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Festival of Literary Diversity goes virtual; gritLIT cancels

FOLD volunteers (Herman Custodio)

In light of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, The Festival of Literary Diversity in Brampton, Ontario, is cancelling its in-person events, but will debut a virtual festival in its place.

The free festival is scheduled from April 30–May 3, featuring previously announced FOLD participants in a variety of webinars and other remote formats. All virtual events will be closed-captioned.

In a press release, FOLD organizers state that all authors will receive their honorariums and ticket holders will have their money refunded. Events and schedules will be made available on the FOLD website.

Over in nearby Hamilton, the gritLIT Festival, which was scheduled for April 16–19, has been cancelled as well. Some of the writers that were scheduled to appear were Gwen Benaway, Margaret Atwood, Mona Awad, Robyn Doolittle, Jesse Thistle, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, and Jenny Heijun Wills.

In a statement, artistic director Jennifer Gillies says, “We are committed to coming back stronger and better than ever when the outbreak has passed. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but this too will pass. When it does, we will do everything in our power to reschedule some of our 2020 festival readings, discussions, workshops and special events.”