Meet the Festival Director

Happy first official day of spring! Though the wind may still be chilly, The Word On The Street is already feeling rejuvenated.


Festival Director Heather Kanabe

In February we were happy to welcome Heather Kanabe to The Word On The Street Toronto as our new Festival Director. Heather is a skilled arts manager, with over ten years of experience working with cultural and corporate partners. She was recently a project manager with SALT & PEPPER Events in Dubai. Prior to obtaining an international MBA, Heather was the programming and business affairs manager at Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT-T).

We couldn’t resist taking this opportunity to ask Heather a few ‘getting to know you’ questions. (Surprise, surprise: they’re mostly about reading.)

What’s your favourite book of all time?


Anne Brontë

My first memorable read, that fed my obsession with Victorian literature for years, was The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, ‘the lesser known sister.’ As a middle child and a visual artist, I related to the voice and the rebellious nature of the protagonist.

My favourite book read in the last ten years would have to be Another Road Side Attraction by Tom Robbins. I can’t help but feel the love for magic realism in all its art forms.

What was your last great read?

My last great read was making my way through Great Expectations. The end made the journey so meaningful. Also, the book itself was an antique, which somehow helped to transport me back in time.

What’s next on your reading list?Image

Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman is next on my list. My dad got his hands on this book first, and could not stop raving about the humour and the  fantastical journey of its characters!

Where is your favourite place to read?

My most cherished reading moments have been on park benches either in High Park or under the “few” trees by the water at the Harbourfront Centre.

During the winter, I would have to say, curled up on my couch with peppermint tea.

What aspect of The Word On The Street Festival are you most excited about?

I’m thrilled to have the chance to indulge in this amount of Canadian literature. The wonderful part of having programming as an integral part of your job is the impetus to stay current and keep your creative juices flowing. I’ve always loved using my business skills to support the creative industries, and I’m glad to now be part of the literary community.

Thanks Heather, and welcome to the team!


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