Dear Word Feasters,
We know it’s been awhile since you heard from us, and some of you may be wondering if we’re still here. It was never our intent to remain silent for so long, but we wanted to be sure we had some tangible news to deliver – and with so much going on, we took some time to determine our direction. One of the biggest pieces of news we have to share is that we have a new festival Chair. After three successful years, outgoing Chair and Founder Ian LeTourneau has handed over the reins to Jo-Anne Elder.
Without further ado, a few words from Jo-Anne as we head into summer and begin to prepare for a feast in the fall.
Instead of making resolutions at the beginning of every year, I choose a theme word to focus my thoughts and plans. I didn’t realize just how appropriate my word for 2020 would be: NEW. I wrote it in capital letters to announce to myself and to proclaim to my writing projects and my family that I was going to try new activities, do those hard things, make apparently small but highly meaningful changes in my way of doing things.
On January 22, 2020, the hard-working team led by Ian LeTourneau that had brought Word Feast into being three years before, along with some eager volunteers who had joined more recently, elected a Board of Directors to guide the festival into the future. Many thanks to Ian, who created the idea as part of his legacy as Fredericton’s first Cultural Laureate, and who will be serving as Past Chair and organizer of the Poetry Bash. Thank you also to outgoing Board members Nancy Bauer, writer, cultural worker, and continuing champion of the festival, Julia Stewart, Director of the Fredericton Public Library, Zach Hapeman, MA (English, Acadia) who will continue to organize the Writing on the Wall project for middle school students, and others who have served on the board. I am grateful to Jennifer Houle, Vice-Chair, and to Auralia Brooke for agreeing to serve a second term. Joining the Board in 2020 are Ida Orenbach, Tristis Ward, and Pascale Routhier-Leblanc. Biographies of current Board members can be found here. I cherish our volunteers and would love to hear from you if you are interested in applying for a Board position or helping out with an event.
Renewing the Word Feast team was not unexpected. What happened next was. In February we made our way through some organizational changes and plans; in March, we were stopped in our tracks for a few weeks until Jennifer suggested bringing our 2020 Festival online. In the next few months, we will be whetting your appetite for a Word Feast that will delight, nurture, and sustain you: a brand-new menu, with take-out and delivery options. We also plan to challenge you to concoct your own recipes, and do a little ‘home cooking’ with a variety of writing contests.
Stay tuned! We’ll be providing frequent updates, launching contests, and sharing news in the weeks ahead. Thank you all for staying with us.