Festival of Words Wine fundraiser will help bring authors to schools
The Saskatchewan Festival of Words’ Writers In Schools program has been a big success.
As they prepare to bring another Canadian author into local schools, the demand for the program is growing by leaps and bounds. To help the program continue to grow with the demand, the Saskatchewan Festival of Words will be hosting the Surprisingly Unexpected: A Wine, Culinary and Music Experience. Their third annual wine night fundraiser will be held on Friday, Nov. 16, starting at 7 p.m. at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. “This year we had about 30 schools contact us about participating in the program,” said Amanda Farnel, operations coordinator for the Saskatchewan Festival of Words. “That’s, by far, more than we had last year. So, it is a quickly-growing program.
“We bring in a professional author into as many schools as possible in a week,” Farnel added. “We get the students encouraged about writing and reading. We do partnerships with the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division and the Prairie South School Division. This year we’re doing a partnership with a home-schooling group, which is exciting.” Author Penny Draper from Victoria will be the author that comes into local schools this year. She has experience as an oral storyteller and has done a lot of work visiting classrooms. Draper writes largely for and about young people and tries to tell the “story behind the story,” during her book talks at schools to teach students more about the writing process and what an author’s life is like. Draper will be making her school stops in the last week of November. “There are a lot of costs built in with bringing an author in,” Farnel explained. “We usually bring someone in from out of province. So, we have flights and costs for accommodations and then travel to all of these places. This year we’re going to be heading down to Coronach and Shaunavon. It adds up.”
The program could extend further afield in the province if they were able to bring in more funding and another author during the year. The Festival is hoping that their wine night fundraiser will help bring that goal closer to fruition. “We’ve been talking about wanting to try to have a second week going for a long time now because we have so much interest that we can’t fit all of the classes in that we would like to go to,” Farnel said. “Right now, we’re doing about 20 presentations during the week that we’re here and usually it’s about 2,000 kids a year that we reach.” This year’s wine night will feature a five-course meal with a wine pairing with each course. The Matt Kaip Jazz Duo will be the featured musical guests. The event will also feature a silent auction and a raffle.
Tickets for the event are $60 and come with a $30 charitable tax receipt. Corporate tables of six are available for $330. Tickets are available at the Festival of Words office at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre or online at www.festivalofwords.com.