History & Vision

Our Mission

The Vancouver Writers Fest brings readers and writers together to reimagine our lives and our world, through story-telling and vibrant dialogue.

Our Vision

The Vancouver Writers Fest produces "must-see" events and the most prestigious literary festival in Canada, with an international reputation among the finest writers and thinkers.

The VWF draws richly diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds.

The Writers Fest is a highly regarded cultural organization, sought after for its expertise and its skilled curation of high-quality conversations about books and ideas.

People attend VWF events to be entertained, to enjoy a communal experience, to be surprised -- the moments when a story suddenly delights, or laughter erupts, or an idea inspires a new way of thinking.

The VWF is a catalyst for change.

Our History

The Vancouver Writers Fest is one of North America's premier literary events, presenting an annual six-day Festival in late October and the Incite reading series in the spring. The Festival was inaugurated in 1988 by founding Artistic Director Alma Lee. In 2010, the Festival was named as the best large literary festival in Canada, by the Canadian Tourism Commission. Originally called the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival, the organization adopted its current name in 2012.

Currently under the artistic direction of Hal Wake, the Writers Fest attracts the world's best writers to Vancouver. Each October, internationally renowned and undiscovered authors mingle with 16,000 readers of all ages in intimate, informal settings on Granville Island, an urban oasis in the heart of Vancouver. In its 28 year history the Festival has presented luminaries such as: Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Eleanor Catton, Roddy Doyle, Timothy Findley, Tomson Highway, John Irving, P.D. James, Thomas Keneally, Thomas King, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Frank McCourt, Rohinton Mistry, David Mitchell, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Carol Shields, Sjon, Miriam Toews, Sarah Waters and Tim Winton. Please browse the Festival audio archives to sample highlights from past events.

The Writers Fest’s twice-monthly reading series Incite is presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library from January to May. The series, which is free to the public, features a wide range of Canadian and international authors in events for readers and is based downtown at the VPL’s Central Library. Writers featured at Incite have included Conrad Black, Lynn Coady, William Gibson, Vincent Lam, Margaret MacMillan, Sean Michaels, W. H. New, Joyce Carol Oates, Noah Richler, Bernhard Schlink and Johanna Skibsrud.

The VWF also presents special events throughout the year featuring the best of Canadian and international writers.

Spreading the Word, the Writers Fest's schools program, presents acclaimed writers from around the world to more than 7,000 K-12 students at the Festival and in the classroom. Corporate and private support helps us offer outreach programs to schools and subsidized tickets to children, youth and adult learners who would otherwise be unable to attend.

The Vancouver Writers Fest is a registered non-profit, charitable organization which operates with the support of public sector funding, ticket sales, advertising revenue, corporate sponsorships and donations.

The Vancouver Writers Fest: Facts & Figures

Legal Documents

VWF Bylaws 15April2014

VWF Constitution