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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

Shelagh McDonald, President

Prior to entering library work, Shelagh McDonald spent over 20 years as a bookseller employed by several local  businesses before establishing (in partnership) titles bookstore – a quality independent which operated out of the same location currently occupied by UNA Pizza + Wine. Despite having left this pursuit, she has maintained a fierce interest in publishing, the role of established authors balanced with the emergence of new voices in a constantly changing and challenging  industry. In her spare time, outside of reading, Shelagh is a documentary film enthusiast, musical theatre fan (Sondheim, forever!), and profoundly bad golfer. She is also a proud member of Word on the Street, and with the board, dedicates this year’s festival to the memory of her sister and  past president, Susan McDonald.


Brianne Arneson, Treasurer 


Madeleine Dahlem, Secretary


Edna Jen Warrington, Programme Chair

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. She joined Word On The Street in 2018 and served on the programming committee, and is currently the Programme Chair.


Lisa Vargo, Board Member

Lisa is a Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan, with research interests in scholarly editing and British women writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This is her second time serving on the Board for the Word on the Street Saskatoon; the first time was so enjoyable that she was happy to accept when asked to serve on the Board for a second time.


Kyle Graham, Board Member

My name is Kyle Graham. This is my first year as a board member with Word on the Street. I was raised in Saskatoon. After high school, I went to Sask Polytech and subsequently worked as a paramedic in rural Saskatchewan. After several years of being a first responder, I caught the teaching
bug and decided to head back to school. I convocated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 and began working for the Saskatoon Public School division right away. My career began at Tommy Douglas Collegiate, and I am currently assigned to Centennial Collegiate. I primarily teach ELA, but I have also taught History and Drama, as well as a little bit of time in the Art room and Resource room. I am
currently in the second year of a master’s degree in Educational Administration. I am the father of 2 teenagers. My lovely and intelligent wife of 18 years, Erin, is a Pediatric Nurse at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.