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Summer festival roundup: Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts

In the June issue of Q&Q, we tour five of the country’s most intriguing literary festivals.

Zsuzsi Gartner at the 2011 festival

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts
August 16“19, Sechelt, B.C.

Accessible only by boat or plane, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts draws audiences from across Canada and B.C. (including a Kamloops book club that’s attended for the last 10 years), lured by its focus on Canadian writers and the idyllic scenery. All events take place in an open-air pavilion, situated in the middle of a heritage garden. According to festival producer Jane Davidson, most events put the spotlight on one writer, who is on stage for an hour. It provides the opportunity for a really meaningful connection between writer and audience, she says.

2011 attendance: 9,000

Notable past authors: Ian Brown, Zsuzsi Gartner, Elizabeth Hay, Sarah Selecky, Edeet Ravel, Drew Hayden Taylor

This year’s highlights: The festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary with readings by Charlotte Gill, JJ Lee, Ami McKay, Richard Wagamese, and more.