hMark your calendars because the first ever FOLD is on it’s way to Brampton and it’s only 4 excruciating days away! What is FOLD, you ask? Well, FOLD stands for the Festival of Literary Diversity and it’s a 3 day event, the one and only of it’s kind, that is being held to celebrate and acknowledge the stories written by diverse authors from across Canada.

This festival ambitiously sets out to do many things but foremost, it’s mission is to foster a collective of avid readers and writers within communities by shedding light on a bunch of diverse writers. And what better place to do that than in Brampton where diversity is inherent to our identity.  

The festival has over 25 unique events in store that will take place across Downtown Brampton, with most of the program being delivered at the Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives (PAMA). The main festival kicks off on May 6 and will continue into the weekend until May 8. The programming has a little something for everyone, from educations to students, to just all around lovers of literature.

The line-up of writers set to attend is extensive and complete, featuring known and established Canadian writers like Lawrence Hill and Helen Humphreys as well as rising stars like Ayelet Tsabari and Ian Williams. Other great authors had asked to be admitted into the festival’s current line-up of speakers, but could not be accommodated since the schedule had been finalized and there was no space for any further inclusions.

After reaching out to Jael Richardson, the founder of FOLD, she expressed some of her hopes and desires, one of which is “to create an atmosphere that introduces readers to new and exciting writers” and that by the end of this festival, “writers find a real sense of community in Brampton.” Jael is a published author and a fellow Bramptonian who has poured much of her time into making this festival a reality.

As we’re speedily coming upon the festival, I asked Jael what she was feeling as we grew closer to the first day, to which she readily replied, “nervous, really excited and nervous.” A more than appropriate response given that she’s dedicated 2 years into the planning and making of the FOLD. For her, it’s been a series of challenges and tough decisions or as she aptly describes it, “it’s like being pregnant for 24 months — you have no idea what to expect on the other side.”

Nonetheless, Jael and everyone alike is confident that this Festival of Literary Diversity will culminate into what is sure to be an unforgettable event! For more information and to register, click here.

If you like to read or write, or if you’re simply looking for good, new reads that’ll help you kick back this summer, then head on down to the FOLD this weekend and they’re sure to hook you up! 

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