Words North Literary Program
In 2015, the PLRAC initiated a literary program intended to broaden opportunities for Peace-Liard region writers working in all genres (e.g. literary, song writing, spoken word, hip hop). The program has included readings, educational opportunities, and a chance to engage with established writers, both from within and from outside the region. In 2015, both writers and songwriters were included in a one-day event that featured Indigenous singer-songwriter Art Napoleon and acclaimed authors Ariel Gordon (Winnipeg), Melanie Siebert (Victoria), and Gillian Wigmore (Prince George). In 2015, the PLRAC also issued a region-wide call for submissions to a 75th Anniversary of the Alaska Highway Theme Song CD. This CD, which includes 18 songs and poems was produced in 2016. The first launch took place on June 12th, 2016 at the Sweetwater905 Arts Festival. In 2017, six CD launches were held throughout the region (Dawson Creek, Rolla, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson). In 2017, the PLRAC also carried out a reading tour by Lawrence Hill, author of Book of Negroes. Lawrence Hill read in three communities (Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson).
In 2018, the literary program will expand to include a three-day festival, Words North, to be held annually in each of the region’s communities on a rotating basis. The 2018 festival will take place in Dawson Creek. The festival, open to all community members, will include readings, presentations, and panel discussions.