Alberta Culture Days 2022 – How Our Culture Shapes the Stories We Tell

Saturday, September 17
All events are free to attend
, but registration is required (please use the form below)

Important Update: All in-person workshops have transitioned to an online format. Our one-day pop up celebration will feature four virtual sessions: a writing workshop with Gabe Calderón, an interactive talk with Julie Sedivy, a panel discussion on the impact of culture on our writing, and a publishing workshop with FriesenPress. Writers of all skill levels are welcome to join up for one or all four sessions.


Alberta Culture Days 2022 Events

Saturday, September 17
Saturday, September 17
Online - Writing Workshop: Self-Expression through the Written Word
10:30 - 12:00
Self-Expression through the Written Word with Gabe Calderón

Online - Writing Workshop: Self-Expression through the Written Word

Facilitator: Gabe Calderón

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Utilizing fun writing prompts, we will be using the written word to create worlds and weave stories. Want to try something new? Feeling writers’ block? Need advice on something you’re trying to write? This workshop will dive into creative ways in which we can express ourselves using writing as a liberation tool, a weapon, an escape and a place of belonging. No previous writing experience is necessary!

Gabe Calderón (they/them) currently lives in Treaty 6 territory's Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) as an author, poet, mixed media artist, activist and educator. Gabe has achieved several literary and poetry awards, namely a Lambda Literary Award in 2021 for the LGBTQ+ Anthology: Love After the End. Gabe’s debut novel: Màgodiz published by Arsenal Pulp Press will be released October 2022.

Pre-order Màgòdiz here:

You can find Gabe on Instagram: @nishingabe or on their website:

Gabe's photo by @indigenality_photography

Online Interactive Talk w/Julie Sedivy: How Multilingualism Affects How we Feel, Think, and Write
13:00 - 14:30
Interactive Talk with Julie Sedivy: How Multilingualism Affects How we Feel, Think, and Write

Online Interactive Talk with Julie Sedivy: How Multilingualism Affects How we Feel, Think, and Write

Facilitator: Julie Sedivy

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

People who know more than one language often find they express themselves differently in each language, and some even feel they are slightly different people in each language. In this interactive session, we will explore multilingualism from the writer’s perspective: Why are languages not interchangeable? What is lost and gained when a writer shifts from writing in one language to another? How can writers harness each language to achieve the fullest and most authentic range of expressiveness, regardless of the strength of each language and regardless of whether they intend their finished products to be in just one language or more than one? This session will be relevant to multilingual writers, writing teachers, and anyone who is curious about the multilingual mind and the role of multilingualism in the creative process.

Julie Sedivy is a writer, editor, and language scientist whose work ranges from the scientific to the poetic and everything between. Her essays have appeared in magazines such as Nautilus, Discover, Scientific American, Literary Hub, the Literary Review of Canada, and Politico, as well as in numerous anthologies, and she has taught linguistics and psychology at Brown University and the University of Calgary. Her most fourth and most recent book, Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self was a finalist for the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction and for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. She is a citizen of three countries and now makes her home on the achingly beautiful lands of Treaty 7.

Find Julie on Twitter: @JulieSedivy or at

Online Panel: How Our Culture Shapes the Stories We Tell
14:45 - 16:15
Online Panel: How Our Culture Shapes the Stories We Tell

Online Panel: How Our Culture Shapes the Stories We Tell

Moderator: David A. Robertson

Panelists: Dallas Hunt, Doretta Lau and Adriana Oniță

2:45 pm - 4:15 pm, Online

Is our writing inevitably shaped by our culture? How large a part does it play in the stories we decide to tell? Listen in as our group of panelists discuss the importance of culture in their writing journeys, the act of writing itself, and finally, the stories they choose to share.

Bio for Dallas Hunt coming soon!

DORETTA LAU started watching horror movies at age nine and sketch comedy at eleven, which was probably why she ended up completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University.

In her fiction, her characters receive text messages from their future selves, go on dates with ghosts, recover from childhood stardom, and yearn to be competitive eating superstars. The Atlantic named her short story collection, How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?, as a best book of 2014. The title story, about a group of kids determined to pull off a heist, was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize.

Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @dorettalau

ADRIANA ONIŢĂ is a Romanian-Canadian poet, artist, educator, and researcher. She is the editorial director of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the founding editor of The Polyglot, a multilingual magazine of poetry and art. She writes poezii în limba română, English, español, français, and italiano. Her recent poems appear in CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, The Humber Literary Review, in her chapbook, Conjugated Light (Glass Buffalo, 2019), and in the Romanian Women Voices in North America series. Adriana recently completed her PhD in language education and divides her time between Alberta and Italy.

Social media: Twitter: @adi_onita, Instagram: @adi.onita

MODERATOR: DAVID A. ROBERTSON is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the 2021 Canadian Children’s Author of the Year (The Globe and Mail), and winner of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award. He is the author of the memoir Black Water (HarperCollins Canada), which won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and numerous #1 bestselling books for young readers, including The Misewa Saga (Penguin Random House Canada), a middle grade fantasy series which began with The Barren Grounds, as well as the picture books On The Trapline and When We Were Alone. He is the writer and host of the award-winning podcast Kīwēw, a sought after speaker, and a beloved guest at literary festivals as well as on radio and television programs. The Theory of Crows is his first novel for adults. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

Socials: Twitter @davealexroberts, IG: @davidrobertsonwriter

Please note, this event will not be recorded

Online Workshop: FriesenPress: The Modern Publishing Landscape
16:30 - 18:00
Online Workshop: FriesenPress: The Modern Publishing Landscape

Online Workshop: FriesenPress: The Modern Publishing Landscape

Facilitator: Jamie Ollivier

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm, Online

The publishing industry today looks much different than it did a decade ago. In that time, self-publishing has outgrown its longstanding 'vanity' stigma and become a viable publishing option for many writers. The traditional publishing industry has also experienced great changes and as a result it just isn’t what it used to be, even for those who’ve found success within the system.

This workshop provides an overview of the modern book publishing landscape and gives advice to authors on how to successfully navigate it. We’ll discuss the general publishing options of Traditional Publishing, DIY, and Assisted Self-Publishing — how it all works and the logistics of moving your book from the computer screen to the bookshelf.

Jamie Ollivier is a Publishing Consultant at FriesenPress – the largest publishing services provider in Canada. He brings over 8 years experience to his role supporting authors with self-publishing the best books possible.

From touring North America as a stand-up comedian to running his own media company, Jamie's unique and varied background has helped hundreds of authors successfully produce and release their books to the world.

FriesenPress is the world's only 100% employee-owned publishing services provider. Since 2009, they have helped thousands of authors publish over 8,000 titles. Part of Canada's largest independent book printer, Friesens Corporation, FriesenPress offers professional editing, design, distribution, and promotional support to those seeking to self-publish their books.

Find them online: Facebook: @friesenpress, Twitter: @friesenpress, Instagram: @friesenpress

Please note, this event will not be recorded


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