Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Highlights of the 2015 Festival

So everything we've been working for since May, 2014, finally came together and we did this whole Festival-thing.

Whew. I don't ever remember feeling so exhausted at the end of a Festival as I did at the end of this one. At our closing cocktail on Sunday, I literally couldn't follow any more conversations and I couldn't speak French at all. I was done. When I got home, I laid down at 8:30 and was out for the next 10 hours!

Gene Luen Yang at Drawn & Quarterly
Every Festival has moments which stay with us and for me, these are the standouts:

Junot Díaz at the Rialto: great conversation, packed hall, wonderful energy in the air. This was the largest show we ever put on and it was an all around success.

The Film Series wasn't as well attended as I'd hoped but since it's our first year of doing it, we weren't expecting major turn out (we find that these things take a few years to get going). Sitting in Living Stars on Sunday and hearing people laughing out loud throughout was very gratifying since I had such a personal connection to this film.

Performigrations events and their fascinating suitcase installation. Those people constantly impress
me: they were up late the night before installation, putting the finishing touches on those displays and they were absolutely fascinating.

Gene Luen Yang was such a cool dude and I love his writing even more (and I loved it before).

Oonya Kempadoo was as amazing in real life as her novels. I can't say enough good about her.

Enpuku-ji Zen Centre poetry events were packed and there was such a nice vibe in there.

Yes, every year there are a few snafus, forgotten photocopies, missed calls, etc., but we managed to handle all these issues without much trouble. The snotty authors are easily forgotten (and, yes, every Festival there are a handful of those).

We love our public: they are so supportive, kind, offering constructive ideas and criticism and being honest about confusing descriptions, hotel facilities, organization of events, and more. This is vital. And we feel so lucky that our audiences are so loyal and devoted. Each year the familiar faces is very rewarding. We love all the new faces, too!

Thanks, everyone, for making the 2015 such a raging success!

Shoes at the entrance of the Enpuku-ji Zen Centre during a poetry event

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