Lethbridge’s Word on the Street Festival returns to celebrate literacy and books – Lethbridge

The Word on the Street Festival celebrated reading for all on Saturday, as people, dogs and Lethbridge Boots the goat welcomed the annual in-person event.

Shoe owners Susan Iman and Jeff MacDonald said it was great to see people stepping back from society harnessing the power of books.

“I think it’s important, and what I hear is the desire of parents to be role models for their children, to be involved, to learn different things and to go out into the community and be a part of that,” Iman said. “This is a great way to do that.”

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The festival is back in person for the first time since 2019 after several years of COVID-19 restrictions.

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“It’s good to start hearing from people that they were looking forward to the festival and that they missed it,” said Elizabeth Hegerat, director of community development and economics at Lethbridge Public Library.

More than 30 Canadian writers participated in the event.

“The idea of ​​bringing books and just reading and the excitement around reading to the street is a great one,” said Gillian Gowers, illustrator and author.

Guyers has published two graphic novels during the pandemic, and she said she hopes to normalize comic books as an educational tool.

“People who spend their time reading can at least catch the storytelling elements that the pictures bring in, and if the words come later, it’s not like they’re not reading,” Gowers said. “I have heard nothing but great praise from teachers about how excited their children are about graphic novels.

“In a way, this is a new and unprecedented genre and it helps reluctant readers come back to books which is great.”

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The Word on the Street Festival is not only a place for readers of all ages but writers as well.

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Lethbridge-based Jill Asling started her writing career in 2018. She attended a fiction writing workshop with writer Barb Geiger where she noted that she learned a very important lesson.

“How much you have to work as a writer; it’s a lot of work,” said Asling.

Lethbridge Public Library is already planning an event next year. Hjerat says she can’t wait to welcome more great Canadian authors into 2023.

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