Terry Jordan reads from a new dramatic work, with help from Quadra Island’s Barbara Lee at the 2019 Words on the Water writers restival. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Terry Jordan reads from a new dramatic work, with help from Quadra Island’s Barbara Lee at the 2019 Words on the Water writers restival. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Volunteers needed to bring back Words on the Water in 2024

Writers festival has been on a COVID hiatus; organizers want to get it rolling for next year

One of the things that makes Campbell River such an amazing place to live is the abundance of diverse events that happen throughout the year.

As longtime and new residents of our growing coastal city join and support organizations through fundraisers, volunteering, and gatherings, it fosters a sense of community and inclusion. But over the past three years, many favourite events have been cancelled and face continued challenges in funding, loss of momentum, and uncertainty in how far in advance to plan.

Words on the Water, the Campbell River Writers Festival, was one of the first community events that had to put it all on pause in March 2020, 2021, and again in 2022. With more certainty, organizers Paul and Angel Murphy, are inviting new committee members to bring Words on the Water back to Campbell River in March 2024.

While it may seem like one year is a long time to wait, much preparation is needed to ensure that the organizing committee can plan and host the best writers festival for readers. Since the year 2000, WOW has invited the most dynamic and engaging writers to the Maritime Heritage Centre for an intimate weekend of reading and conversation. In the past, 10-15 Canadian nonfiction and fiction writers representing a diversity of genres including romance, adventure, and history shared their works, hosted Q & As, and conversed onstage and off with one another throughout the weekend-long gathering.

WOW attendees, authors, volunteers, and sponsors fondly remember the connectedness they felt at being able to share their love for written words with fellow readers and writers.

Words on the Water committee members know how the disruption to this annual event has left a gap (one of many!) in the arts community and to Campbell River as a whole. And with so many newcomers plus those who have supported WOW throughout the past 20 years, organizers are inviting new members to bring their ideas and enthusiasm to share in this vibrant, engaging event. Ample support from Paul, Angel, and many other past volunteers is part of the succession plan.

Volunteer recruitment is happening all through February, so interested individuals are encouraged to send a note to crwordsonthewater@gmail.com and let them know who you are and how you’d like to help.

With new energy and ongoing support from previous organizers, here’s hoping a revitalized Words on the Water will return to Campbell River in 2024.

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