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2017 LitFest New West

Celebrated authors, the Pop This! Podcast, LitCafés, storytelling and kids’ programming set for 7th Annual LitFest New West. 

New Westminster, BC– Showcasing BC’s vibrant talent, the 7th annual LitFest New West returns with an exciting mix of featured author events, literary cafés, children’s programming, writing workshops, a community exhibition, and a special literary marketplace running March 31 – April 2, 2017 throughout New Westminster. LitFest New West brings together “Readers, Writers, Community” for three days of celebrating New Westminster’s literary arts community. 

Events will take place at venues throughout the city with a special kick off at New Westminster Public Library at 7:00 – 9:30 pm on Friday March 31, 2017. Broadcaster Lisa Christiansen and author Andrea Warner launch the three-day event with a special live recording of their popular Pop This! Podcast (two women talking about everything pop culture). They’ll be joined by New Westminster resident, fashion columnist, and memoirist JJ Lee, along with a cash bar to help words go down as smooth as ice.  

“We are bringing this year’s events directly into popular venues in the community to showcase some of the talented creative writers in the city,” said Janice Bannister, chair of the organizing committee. “Events take place where local residents already socialize by bringing authors, readers, and writers into some of New Westminster’s favourite spots: The Heritage Grill, Judge Begbie’s Tavern, and Waffle House to name a few.” 

Saturday’s featured evening event, Read Aloud: An Evening of Stories, takes place at Anvil Theatres (5:00 – 7:00 pm) featuring a presentation of New Westminster’s newest Poet Laureate, Alan Hill, the unveiling of the winners of the 2017 LitFest New West short story contest, and readings by acclaimed local authors including:  

Aislinn Hunter – Winner of the 2015 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, New York Times Editor’s Choice winner for her book, The World Before Us. 

Nasreen Pejvack – Author of Amity, Finalist for the 2016 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and activist who moved to Canada from Iran in the mid-1980s. 

Catherine Owen – New West resident, author of 13 collections of poetry and prose and Dear Ghost, her 2017 collection of poetry. 

Carleigh Baker – Cree-Metis/Icelandic writer whose first memoir, Bad Endings, (Anvil Press, 2017), is available now. She writes book reviews for the Globe Mail and has been published in a variety of local literary journals. 

LitFest New West is proud to be expanding in 2017 with the addition of children’s programming. Workshops will be lead by children’s author/illustrator Lee Edward Fondi and New Westminster police officer and children’s author Grayson Smith. Both authors will be at River Market on Saturday, April 1 alongside the annual LitFest New West Literary Marketplace presented by New West Craft. 

The festival will be rounded out with a variety of workshops and events happening throughout the community featuring readings by local authors and poets. New West Writers Critique hosting a Critique Session at The Gallery at Queen’s Park on Sunday April 2nd. Royal City Literary Arts Society bring their Wordplay and In Their Words series that might just ignite your own muse. Lastly, enjoy pairings of visual and literary arts at the Anvil Centre’s Community Arts Space featuring 18 artists from April 1st to June 2nd. Exhibition opening on April 1st from 3:00pm – 5:00pm at the Anvil Centre includes readings by authors and cash bar. 

For more information, tickets to the opening event at New Westminster Public Library, and workshop registration visit the website:


About LitFest New West
LitFest New West is New Westminster’s annual literary arts festival. Originally started in 2009 as The Royal City Book Festival, Litfest celebrates the written word. Presented by The Arts Council of New Westminster, Royal City Literary Arts Society, New Westminster Public Library and New West Writers, Litfest New West features readings, interviews, workshops, performances, talks, and poetry for the enjoyment of readers and writers alike.

For more information about Litfest New West, visit

About the Arts Council of New Westminster
Founded in 1967, The Arts Council of New Westminster is a community arts organization built by individuals and member groups who share an interest in visual, performing and literary arts. The Arts Council’s role in the community is to advocate for the arts and foster support for those engaging in artistic and cultural endeavors.

For more information about The Arts Council of New Westminster, visit

Gulshan Josan, Media Coordinator
Arts Council of New Westminster | 604 525 3244 |

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