Lethbridge’s Word on the Street Festival returns to celebrate literacy, books – Lethbridge

The Word on the Street Festival celebrated reading for all on Saturday as humans, dogs and Lethbridge star Boots the Goat welcomed the annual in-person event.

Boot owners Susan Eymann and Jeff Macdonald said it’s great to see people in the community harnessing the power of books again.

“I think it’s important, and what I’m hearing is that parents want to be role models for their kids, want to get involved, learn different things, and go out into the community and be a part of it,” Eymann said. “This is a great way to do that.”

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The festival returned in person for the first time since 2019 after several years of COVID-19 restrictions.

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“It’s nice to hear from people that they’ve been looking forward to and missed the festival,” said Elisabeth Hegerat, manager of community and business development at Lethbridge Public Library.

More than 30 Canadian authors were featured at the event.

“The idea of ​​just bringing books and reading material to the streets is great,” said Gillian Goerz, illustrator and author.

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Goerz published two graphic novels during the pandemic, she said she hopes to normalize comics as a learning tool.

“People who take their time reading can at least pick up on the narrative elements that the images bring, and when the words come later, it’s not like they’re not reading,” Goerz said. “I’ve only heard great compliments from teachers about how passionate their kids are about graphic novels.

“In a way, this is new and unprecedented, and it’s helping the reluctant readers read books again, which is great.”

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The Word on the Street Festival is not only a place for readers of all ages, but also for writers.

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Lethbridge resident Jill Asling began her career as a children’s writer in 2018. She attended a workshop on writing engaging fiction with writer Barb Geiger where she realized she had learned a very important lesson.

“How much work does a writer have to do; It’s a lot of work,” Asling said.

Lethbridge Public Library is already planning next year’s event. Hegerat says she can’t wait to welcome more great Canadian writers in 2023.

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