5 Feminist Events at the Vancouver Writers Festival

Posted by 
Rebecca Peng

Though the act of writing can be a solitary process, it has the power to transform communities. Vancouver will welcome more than eighty authors from October 15-21, 2018, each invested in societal change. These five events will galvanize anyone interested in knowledgeable, feminist, and principled conversations that fearlessly engage with issues of representation, equality, and more.  

Starting Over
Friday, October 19 at 6:00pm

How do you walk away from your career to begin again? How do you reshape your life on your own terms? Jackie Kai Ellis walked away from a seemingly picture-perfect life to follow her passions of travel and cooking, eventually founding Vancouver’s own Beaucoup Bakery. The Measure of My Powers is a warm, intimate memoir on courageously pursuing what you truly love. In End of the Rope, Jan Redford throws herself against mountainsides, finding her worth through scaling cliffs. A trailblazer in the 80s and 90s, she reflects on entrenched sexism in her climbing circles, and pushing back against expectations to pursue her own less-than-conventional dreams. The conversation between these two raw, boundary-defying memoirists is sure to inspire.

Buffy Sainte-Marie in Conversation with Andrea Warner
Sunday, October 21 at 7:30pm

Legendary folk singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a tireless advocate for justice. Sainte-Marie is a fierce survivor, overcoming abuse, racism and blacklistings to receive, among numerous other accolades, the only Academy Award ever to be won by an Indigenous performer. Sainte-Marie will speak to biographer Andrea Warner about her stunning legacy of art and activism. It’s a not to be missed conversation on a creating art without compromising your principles.

The Evolution of Man
Friday, October 19 at 10:00am

In each of their respective books, Rachel Giese (Boys: What It Means to Become A Man), Jamil Jivani (Why Young Men) and Daemon Fairless (Mad Blood Stirring) investigate the roots of male violence and how to reshape masculine ideals. Drawing from their backgrounds in law, journalism and neuroscientists, these three authors provide compelling, urgent arguments for how we can all positively move forward in the fight for equality.

The Things We Inherit
Saturday October 20 at 10:30am

Sometimes, the strongest barriers we encounter come from those closest to us. Leading Canadian feminist writer Betsy Warland interviews four stunning talents on grappling with familial grief, secrets and trauma. Spanning a variety of communities, Peter Gajdics (The Inheritance of Shame), Elizabeth Hay (All Things Consoled), Chelene Knight (Dear Current Occupant) and Lindsay Wong (The Woo-Woo) each provide sharp insights on how to nurture your own voice in the face of the most intimate and deeply internalized obstacles.  

The Writing Life
Friday October 19 at 6:00pm

The writing process can be as interesting and enlightening as the final product, especially when authors wrestle with issues of marginalization and prejudice. Spanning genres and disciplines, Cherie Dimaline (The Marrow Thieves), Sabrina Mahfouz (How You Might Know Me), Eden Robinson (Trickster Drift) and Vivek Shraya (I’m Afraid of Men) and moderator Waubgeshig Rice (Moon of the Crusted Snow) for an honest, practical conversation about life as a writer and how they bring their crucial narratives to life.

To learn more about these events, and more, visit the Vancouver Writers Festival website here.

Rebecca Peng is a writer currently living on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She graduated from UBC with distinction as the English Honours Medalist. She has previously contributed to SAD Magazine.

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