emailing Pete Laughton at elmdalebookfest@gmail.com. Book donations can be picked up by contacting kathclaus@sympatico.ca.


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