An image of a joyful, applauding audience
Come alive again at Canada’s liveliest literary festival | Photo: Courtesy of Wordfest

Wordfest’s Imaginairium

Literary festival returns to delight its expanded community

Haider Ali

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary

Calgarians are invited to come alive again when Wordfest presents Imaginairium, a lively literary festival featuring more than 60 of the world’s best writers in 40-plus events crafted to spark connection.

The eight-day Imaginairium is a multisensory return to in-person experiences of seeing, doing, eating, drinking, mingling, imagining, gathering and celebrating together in venues throughout the Beltline starting Thursday, September 29, 2022.

“The Imaginairium is a confetti cannon of big, generous ideas,” says Wordfest CEO & Creative Ringleader Shelley Youngblut. “The Wordfest community has, for nearly three years, not only stayed together but grown marvellously, all while remaining physically apart. Now, we’re set to welcome Wordfesters old and new, along with the planet’s best writers, back to Calgary. We’re not just opening the doors to our home in Memorial Park Library again, we’re spilling into the streets and activating an entire neighbourhood to come alive with the most exciting stories and ideas. We cannot wait.”

So, what’s on our must-see list? Here are our top picks for this year’s festival:

A promo image for Imaginairium

Truth & Reconciliation: One Town’s Story

September 30, 2022, 7:30 – 8:45pm
Memorial Park Library (2nd floor, 1221 2nd St. SW)

Lawyers Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii) and Andrew Stobo Sniderman introduce us to multiple generations of two families, one white and one Indigenous, and weave their lives into the larger story of Canada. It is a story of villains and heroes, irony and idealism, racism and reconciliation.

Forage & Make Ink with Jason Logan

October 2, 2022, 10am – 12 noon
Alexander Calhoun Salon, Memorial Park Library (1221 2nd St. SW)

Jason Logan, founder of the Toronto Ink Company and author of Make Ink, offers a guided workshop in natural ink-making. Participants learn the fundamentals of foraging for pigments from local roots, nuts, berries and even rusty bolts to make their own ink in this two-hour workshop.

Inter-Activity: Question Everything

October 3, 2022, 7 – 8:30pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SW)

Everyone seems to think they have all the answers right now, but few of us value asking questions. In this new unique format, Wordfest is asking super-smart but refreshingly humble authors to share questions that bewitch, bother or bewilder them, which they’ll also attempt to answer.

Spirited Conversation with André Alexis & Suzette Mayr

October 4, 2022, 7 – 8:30pm
Memorial Park Library (2nd floor, 1221 2nd St. SW)

This perfect pairing of authors André Alexis and Suzette Mayr only gets tastier with an exclusive sake tasting, curated by Lonely Mouth Bar’s Amanda Jansen. Sit back and enjoy four premium pours of Japan’s finest, along with an insider’s discussion of two brilliant new novels.

Celebrating Calgary: Laureate-A-Rama

October 6, 2022, 7 – 8:30pm
DJD Dance Centre (111 12th Ave. SW)

This closing night showcase hosted by Naheed Nenshi is a celebration of Calgary’s most vocal arts ambassadors — our poet laureates. Catch Kris Demeanor, derek beaulieu, Micheline Maylor, Sheri-D Wilson, Natalie Meisner and Wakefield Brewster perform onstage!

Wordfest’s Imaginairium Festival runs September 29 to October 6, 2022, and the full schedule with more details can be found at