Festival News: The Word On The Street has been nominated in the BizBash Readers Choice Awards!

Our very own Nicola Dufficy, Festival Director of The Word On The Street, is a finalist for Fundraising Event Planner of the Year in the BizBash Readers Choice Awards! We were so excited to hear this, and Nicola is honoured by the nomination.

This is a reader’s choice award, so it’s up to people like us to vote for who we think should win this prestigious award! 2011 was one of our most successful festivals with 218,000 visitors enjoying a line-up of 245 incredible Canadian writers and 275 exuberant exhibitors. None of this would have been possible without Nicola’s commitment, dedication and leadership.

Please show your support for The Word On The Street and vote for Nicola! Public voting opens for everybody on Thursday, May 3, at 10:00 am EST at bizbash.com/torontovotes and closes on Thursday, May 17 at 11:59 pm EST. Individuals can vote once per 24 hour period. Your support would be much appreciated!

Meet Nicola!

Q: What drew you to The Word On The Street?

I’ve always been passionate about books and reading and I love working with people. In this role, we get to work with hundreds of different stakeholders: authors, publishers, vendors, funders.  I find it incredibly exciting that after 23 years The Word On The Street is able to draw hundreds of thousands of people to a festival that exclusively celebrates Canadian literary talent.

Q: If you could be best friends with a book character, who would it be?

I would love to be best friends with Fern from Charlotte’s Web, because she and I can talk about our love of animals.

Q: What is your top Festival moment?

Meeting Yann Martel. I read Life of Pi when I was at university and featuring Yann as the headlining author at the first The Word On The Street festival I produced was an exciting moment. I couldn’t believe that just a few years earlier I was reading his book in Australia and now I was living in Canada and actually working with this great author.

Q: What was your favourite book from your childhood?

John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner. My mother read this to me when I was little.  I love the illustrations and the sad but beautiful story.

Q: What did you do before The Word On The Street?

I was the Children’s Event Coordinator at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Toronto. I was responsible for creating a program of events, author readings, book clubs, and nurturing a love of reading for our young patrons.

Q: Who is your favourite author?

It’s hard to say because I like many different styles of writing but Emma Donoghue is fast moving to the top of my list. She is a masterful storyteller.

Q: If you could choose a super power, what would it be?

To be able to teleport, because I’d like to be able to teleport back to Australia to visit my family on the weekend.  After I’ve saved the world, of course.

Q: I hear you do actually possess a super power, what is it?

My family calls me Helga…I have a tendency to break things just by looking at them.

Q: Who is somebody that inspires you?

My wonderful colleague, Kristen Gentleman.  We are the Batman and Robin of book festivals.


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