The Word on the Street
67 Mowat Avenue, Suite 142
Toronto, ON M6K 3E3
Created as a vehicle to promote Canadian authors, books, magazines and literacy, the concept for the The Word On The Street grew out of the Promotions Committee of the Book and Periodical Council. Looking for new promotional opportunities, the Committee determined that the time had come for Toronto, Canada’s publishing capital, to join other major publishing centres and host their own large-scale public festival of the written word.
The inaugural festival took place in Toronto in September 1990 to coincide with International Literacy Year. Since then, its spread to Halifax and Vancouver in 1995, followed by Calgary in 1998 and Kitchener, Ontario in 2002. Despite rapidly becoming Canada’s largest book and magazine festival, attracting more than 275,000 visitors annually, The Word On The Street has remained true to its original mandate: to foster the awareness and appreciation of the written word in our culture, promote local artists and bring the community together in a celebration of reading and literacy.
Over the course of its history, The Word On The Street has had the privilege of hosting some of Canada’s greatest contemporary writers. This list includes: Vincent Lam, M.G. Vassanji, Margaret Atwood, Alistair MacLeod, Robert Munsch, Kenneth Oppel, Pierre Berton, Richard B. Wright, Timothy Findley, Nino Ricci, Dennis Lee, Elizabeth Hay and David Suzuki.
The Word On The Street is a national network of book and magazine festivals. In Toronto, The Word On The Street is considered one of Toronto’s eight signature events, was recognized as the “Best Event” by NOW Magazine in their “Best of Toronto picks for T.O.’s Top Everything” 2007 edition, was named one of Toronto’s “Top 100 Events” by Biz Bash (the leading trade media for the event industry), won “Best Program” for their 2007 event by Festivals and Events Ontario, and was nominated for an Canadian Event Industry Award in the “Best Festival” category for 2008.
» For The Word on the Street news and events, see What’s Happening?