to beautiful Granville Island and to the fifteenth Vancouver International
Writers & Readers Festival. It’s hard to believe that
fifteen years have passed since I welcomed the first writers to
the stages of Granville Island. What an exciting and interesting
fifteen years they have been. We’ve heard and engaged with
some of the world’s best writers and learned about new and
lesser-known ones. We’ve also brought to Vancouver writers
who were unknown when they appeared at the Festival but subsequently
have become some of the hottest writers around. I think specifically
of writers such as Richard Ford, Ian Rankin, Thomas King, Shani
Mootoo—all of whom were unfamiliar to Festival audiences the
first time they came to Vancouver.
This Festival continues to be about reading
and writing, books and writers and about how to get as much enjoyment
as possible from both. The Festival is committed to promoting reading,
and we are pleased to welcome once again a wonderful array of gifted
writers to Vancouver.
I hope you will find events that will appeal
to your many tastes. I have endeavoured to create again this year
a program that is eclectic, interesting, entertaining and challenging.
You can come with friends or family. Or, if you choose to come on
your own, you are sure to run into others of like mind—and
perhaps make new friends who share your interest in reading and
The atmosphere at the Festival is relaxed
and informal. Please feel free to speak to me during the Festival
to give me feedback as well as the names of any authors you might
like to see on the list in future years.