The 16th edition of the Blue Metropolis Festival is one to remember This year’s Blue Metropolis Festival was a huge success, with a notable 35% increase in attendance compared to last year’s festivities. With unique events and an impressive list of guest authors, the Hotel 10 (where most of the events took place) was often packed from morning to evening. Many of the ticketed events were sold out, and for good reason; the Blue Met Festival offered literature lovers the chance to meet world-renowned authors up close and personal, a chance they may not have had otherwise.
My two favorite events were the Richard Ford Q&A/book signing at Indigo and the Alice Munro Tribute closing event. At Indigo, a crowd of us took a seat in front of Ford, who was interviewed for the first hour or so of the event. It is with an incredible charisma and charm that he answered each question, delivering his answers with honesty and humour. I enjoyed learning more about the deciding factors that pushed Ford into the career of novelist, even though he is partly dyslexic and did not read a book until the age of 18(!!). After a few questions from the audience, I got him to sign his latest novel “Canada” for me. Overall a great evening and very happy I got to bring home a signed book by one of the greatest American authors of our time.
The tribute to Alice Munro was very different from the Richard Ford interview; the room was filled near maximum capacity, the event being sold out. Nevertheless, the speakers managed to create a sense of intimacy and everyone listened with great interest. One after the other, authors read their favorite Alice Munro passage to the audience. Their appreciation for the great work of Munro was palpable and their readings were touching. Munro’s long-time editor Douglas Gibson hosted the event brilliantly and gave us insight into what makes her such a remarkable person and author. He made me want to read every single short story ever written by her, and I think I just might. It was truly a perfect closing event to an amazing week for the Blue Metropolis Festival.