Ottawa International Writer’s Festival Update

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A troubling situation has come to our attention and requires our comment: On Saturday April 27th, Press Progress released the results of their investigation into an organization called “Ottawa International Food and Book Expo.” At a glance, this organization seems to espouse an ideology and set of core values antithetical to what our Festival has built over 27 years and 48 festivals.

Many members of the community have reached out to ask questions, and some are even demanding why our organization is no longer upholding the values we espouse. This is as devastating as it is inaccurate. We are a community-led charitable organization that curates and presents world-class authors to a world-class audience. We are NOT affiliated in any way with the Book Expo, its organizers, or the speakers they presented.

The confusion is understandable: In its communications, the other festival goes by “The Ottawa International Book Festival,”  their website domain is,  and their event was scheduled to start immediately preceding our Spring Festival. Whether this is malice or misunderstanding, these activities have caused real confusion.

It is essential we now reaffirm our values. This festival is about ideas and literature, creativity and community. We are committed to literary, scientific, and social discovery. We believe our festival, and literature as a construct, belongs to all people.

We will live those ideas every day of the Spring Festival which begins on Thursday at Library and Archives Canada.

These are the kinds of authors and stories we celebrate. These are the enthusiastic experts we’ll be hearing from as we celebrate genuine community connection and brilliant writing. We have and continue to be Canada’s Festival of Ideas and we hope to see you at the Writers Festival from May 2-5.