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The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Check out our 2021 schedule! All events will be presented on Zoom. In-person activities for Saturday, September 18th have been cancelled, and the festival will be online only.

Fri, Sept 17: Middle Grade Mystery with Kevin and Basil Sylvester, Michael Hutchinson, and Marty Chan

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

This session will be presented on Zoom. Due to unforseen circumstances, we will not have an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter for this event today. Our apologies! The rest of the Friday and Saturday program will still have an ASL interpreter on screen.  Register free on Eventbrite for tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/169190183393

Haunted Hospital

Xander thinks the George Wickerman Hospital would be the perfect setting for Spirits and Specters, a role-playing game where players go on “missions” to find evidence of paranormal activities. According to local legend, tuberculosis patients were used as test subjects in medical experiments that ended tragically, and their disfigured ghosts walk the hallways of this now-abandoned building. What better location to go ghost hunting? Even though they didn’t really believe the rumors, Xander and his friends soon begin to suspect that they are not alone. Is this place actually haunted by ghosts? Or something even more terrifying?

  • Children's
  • Fiction
  • Mystery & Suspense

Marty Chan

Marty Chan is an award-winning author of dozens of books for kids, including Kung Fu Master, Haunted Hospital and Kylie the Magnificent in the Orca Currents line and the award-winning Marty Chan Mystery series. He tours schools and libraries across Canada, using storytelling, stage magic and improv to ignite a passion for reading in kids. He lives in Edmonton.

The Case of the Burgled Bundle

The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats—cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center of a four-day-long ceremony, is taken, the four mystery-solving cousins set out to catch those responsible and help protect Windy Lake’s reputation!

What’s worse, prime suspect Pearl takes off to the city with her older brother and known troublemaker, Eddie. If they have the burgled bundle with them, the Mighty Muskrats fear it may be lost for good. With clues pointing in too many different directions, the cousins need to find and return the missing bundle before the assembly comes to an end. The history and knowledge passed down to each generation through the bundle is at stake.

  • Children's
  • Indigenous
  • Mystery & Suspense

Michael Hutchinson

Michael Hutchinson is a citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation in the Treaty 5 territory. As a teen, he pulled nets on Lake Winnipeg, fought forest fires in the Canadian Shield, and worked at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Station’s Underground Research Lab. As a young adult, he worked as a bartender, a caterer for rock concerts and movie shoots, and, eventually, as a print reporter for publications such as The Calgary Straight and Aboriginal Times. After being headhunted by the Indian Claims Commission, Michael moved from journalism to the communications side of the desk and worked for the ICC in Ottawa as a writer, though he later returned to his home province to start a family.

Since then, he has worked as the Director of Communications for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, a project manager for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, where he helped create the “We are all treaty people” campaign, and as a communications officer for the Assembly of First Nations. Over seven years ago, he jumped at the chance to make mini-documentaries for the first season of APTN Investigates. Michael then became host of APTN National News and produced APTN’s sit-down interview show, Face to Face, and APTN’s version of Politically Incorrect, The Laughing Drum. After leaving APTN, Michael worked for advocacy organizations like the Assembly of First Nations and the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. He is currently a co-host on CTV Morning Live Winnipeg. Michael’s greatest accomplishments are his two lovely daughters.

The Fabulous Zed Watson!

Zed Watson loves a few things: their name (which they chose themself!), their big rambunctious family, and—oh yeah—monsters. When Zed discovered the mystery surrounding an unpublished novel called The Monster’s Castle, they were completely hooked. Now Zed is a member of a small but dedicated legion devoted to finding the long-buried text.

When a breakthrough discovery leads Zed to the route that they are sure will take them to the treasure, they know it’s time for a road trip. And with the help of their shy, flora-loving neighbour, Gabe, and his sister, Sam, a geologist who is driving back to college in Arizona, Zed and company are soon off on a wild adventure following cryptic clues.

But it’s not all fun and games. Gabe doesn’t like Zed’s snacks, Sam is a bossy driver with total command of the ancient Impreza’s stereo, and Zed is often misgendered. It’s a good thing they also encounter kind strangers, potato-themed dance-offs and lots and lots of ice cream along the way. If Zed and Gabe can combine their strengths, survive Sam’s wrath and best the greedy historian who’s also hot on the book’s trail, they just might find the greatest treasure of all.

Co-authored by child-parent duo Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester, this is a vibrant and enormous-hearted story about friendship, identity and belonging. It features illustrations by celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester, and an Own Voices perspective based on Basil’s experience.

  • Children's
  • Fiction
  • LGTBQ+

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester is the author/illustrator of more than thirty books including MiNRS, The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem, the Neil Flambé Capers and The Hockey Super Six. He’s also a broadcaster and a documentary producer. Kevin Sylvester has won awards all over Canada, including the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Award. Visit him at www.kevinsylvesterbooks.com.

The Fabulous Zed Watson!

Zed Watson loves a few things: their name (which they chose themself!), their big rambunctious family, and—oh yeah—monsters. When Zed discovered the mystery surrounding an unpublished novel called The Monster’s Castle, they were completely hooked. Now Zed is a member of a small but dedicated legion devoted to finding the long-buried text.

When a breakthrough discovery leads Zed to the route that they are sure will take them to the treasure, they know it’s time for a road trip. And with the help of their shy, flora-loving neighbour, Gabe, and his sister, Sam, a geologist who is driving back to college in Arizona, Zed and company are soon off on a wild adventure following cryptic clues.

But it’s not all fun and games. Gabe doesn’t like Zed’s snacks, Sam is a bossy driver with total command of the ancient Impreza’s stereo, and Zed is often misgendered. It’s a good thing they also encounter kind strangers, potato-themed dance-offs and lots and lots of ice cream along the way. If Zed and Gabe can combine their strengths, survive Sam’s wrath and best the greedy historian who’s also hot on the book’s trail, they just might find the greatest treasure of all.

Co-authored by child-parent duo Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester, this is a vibrant and enormous-hearted story about friendship, identity and belonging. It features illustrations by celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester, and an Own Voices perspective based on Basil’s experience.

  • Children's
  • Fiction
  • LGTBQ+

Basil Sylvester

Basil Sylvester is a non-binary writer and bookseller. They live in Toronto.