Spotlight on Scotiabank & Writers at Woody Point

Newfoundland and Labrador is a province that has long been renown and respected for its thriving and lively arts scene. From the colourful murals that adorn downtown St. John’s, to theatre productions like those of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival that bring our culture and history to life, art lives and breathes all around us, in every nook and cranny and community and cove. Likewise, the extent of the province’s contributions to the country’s literary arts scene is not to be underestimated, and it’s thanks to events like the Writers at Woody Point literary festival in Bonne Bay that helps keep that momentum going.

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Folks gather to hear author Michael Crummey read from his work at the Writers at Woody Point festival in 2014. (Photo by Tom Cochrane, courtesy of Writers at Woody Point.)

Now in its 13th year, the festival has seen writers, musicians, artists and bibliophiles from across the province, country and the world gather together to celebrate the written word in all of its glorious forms. This year’s event (presented by title sponsor Scotiabank) runs from August 16-21 and is ramping up to be one of the biggest and best yet. Hosted by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers and Angela Antle, it will bring together writers such as Megan Coles, Michael Crummey, Lawrence Hill and Guy Vanderhaeghe with the likes of Ron Sexsmith, Amelia Curran, Rick Mercer and many more. The festival also features a comedy event from July 15-16 featuring five of the country’s top comedians, along with the Inkwell Songwriters Series on August 12 with Hey Rosetta!’s Tim Baker and friends.

“We’ve been proud to be a presenting sponsor of the Writers at Woody Point festival since 2008,” says Ken Birmingham, District Vice President, Newfoundland Southeast and Labrador District at Scotiabank.

“If you want to truly support your communities, we believe you need to support the arts. The arts give so much back to our lives. We are particularly proud of supporting Canadian fiction. Canadian literature is infused with our country’s unique heritage and views of the world. These perspectives can help enrich individuals and entire communities.”

Scotiabank’s long history of arts and culture support extends across the province and country and includes a recent $350,000 donation to The Rooms’ “Where Once They Stood We Stand” capital campaign; support for the Burin Peninsula Youth Choir and the Kiwanis Music Festival in St John’s; the Scotiabank Giller Prize (and related events); the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival; the Scotiabank Big Ideas Series at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; as well as a $10-million gift to the Canadian Photography Institute.

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Juno Award-winning Stephen Fearing is just one of the musicians who will be appearing at this year’s festival. (Photo by Lisa MacIntosh, courtesy of Writers at Woody Point.)

“Scotiabank believes the arts make Canadians richer. The arts expose us to new ideas and allow us to see the world through a different lens, which provides us with inspiration to pursue our own passions,” says Birmingham.

Supporting the arts enhances lives which, in turn, helps to build stronger communities and that, says Birmingham, is what Scotiabank’s arts support is all about.

“From Scotiabank’s perspective, we are looking at how we can help people be better off. The arts are such an important part of everyday life; they help give us fresh perspectives, inspiring creativity that we can take into each aspect of our lives,” he says.

“The arts build stronger and more interesting communities and we are proud to team up with the creative community to help bring that to life. We want to make a real, lasting impact on the communities we are a part of and supporting the arts is a key component of that.”