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Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.

Curated by Lebanese Canadian actor, writer and producer Yousef Kadoura, this final event in The New Embassy series reflects on the idea of collective solitude: finding community in the shared experiences, challenges and environments in which disabled and Mad artists live and create.

Presented as part of the CoMotion Festival, join musician and artist Tallan M.D., Montreal-based actor and playwright Silvae Mercedes, visual and performance artist Max Ferguson and playwright Jessica Watkin for this inspiring, multidisciplinary event. ASL interpretation and captioning will be provided.

This event will take place virtually. This event will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 13 as part of a special release to celebrate Canadian artists.

Curated by Yousef Kadoura
Produced by Toronto International Festival of Authors
Co-Presented with CoMotion Festival
The New Embassy event series is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital NOW program.

      Harbourfront centre logo      Canada Council for the Arts logo

Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.

Consider Disabled, Deaf and Mad futures through a riveting set of performances by Black artists. Curated by Syrus Marcus Ware, this New Embassy event explores the effects of the pandemic and white supremacy with performances by spoken word artist Britta B., actor and Deaf Olympian Courage Bacchus, and dance/movement artists Jaz Fairy J and Rodney Diverlus. This event will be presented with ASL interpretation and visual captions. This event is presented as part of the CoMotion Festival.

CW // This event contains strong language and images of a sexual nature. Discretion is advised.

Prior to the event, audiences are invited to hear more from curator Syrus Marcus Ware in a special re-release of Climate for All: Disability Rights and the Environment on April 21, which was originally broadcast as part of the 42nd Toronto International Festival of Authors in October 2021.

This event will take place virtually. This event will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 13 as part of a special release to celebrate Canadian artists.

Curated by Syrus Marcus Ware
Produced by Toronto International Festival of Authors
Co-Presented with CoMotion Festival
The New Embassy event series is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital NOW program.

      Harbourfront centre logo     Canada Council for the Arts logo

Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.

Curated by author Canisia Lubrin, The New Embassy’s opening event features a lively and provocative programme of music, theatre and poetry. Experience the rhythms of Joy Lapps, leader of the Afro and Latin-Caribbean Jazz ensemble The Joy Lapps Project; a gripping monologue about the Springhill mining disaster of 1958, by Beau Dixon, presented as a selection from his one-man show Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story; as well as an appearance from Griffin Poetry Prize-shortlisted poet Aisha Sasha John. This event is presented as part of Kuumba, which is supported by TD Ready Commitment and the Government of Canada.

This event will take place virtually. This event will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 13 as part of a special release to celebrate Canadian artists.

This event has undergone a participant change. Please be advised that Erica Violet Lee, originally scheduled for this event, can no longer appear. The event will proceed, with apologies for any inconvenience caused by this change.

Curated by Canisia Lubrin 
Produced by Toronto International Festival of Authors 
Co-Presented with Kuumba 
Supported by TD Ready Commitment and the Government of Canada.
The New Embassy event series is funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital NOW program.

      Kuumba logo    TD The Ready Commitment logo      Canadian Heritage Canada Wordmark logo          Canada Council for the Arts logo

Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.

Curated by Jen Sookfong Lee, author and co-host of the literary podcast Can’t Lit, this collection of powerful readings offers up deeply open, vulnerable stories that challenge social boundaries. Hear Toronto-based actor, burlesque performer and playwright Dainty Smith read her short story “Prayer and Paradise”; Two Spirit writer and artist Aedan Corey read from their highly anticipated upcoming collection of poetry; and Nehithaw-Dené Métis poet Zoey Roy give an exciting spoken word performance.

This event will take place virtually. This event will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 13 as part of a special release to celebrate Canadian artists.

Curated by Jen Sookfong Lee
Produced by Toronto International Festival of Authors
The New Embassy event series is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital NOW program.

         Canada Council for the Arts logo

Inspired by Toronto’s renowned, historic Bohemian Embassy, meet a new generation of artists inspiring Canada’s ever-evolving literary scene at The New Embassy: a digital mini-series of spoken word, poetry, prose, theatrical readings, music and dance.

Award-winning author, performer and queer healer Kai Cheng Thom brings ritual-performance, spoken word and movement together for a transformative mosaic of introspective art. Dancer and choreographer Sze-Yang Ade-Lam will join soul-folk singer-songwriter Janice Jo Lee for a special performance, followed by a poem reading and dance by Ade-Lam. Multimedia artist Kim Ninkuru will present a spoken word piece exploring rage, love, desire, beauty and pain in relation to her own body, mind and soul. Award-winning Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist Kama La Mackerel will give a ritual-performance adaptation of their poem “My Body Is the Ocean”, exploring the relationship between the “island-body” and the ancestral memory of the ocean.

This event will take place virtually. This event will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 13 as part of a special release to celebrate Canadian artists.

This event was produced in adherence to regional public health guidelines to create a safe workplace for artists and collaborators. The site safety protocol included—but was not limited to—vaccination screenings, frequent sanitization of the workspace, and physical distancing with the exception of artists working in a recognized bubble to allow for close proximity.

Curated by Kai Cheng Thom
Produced by Toronto International Festival of Authors
The New Embassy event series is funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts through the Digital NOW program.

         Canada Council for the Arts logo

This event is no longer available for viewing.

The modern picture book has become one of the most versatile and popular of literary formats and many of its elements can be applied to longer forms of writing. Through the world of visual storytelling, explore the intricate relationship between text and illustration with celebrated picture book writer Kyo Maclear. With a look at traditional and innovative works and Kyo’s own books and working methods, participants will have a chance to discuss and consider the dynamic interplay of verbal and visual narrative and explore specific techniques through a short writing exercise.

The Humber School for Writers returns to the Festival with a series of daily professional writing masterclasses led by its renowned faculty members. Each 90-minute class will be presented virtually and will focus on a specific aspect of writing craft. Sign up for one or attend them all! All writing levels are welcome.

Cost: $56 per workshop.

This event is only available to view live. 


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This event is no longer available for viewing.

Whose story is it, and how do they see the world? Award-winning author Alissa York has written from the point of view of a taxidermist, a polygamous horse rancher, a raccoon and more. Join her for a masterclass on this fundamental aspect of the fiction writer’s art.

The Humber School for Writers returns to the Festival with a series of daily professional writing masterclasses led by its renowned faculty members and special guests. Each 90-minute class will be presented virtually and will focus on a specific aspect of writing craft. Sign up for one or attend them all! All writing levels are welcome.

Cost: $56 per workshop.


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Writer Clint Smith takes a tour of monuments and landmarks – those that are honest about the past and those that are not – that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping America’s collective history.

How cities and places deal with the legacy of slavery is a huge issue worldwide. In his new book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, Smith explores such palces as the Monticello Plantation in Virginia – Thomas Jefferson’s estate where wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than 400 people; the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it; Angola, a former plantation-turned-maximum-security prison in Louisiana filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay; and Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

In conversation with Tim Cole (historian, writer and chair of the Bristol History Commission), Smith offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of the United States and how it has come to be and what the lessons might offer for other places. This event is presented in partnership with The Festival of Ideas in Bristol, England, an inspiring programme of discussion and debate aimed to stimulate minds and passions. The fourth Festival of the Future City takes place October 20–21, 2021.

To register for this event, please visit BristolIdeas.co.uk/attend/clint-smith.

This event is no longer available for viewing.

When you’re in the early stages of a novel, there’s a lot of stuff they tell you not to sweat. Author Tim Wynne-Jones wants to talk about when it’s finally time – to sweat, that is. The time when you go from revising to refining. He will lead an exploration of momentum, cadence, psychic distance, sightlines and available light. The importance, sometimes, of knowing the tides and phases of the moon. Together, we’ll look at what the author calls folding up the scaffolding – taking out those remnants of earlier drafts. We’ll look to root out excess in its many subtle forms: too much getting there, the problem with filtering, the problem with “just” and “but” and “perhaps.”

The Humber School for Writers returns to the Festival with a series of daily professional writing masterclasses led by its renowned faculty members and special guests. Each 90-minute class will be presented virtually and will focus on a specific aspect of writing craft. Sign up for one or attend them all! All writing levels are welcome.

Cost: $56 per workshop.

This event is only available to view live.


Humber School for Writers Logo

This event is no longer available for viewing.

What makes characters compelling? Is it relatability? Mystery? Complexity? Incongruity? All of the above? Conversely, what makes a character forgettable? In this masterclass, we will consider some forgettable and unforgettable characters and what combination of factors made them so.

The Humber School for Writers returns to the Festival with a series of daily professional writing masterclasses led by its renowned faculty members and special guests. Each 90-minute class will be presented virtually and will focus on a specific aspect of writing craft. Sign up for one or attend them all! All writing levels are welcome.

Cost: $56 per workshop.


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