Desirée Lowes, 18, catches up on some reading at the Moose Jaw Public Library. Moose Jaw will be Reading Town Canada from May 3 to 10 and will host events to promote reading throughout the week.
From May 3 to 10, Moose Jaw will be the first Reading Town Canada, as a part of the National Reading Campaign. The idea of the week is to weave reading into every aspect of life through a week of events.
Moose Jaw was chosen as the inaugural city because it has been a terrific host for the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, said Joe Ralko, publicist and public coordinator for Reading Town.
“Authors, poets, creators of the spoken word rave about the way that they’re treated in Moose Jaw by the organizers, by the community and the community itself is just the perfect size to have an event like this,” Ralko told the Times-Herald last week.
One of the many activities will be a reading glen in Cresent Park, which will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
“The intent is to have people who are normally downtown or want to come downtown, to offer them something different,” said Ralko. “What is going to happen, is throughout the whole week, we are going to be buying the Moose Jaw Times-Herald and having it available for free in the park along with books and magazines for people to read.”
The reading glen will be organized by a group from Zion United Church and in case of poor weather, the glen will be moved from the park to the basement of the church.
Another great free event offered during the week will be the Twit Lit seminar on May 3, beginning at 3 p.m.. Ted Dyck, an editor of the Saskatchewan magazine Transition, will be leading a workshop on how to write poetry in 140 characters for Twitter.
After the seminar, participants will be able to enter the Twit Lit competition by posting their poems on Twitter.
“We haven’t set the parameters yet but we are thinking about having something like the most interesting poem tweeted that week about Moose Jaw or about the reading town project in Moose Jaw,” Ralko explained. “The intent is we want to get people out to the seminar at the Moose Jaw Public Library, probably younger people, and have them engaged on social media.”
Planning for the week is still ongoing, with Ralko still speaking to service clubs about plans for an opening and closing event.
“We still have a whole bunch of other irons in the fire,” said Ralko.