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About Us

The Word On The Street is a national celebration of literacy and Canadian writing. Each September, we host hundreds of author readings for visitors of all ages and a vibrant marketplace featuring the best selection of books and magazines in Canada. Join us (for free!) as we share vital stories about where we live.

Board of Directors


Sarah Dunn, President
Sr. Manager, Marketing and Sales, Attila Glatz Concert Productions

Sarah Dunn is the Senior Manager of Marketing and Sales for Attila Glatz Concert Productions, which produces, promotes, and manages classical, jazz, folk, country, film, and video game music performances throughout the world. She previously spent 15 years as a book publicist, most recently at ECW Press, where worked for over ten years, eventually becoming their Publicity Director.


Meredith Tutching, Vice President
Director, Forest of Reading, Ontario Library Association

Meredith Tutching has been with the Ontario Library Association since 2001 and joined The Word on the Street board in 2014. As the Director of the Forest of Reading, her main responsibility is running Canada’s largest recreational reading program where over 270,000 young people participate yearly. Additionally, she programs and executes Canada’s largest literary Festival for young people, the Festival of Trees in Toronto and around the province hosting over 20,000 to meet their favourite Canadian Authors and Illustrators.


Barbara Howson, Past President
Principal, Howson Consulting

Barbara Howson is a sales, licensing, and business strategist with a strong background in publishing and other media sectors. She’s worked with small to mid-size companies in Canada and the United Kingdom. After ten wonderful years at House of Anansi and Groundwood Books, as VP of Sales and Licensing, she left in 2018 to start her consulting business, Howson Consulting.


Masood AbidTreasurer

Masood Abid is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with an undergraduate degree from York University. He has worked in a number of capacities in the Not For Profit sector for over 15 years and has extensive experience with grant budgeting and reporting. Prior to starting his own practice, he was employed with Vision TV and Magazines Canada. Masood is based in Mississauga, just outside Toronto.


Evan Dickson
Director of Business Development, Magazines Canada


David Leonard
Senior Director of 6 Degrees, Institute for Canadian Citizenship

David Leonard is the Senior Director of 6 Degrees, a global movement for inclusion, hosted by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. He was formerly the Director of Events for the Walrus Foundation, and the founding producer of the Walrus Talks, which has become one of the most-respected ideas-based events in Canada. Prior to that, he did communications and campaign work for a number of national environmental charities, and before that spent almost a decade as a publicist for some of the most well-known authors and publishers in Canada and around the world. He lives in Toronto.


Grace O’Connell

Grace O’Connell is the author of the novels Magnified World (a national bestseller) and Be Ready for the Lightning. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in the Globe & Mail, The Walrus, the Toronto Star, and numerous other publications. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and serves as Senior Editor at Open Book.


Don Oravec
Former Executive Director, Writers’ Trust of Canada

A graduate of the University of Guelph, Don began his career in the arts community in the marketing department of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  In 1989 Don bought a home and pursued business opportunities on Montserrat.  After Hurricane Hugo, Don returned to Toronto where he purchased and operated The Fare Exchange Cafe before returning to the Toronto Symphony where he managed the customer service centre and telemarketing operations.  Don was the first full-time Director of Development for Tafelmusik. He has worked for the Writers’ Trust of Canada for nine years, the last seven years as Executive Director. Don currently serves on the board of Project Bookmark Canada. Don and his husband Jim Harper divide their time between Toronto and Fort Lauderdale.


Athmika Punja
Director, Operations, Penguin Random House Canada


Mary Sadleir
VP Outreach, JUMP Math

Mary Sadleir is VP Outreach at JUMP Math, a social enterprise committed to closing the achievement gap and unlocking the math potential in all K-8 students and teachers across Canada. Mary has worked in educational publishing for over 30 years in progressive sales and senior management positions at Prentice-Hall Ginn, Scholastic Canada Inc. and McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Her extensive travel across all provinces and territories has provided Mary with a deep understanding of the education system and the unique and diverse learning communities that define Canada. Her volunteer and board service includes Alzheimer Society Toronto (2 years as Walk Chair), Elections Canada (Senior Supervising Officer), Elections Ontario (Supervising Officer), United Way (Fundraising) and The Lambton Golf & Country Club (Membership).


Alex Snider
Co-founder, Queen Books

Alex Snider is a Toronto-based bookseller and the co-founder and co-owner of Queen Books, an inclusive community bookshop located in Toronto’s east end neighbourhood of Leslieville.

David Torchetti
Associate, Gowling WLG Canada LLP