Since 1995 The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society has produced The Word On The Street Vancouver, the primary literary festival for Western Canadian book lovers and literacy enthusiasts. In 2013 the festival rebranded as Word Vancouver. The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society strives to promote literacy by bringing the literature of Canadian, and particularly British Columbian, artists to as broad an audience as possible. Our goal is to attract people of all ages and backgrounds to a festival in which each event is at once educational and entertaining.

We acknowledge that our festival takes place on the unceded homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people.



Executive Director: Bonnie Nish
Guest Indigenous Curator: Russell Wallace
Administrative Assistant: Fran Bourassa
Communications Director: Kelly Phelan
Designer & Webmaster: Sabrina Azaria

Volunteer Coordinator: Laura Flores
Sponsorship and Donations Volunteer: Diane Wong


President: Mary-Ann Yazedjian
Vice-President: Laura Farina
At-Large: Tiffany Stone, Jacob Butler
VPL Liaisons: Polly Argo, Gillian Guilmant-Smith
Advisory to the Board: George McWhirter, Candie Tanaka

Purpose & Mandate

  • Foster an awareness and appreciation of the printed word in our culture

  • Involve the residents of Vancouver in a celebration of writing and reading

  • Promote the importance of literacy in the lives of all Canadians

  • Programming mandate includes attracting a line-up of internationally celebrated and recognized Canadian literary talents to the annual festival


Our History

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society was incorporated in 1995 and produced the first Word On The Street Vancouver festival that year. Modelled on Toronto’s Word On The Street festival, the first Vancouver festival was held at the then newly built Vancouver Public Library, featured 60 exhibitors, and attracted 18,000 festival-goers.

Since then the Society has maintained consistent growth of the festival, attracting increasing numbers of Vancouverites and a growing number of visitors from around British Columbia and across Canada, making it a primary event in Western Canada’s literacy and literary community.

In 2011 we expanded to a three-day festival (Friday-Sunday) with events at Banyen Books & Sound, Historic Joy Kogawa House, Carnegie Centre, and of course Library Square and the CBC Plaza stage. In 2013, in the lead up to the 19th annual festival, the Vancouver Book & Magazine Fair Society rebranded as Word Vancouver. We have a new logo and visual design, revitalizing and inspiring us for the festival, which now spans five days at venues around Vancouver.