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Citywide literary festival returns to New Westminster with 15 events

Bridges Literary Festival in New West includes author talks and panels, kids' storytimes, crafts, a book launch, social events, poetry readings, workshops and more.
New Westminster public library - JG file
The New Westminster Public Library is holding its first literary festival since before the pandemic.

The New Westminster Public Library is building bridges in the community with the return of its citywide literary festival.

After being shelved since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Westminster Public Library is excited to announce the launch of a revamped, city-wide literary festival. The newly named Bridges Literary Festival will be held May 9 to 12.

“We are so thrilled to provide the opportunity for local residents to celebrate and connect over a love of the literary arts,” said Caitlin MacRae, programming librarian at the New Westminster Public Library.

The library is holding the Bridges Literary Festival in partnership with local businesses and organizations.

“For this year, we have 15 events taking place across the city, including author talks, kids' storytimes, crafts, author panels, a book launch, a local author book club and discussion, poetry readings, workshops and social events,” MacRae said in a news release. “The idea is to not just passively consume stories, but to learn how to create and share them, whether you are a budding novelist, poet or just want some advice with your own writing.”

While the focus is local, the library is hoping to use this first year as a launch pad to grow into a larger event each year.

“As a small library we wanted to capitalize on the power of partnership and community to deliver a festival that would appeal to as many as possible,” said Elaine Su, chair of the library board of trustees. “What we have assembled here is a starting place that will hopefully grow to represent as many experiences and points of view as possible.”

A variety of groups are collaborating with the New Westminster Public Library for its first Bridges Literary Festival: Arts New West; Groove Cat Books & Records; Kinder Books; Moodswing Coffee + Bar; New West Writers; Royal City Literary Arts Society; SFU Writer's Studio; Steel & Oak Brewing Co.; and Wildfires Bookshop.

All events are free, and residents are encouraged to pick up a flyer or visit the library’s festival web page for details.