The Most VanMag-y Event at This Year’s Writers Fest

Four of our contributors are getting together to talk about weed...

Four of our contributors are getting together to talk about weed…

It’s that time of year again: the Vancouver Writers Fest sets up shop down on Granville Island and elsewhere around the city to engage us all in some thought-provoking ideas and visiting-author sessions. That’s right: for one brief week, we all have an excuse not to fall back on the usual conversation suspects—real estate, crazy mayoral candidates and real estate. It goes without saying that reading (or, at bare minimum, listening to what authors are saying) makes us not only smarter, but rewires our brains to be more empathetic (not a bad proposition in light of the crazy time we’re living in).

This year, there are some bold name offerings: the whip-smart observations of New Yorker Gary Shteyngart, four finalists for this year’s Giller Prize who discuss their craft and the best-selling juggernaut Jodi Picoult chatting with Marsha Lederman. We’ll also add that star chef Yottam Ottolenghi also arrives in town end-of-month, but, alas, that one is already sold out, which is code for buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment for everything else!

Everyone promises to be great, but as any festival patron will tell you, it’s often the less-heralded events that inspire the most. For example, the young Cheyenne/Arapahoe writer Tommy Orange’s first novel, There There, is nominated for the National Book Award and is one of the strongest debut novels in recent memory (this New York Times review concurs with, “Yes, Tommy Orange’s new novel really is that good”). And there’s eight zillion events for kids because getting them off their smartphones makes you a better parent.

But there’s one event in which we plan to be in the front row—and not just because it’s about weed. Good Weeds features a panel of writers talking about, well, getting baked, which seems particularly topical this month. A few of those writers are either good friends with VanMag or our sister publication, Western LivingMichael Hingston wrote a story about walking through the Cotswolds with his family; Kevin Chong has been a long-time food and travel contributor; Jackie Kai Ellis was one of our Restaurant Awards judges and former owner of Beaucoup Bakery (no word on whether she baked with weed); and architect Kevin Vallely is often featured in Western Living. Four razor-sharp minds talking about the times when they might not have been so quite on the ball—we’d like to get a whiff of that.

Wednesday October 17, 8:30 p.m at Performance Works on Granville Island. Click here for tickets.