Growth of the word — a triumph for literacy

(Canscene)–  Word On The Street Canada has appointed  Alex Moorshead as Executive Director, to succeed Colleen O’Neill.

“Colleen’s commitment to The Word On The Street Canada for the past eigh years has been one of keys to the success of festivals across Canada. We are pleased she’ll continue her involvement in a consulting capacity”, said Jamie Broadhurst, Vancouver board member and past president of The Word On The Street Canada which this year will celebrate on September 27th.

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“With her success producing three festivals as Festival Director in Toronto, Alex Moorshead brings considerable talent and experience to the national organization”, said Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, chair of the national organization,

“In 2008, a record number of Canadians – 250,000 – attended The Word On The Street Festivals across Canada”, continued Ramkhalawansingh. Over 450 authors, illustrators, performers and workshops presenters participated in 400 programmed events in addition to 500 exhibits from publishers, booksellers and literacy organizations.

The Word OnThe Street Canada is a national charitable organization which licenses local organizations to hold an annual book and magazine fair on the last Sunday of September. Modeled after New York City’s Fifth Avenue Book Fair (founded in 1979), The Word On The Street was incorporated in March 1990 as a non-profit charitable organization. The inaugural festival took place that fall on Sunday, September 30, 1990 in Toronto, to coincide with International Literacy Year, on Queen Street West (between John and Spadina). Upwards of 40,000 people attended.

On Sunday September  2009, The Word On The Street festivals across Canada will be marking milestones “celebrating reading and advocating literacy”. Both Halifax and Vancouver will be celebrating 15 years and Toronto will be holding its 20th festival.  Kitchener will be participating for the eighth time.

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