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Festival spurs dialogue on art, ideas

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Christine Fellows.

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Christine Fellows.

A travelling national festival of politics, art and ideas comes to Winnipeg March 20-23.

Spur, a festival organized by the Literary Review of Canada and Diaspora Dialogues, will include debates, book discussions, literary cabarets and a variety of other activities.

Speakers include James Raffan, author, explorer and activist; Claire Cameron, author of The Bear; Canadian filmmakers John Greyson and Peter Mettler; playwright Ins Choi; and Manitoba Treaty Commissioner Jamie Wilson.

Details and tickets are available at


Writers and wine go together like, well, like writers and wine.

Theatre by the River will bring together new work by 25 local writers with a wine tasting at the company's annual Wine and Words fundraiser Thursday, in partnership with Spur. Contributing writers include Governor General's Award-winning poet Katherena Vermette, director Guy Maddin, songwriter Christine Fellows, and writers Chandra Mayor, Sally Ito and Melissa Steele.

Unreleased pieces by the writers will be read by Theatre by the River actors at the WAG event starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available from the company's website:


A Canadian Museum for Human Rights board member and professor at Ottawa's Carleton University examines Ukrainian-Canadian literature and changing ideas of ethnicity in Canada in a lecture on March 21.

University of Manitoba graduate Lindy Ledohowski looks at the "prairie identity" of Ukrainian-Canadians and "interesting intersections with First Nations identities across the Canadian landscape," as well as perspectives on Ukrainian-Canadian literature and gender.

Her talk starts at 7 p.m. at Canad Inns Garden City. Admission is $5.


Edmonton writer Janice MacDonald lets her fans get into the act (and support a good cause) by auctioning off a character's name to support Edmonton's Freewill Shakespeare Festival.

MacDonald's latest mystery, The Roar of the Crowd, begins with a murder at the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, and one of the suspects is named for the son of the woman who won the auction last year at the theatre company's Brunch of Love fundraiser.

MacDonald, a board member with the theatre company, says the woman who won the auction told her "do whatever you want to him, but don't make him a Tory."

The Roar of the Crowd is scheduled for publication in June by Ravenstone, an imprint of Winnipeg's Turnstone Press. In February, MacDonald auctioned off the naming rights to a character in her planned 2015 mystery, Another Margaret. Condemned to Repeat, her 2013 mystery, also had a character whose name was bought at the auction.


An all-star cast of female poets will help Winnipeggers celebrate spring and World Poetry Day March 21 at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Taking part in the event, dubbed Warning: Poetry Lives Here, are novelist/poet Meira Cook, this year's Winnipeg Public Library writer-in-residence; novelist/poet Chandra Mayor, U of W's writer in residence; Katherena Vermette, last year's winner of the Governor General's prize for poetry for her collection North End Love Songs; and Louise Wallwein, a Mancunian playwright and poet who is currently the U of M's writer-in-residence. The readings begin at 7 p.m.


Canadian rock icon Randy Bachman has no shortage of stories of the musical life.

He collects a bunch of them in his second book, Tales From Beyond the Tap, the follow-up to Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories, which in turn built on the anecdotes he spins along with golden oldies on his CBC radio show Vinyl Tap.

Bachman will launch the new book and have an onstage discussion with loquacious rock historian DJ Howard Mandshein of 92 CITI FM on March 29 at 2 p.m. at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2014 G7


Updated on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:58 AM CDT: Tweaks formatting.

March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM: Corrects list of speakers at Spur

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