National Summit of Writers' Associations
National Summit of Writers’ Associations attendees at the Banff Centre’s Professional Development Centre. Back row, L-R: John Degen (Writers’ Union of Canada), Annelies Pool (NorthWords NWT), Mary Osborne (Writers’ Trust of Canada), Élise Bergeron (Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois), Lori Schubert (Quebec Writers’ Federation), Carolyn Gray (Manitoba Writers’ Guild), Ben Nuttall-Smith (Federation of BC Writers); Front row, L-R: Jonathan Meakin (Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia), Judith Silverthorne (Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild), Cathy Ostlere (Creative Nonfiction Collective Society), Warren Maddox (Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick), Carol Holmes (Writers’ Guild of Alberta), David Blinkhorn (Federation of BC Writers), Nichole Quiring (Writers’ Guild of Alberta), Tracy Hamon (Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild), James Davies (Writers’ Trust of Canada), Alison Dyer (Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador), Brian Woodward (Banff Centre), Lee Ellen Pottie (Prince Edward Island Writers' Guild), Paul Seesequasis (writer and guest speaker) (cr. Laurie Edward)
Conceived by the Writers’ Trust as an opportunity to connect associations from across the country, the National Summit of Writers’ Association brings together groups that share the core goal of advancing Canadian writers and writing.
“As a national organization, the Writers’ Trust gives direct support to Canadian writers through its national literary awards, writers’ retreat, fund for writers in crisis, and other programs,” said Mary Osborne, executive director, Writers’ Trust of Canada. “With the NSWA, we are offering support from another angle, by creating a forum to forge connections among our provincial and territorial colleagues and to explore what we can do collectively to better serve writers across Canada.”
The inaugural conference brought together delegates from 14 national, provincial, and territorial associations. Held in Alberta at the Banff Centre, an internationally renowned incubator for creativity and ideas, the summit took place between March 17 to 19, 2014.
Delegates had the opportunity to share initiatives, successes, and best practices. Facilitated discussions considered a wide range of topics, including program development and evaluation, leadership, collaborations, fundraising, administration, strengthening membership, author and organization promotion, and building relationships with writers and readers, among others. Special presentations included author and editor Paul Seesequasis on building relationships with indigenous writers; and Canada Council officers Catherine Montgomery and Brigitte Fontille on making the most of government funding opportunities.
The National Summit of Writers’ Associations was made possible by crucial and generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Banff Centre.
Delegates representing the following national, provincial, and territorial organizations were able to attend the inaugural summit:
- Creative Nonfiction Collective Society
- Federation of BC Writers
- Manitoba Writers’ Guild
- NorthWords NWT
- Prince Edward Island Writers’ Guild
- Quebec Writers’ Federation
- Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild
- Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois
- Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick
- Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
- Writers’ Guild of Alberta
- Writers’ Trust of Canada
- Writers’ Union of Canada