The writers and artists featured in this issue were all intended to appear in person at our 2020 Growing Room Literary & Arts Festival, which was cancelled due to COVID-19. Since the festival-that-never-was, Room had to rethink how thinkers, writers, artists, and community members gather to share art and space. This reimagining of a festival into an extended issue necessitated concessions but also extended relationship building with the writers and artists featured, which is something I cherish very dearly. Particularly these days.
Every festival event and issue coordination has taken place on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Thank you to the original stewards of this land for creating a space for us to do this work. The 2020 festival and this issue would not have been possible without Chelene Knight, Nav Nagra, Selina Boan, Meagan Joy Black, Mica Lemiski, Kayi Wong, Dana Kagis, Serena Bhandar, Carleigh Baker, Jillian Christmas, Isabella Wang, the Indigenous Brilliance team (jaye simpson, Emily Dundas Oke, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, and Patricia Massy), who were staff, programming committee members, and special event curators.
Special thanks to Amber Dawn, Erika Thorkelson, Maneo Mohale, Nisa Malli, Domenica Martinello, Amal Rana, Dina Del Bucchia, Aimee Louw, Rachel Thompson, the Emily Carr Writers Centre, Massy Books, Cicely Belle Blain and Becca Schwenk with Cicely Blain Consulting, Heather McCain with Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods, and Chelene Knight with Breathing Space Creative.
We put so much love, time, and labour into creating a festival that represented storytelling in the many different ways we know it to exist: writing, spoken word, visual art, movement, magic, and more. The result may look different from the original intention, but it is still full of that same love. I hope you feel it too.
hiy hiy, Jessica Johns
$12.00 – $21.00
Canada, USA, Outside North America
ROOM 44.1, Growing Room
Edited by Jessica Johns
In This Issue: Afuwa, Amber Dawn, Manahil Bandukwala, Adèle Barclay, Bronwyn Berg, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Cassandra Blanchard, Selina Boan, Tanya Boteju, Francine Cunningham, Jen Currin, Annahid Dashtgard, Dina Del Bucchia
Rebecca Fisseha, Chantal Gibson, Soo Jeong, Aisha Sasha John, Eve Joseph, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Corinne Manning, Domenica Martinello, Tash McAdam, Lucia Misch, Maneo Mohale, Shani Mootoo, Alessandra Naccarato, April dela Noche Milne, Kat Norris, Otoniya J Okot Bitek, Sharon Pink, Hazel Jane Plante, Amal Rana, Rebecca Salazar, Alisha Sian, jaye simpson, Mallory Tater, Kai Cheng Thom, Cheryl Thompson, Erika Thorkelson, Rhea Tregebov, Addie Tsai, Arielle Twist, beni xiao, Adrienne Yeung