A poster for Wordfest's Imaginarium


Calgary is a readers delight when this wordy festival rolls around

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $225
Buy Tickets

Calling all word nerds, book lovers, and fans of all things literary. Here’s your chance to dive into Calgary’s festival dedicated to readers as Wordfest returns with over 50 events. It’s your chance to experience the Imaginarium.

Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good book, so get ready as the festival gears up to spark lively, illuminating, and meaningful conversations between Calgary’s readers and the world’s most engaging writers. This year’s docket includes traditional readings and interview-style presentations along with storytelling events, book-themed trivia nights, poetry cabarets, and so much more.

And with over 65 artists, you are bound to find at least one event that piques your fancy. Us? We picked our not-to-be-missed events. Read on and get your tickets while you still can:

A Celebration of Calvin & Hobbes

October 8, 2018, 10:00am – 2:30pm
Memorial Park Library (1221 2nd St. SW)
Free, registration required for some events

Marking its second annual free family fun day with indoor and outdoor activities, this Thanksgiving is all about beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. With a drawing workshop by Michael Grills and story time with Michael Hingston, the day even includes a more grown-up discussion of Hingston’s Let’s Go Exploring and a performance by the Heebee-jeebees.

Literary Death Match

October 10, 2018, 9:00 – 11:00pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
$25 – $35

Always a festival favourite, this year’s Literary Death Match brings together an eclectic mix of authors to perform their most electric passages. They have seven minutes to sway a judging panel made up of their peers while being cheered on by a boisterous audience.

Between the Pages: An Evening with the Soctiabank Giller Prize Finalists

October 11, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University (4825 Mount Royal Gate SW)
$30 – $35

A celebration of the best in Canadian fiction, this gala evening is hosted by The Next Chapter’s Shelagh Rogers. Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to experience readings and conversation with the five authors vying for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize—Patrick deWitt, Eric Dupont, Esi Edugyan, Sheila Heti, and Thea Lim.

Poetry Cabaret

October 12, 2018, 9:00 – 11:00pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
$20 – $25

Hosted by Dymphny Dronyk, enjoy unique and poetic perspectives from across Canada at this annual highlight. The evening is presented in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets.

Dick Lit’s Festival Edition

October 13, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Engagement Lab, Memorial Park Library (2nd Floor, 1221 2nd St. SW)
$20 – $25

Returning for its spectacular festival edition, here’s your chance to prove you’re the smartest person in the Imaginarium. All trivia questions are loosely inspired by a particular author’s work, but familiarity with the work is not required and will not necessarily increase your chances of winning.

Indigenous Voices Showcase

October 14, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SE)
$20 – $25

Ryan McMahon hosts Tommy Orange, Waubgeshig Rice, Katherena Vermette, and Joshua Whitehead for this multi-genre showcase featuring contemporary Indigenous literature.

Tanya Tagaq

October 15, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University (4825 Mount Royal Gate SW)
$25 – $45

Not just a reading, nor a conversation, nor a performance, trust us when we say you won’t want to miss this evening hosted by Vivek Shraya. This special event includes a copy of Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth.

Wordfest runs October 8 to 15, 2018 and both individual tickets and festival passes are still available at wordfest.com.