Bramptonian Jael Richardson is an accomplished author and one of the founders of The Festival of Literary Diversity (the FOLD), which happens annually in Brampton.

Richardson was recently was named one of the Globe and Mail’s arts heroes of 2020. The newspaper was particularly impressed with how she and the rest of the FOLD’s team brought the 2020 festival online in light of the pandemic.

“I knew we couldn’t cancel,” she told the Globe. “We felt like in the midst of the pandemic, it was even more important to put on the FOLD. And to make sure that people from marginalized communities had a chance to connect and find authors and really heal from what was going on around them.”

According to the Globe’s article, The FOLD team had to move very quickly. They held practice runs, worked out all the kinks in the technology and then registered everyone with free tickets. The four-day festival ended up attracting around 5,000 unique participants.

The article also notes that Richardson and her team did it so well and so early in the pandemic that other events followed her lead. She even created a webinar to share her experiences and how they could best help others in the event space.

Read more about Richardson, The FoLD, and the other arts heroes here.