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About Us

The Word On The Street is a non-profit organization that celebrates Canadian reading, writing, and champions literacy primarily through a free, annual outdoor festival. Each September, in communities from coast to coast, we invite everyone to participate in hundreds of author events, presentations and workshops, and to browse a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere. And it’s free!

Board of Directors

Susan McDonald, President
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Susan worked in professional theatre before studying at the University of Saskatchewan and Western University. She taught at the U of S (from business communications and rhetoric to The Jerry Springer Show) before moving to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, where she teaches students from a broad range of programs. She tends to read history and non-fiction, although she tries not to obsess on current American politics.


Shelagh McDonald, Vice President


Ryan Winquist, Treasurer 

Ryan Winquist holds two degrees in History and Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan and has worked as an accountant for the past six years. He is currently the Business Development Manager with Innocorps Research Corporation, a Saskatoon-based startup creating clean water solutions for industrial and consumer applications. In his current role, Ryan is involved with financing, marketing, accounting, and the development of Innocorps’ overall business strategy. As one of the newest members of the Word on the Street board, Ryan hopes to bring some of this professional experience to this wonderful organization committed to the promotion of literacy and local artists.


Stephen Benesh, Treasurer


Madeleine Dahlem, Secretary


Beth Cote

Director, Public Services, Saskatoon Public Library, Beth is an avid reader who is passionate about literacy.


Edna Jen Warrington

Edna retired from the University of Saskatchewan Library in 2012, after a long career in Government  Publications and then as the Library’s first Development Officer. An avid reader, Edna is happy to promote reading and books.


Sheheryar Sheikh

Sheheryar (Shero) B. Sheikh is a TS Doctoral Fellow, and PhD candidate researching apocalyptic narratives at the University of Saskatchewan. His short works have been published in journals including the Journal of Modern Literature, PRISM International and Black Warrior Review, and his debut novel, The Still Point of the Turning World, was published to acclaim by HarperCollins India in February 2017. Shero has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he was awarded a Nicholas Sparks Scholarship and Professor Steve Tomasula’s La Vie de Boheme Award for Literary Excellence.


Deborah Hamp

Deborah has worked in the Saskatoon community for many years in the areas of advocacy, social justice and community resilience.  An alumni of Leadership Saskatoon, she is passionate about community wellness and innovation. The question that keeps her up at night (but makes her heart dance!) is “What is possible? Currently the Director of Operations and Engagement at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, her passion for reading began at a very young age. Deborah’s believes that literacy must be available to everyone.

This belief was reinforced through her advocacy efforts within the education system on behalf of her son, Noah.