Ten years of stories, ideas, and Imagination

The Morrin Centre celebrates its tenth annual writers’ festival

From April 2 to 7, 2019, the Morrin Centre will celebrate its tenth annual Imagination writers’ festival. This year’s festival once again features acclaimed authors from the current, diverse, Canadian literary scene, but also brings together artists from different fields for surprising and delightful pairings. Quebec City’s English-language cultural hub will present new activities and bring back popular events inside and outside its walls.

Literary Notes, a new musical event organized in partnership with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) is one of the activities designed to mark the Centre’s special anniversary festival. This concert to be held on Wednesday, April 3, will allow participants to tune into the stories being read, thanks to music meant to capture the spirit of these works of fiction and poetry. Foodies will also get a taste of literary arts thanks to the festival’s annual Books and Wine pairing event hosted by local sommelier Yann Barrette-Bouchard. This renowned and usually sold-out event will feature the 2018 Giller Prize-finalist Éric Dupont and Canada Reads-winner Lisa Moore. The festival’s much anticipated Books and Brunch event will also be back for a fourth consecutive year and will take on a humouristic twist thanks to the participation of Indigenous author and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor.

Hayden Taylor is one of two authors from a First Nation community to take part in Imagination 2019. Waubgeshig Rice is also part of the festival’s roster and will discuss his latest post-apocalyptic thriller, Moon of the Crusted Snow, on Wednesday, April 3.

A total of 26 authors will be traveling from coast to coast to connect with our community. Two-time Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan will be traveling from British Columbia for a conversation on her epic novel, Washington Black, while award-winning author Sheree Fitch will travel from Nova Scotia to delight children and young adults with her stories. A panel event on borders, migration, and identity will also bring together Newfoundland-based novelist Sharon Bala (The Boat People), as well as Iranian-born author Nilofar Shidmehr (Divided Loyalties) who now lives in Vancouver.

As noted by Barry Holleman, the President of the Literary and Historical Society which manages the Morrin Centre, “the festival’s aim is to offer meaningful encounters between authors and festival-goers, while allowing audiences of all ages to enjoy literature through multidisciplinary activities which are insightful, surprising, and even sometimes playful. 

In addition to talks, foodie events, and musical performances, this year’s festival will present two hands-on activities. Two writing and illustrating workshops will indeed bookend Imagination 2019. Claire Holden Rothman will host Trouble and Strife: The Lifeblood of Good Fiction on Tuesday, April 2, while Lorina Mapa will explore how to tell stories through comics during her graphic novel workshop on Sunday, April 7.

Tenth anniversary festivities will come to an ultimate conclusion with Emma Hooper’s musical event on Sunday afternoon. Starting at 3 p.m., the Alberta-born author and musician who now calls Bath, England home, will be joined on stage by local musician Patrick Ouellet for a bilingual performance of songs from Hooper’s latest novel Homesick Songs (Les chants du large) and her project Waitress for the Bees.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with English-language authors from across the country, in the heart of Old Quebec. For more information on the complete programme, and to purchase a festival pass or single event ticket, visit morrin.org/imagination or contact the Morrin Centre at 418-694-9147.

The festival has been made possible thanks to the support of many partners, including the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Entente de développement culturel.

About the Morrin Centre

As an English-language cultural centre located in Quebec City’s historical quarter, the Morrin Centre is a leading cultural institution of national standing, providing the Anglophone and Francophone public with rich, engaging programming in the areas of heritage interpretation, education, and the arts. Building upon our Centre’s history and key institutions, our programming aims to provide historical perspective on the region’s unique French-English heritage, develop enhanced educational opportunities for youth, and act as a springboard for artistic creativity.  

Jeanne Lebossé-Gautron