For a week each spring, writers, poets and essayists converge on Moncton to participate in the Frye Festival. Named after celebrated literary theorist and Moncton resident Northrop Frye, the Festival is Canada’s only bilingual international literary happening. It is also the largest event of its kind in Atlantic Canada and it attracts some of the country’s most respected authors. This year 60 authors from around the world are helping to feed our imaginations. Whether you are a child with picture books or an accomplished reader, there is something for everyone – kidsfest, writers’ workshops, book clubs, authors in conversation, readings, youth programs and plenty of evening activities.
Up close and Personal
Yesterday, I volunteered to assist at a children’s book reading. It’s so wonderful to see how up close and personal you can get with the authors at the Frye. The relaxed maritime atmosphere allows for that. The kids were delighted to engage with authors Anne-Marie Sirois and Edith Bourget as they told their stories in that animated way that children can bring out in adults. They were rock stars to these little ones.
Big kids also have the opportunity to meet their literary heroes. Over the years, the Frye has attracted some notable names, including Margaret Atwood, Ross King, Jane Urquhart, Ian Hamilton and Emma Donoghue. “Meet the Authors” sessions are hosted throughout the week giving book-loving visitors plenty of opportunity to engage with their favorite writers.
Another highlight for me was hearing investigative journalist Jacques Poitras talk about his researching and writing of the book Irving vs Irving. In addition to having incredible political and economic influence in New Brunswick, the billionaire Irvings have achieved an almost mythical status here. It’s no surprise it was standing room only to hear him speak.
This is the 16th Annual Frye Festival. And although it’s my first time here, I am starting my own springtime tradition. As the snow slowly melts away and the blooms sprout from the ground, I will head to the Frye, one of Canada’s best festivals, and feed my imagination.