media release

Spur Festival finds meaning at SFU

May 16, 2014

Leanne Prain, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, 778.782.9223,

Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

Vancouver’s future as a ‘Green City’ is one of many important conversations to be had as part of this year’s Spur Festival, a cross-national festival of politics, art and ideas co-presented with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs from May 22-25.

The theme of this year’s festival, which offers a unique mix of cultural conversations, film screenings, readings and performances, is Signal vs. Noise: finding meaning in a saturated world.

The festival brings together some of today’s most provocative thinkers, scholars, artists, activists, journalists and entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss important issues of our time with an action-oriented focus.

The festival opens with This City in Seven Years: My Greenest City, where experts will weigh in on what it really means to be “green” in a discussion moderated by David Beers, founder of The Tyee. The discussion is presented in partnership with SFU Public Square and The Tyee.

SFU alumna, lawyer and incoming Chancellor Anne Giardini will act as moderator at one of the festival’s Books & Brunch conversations on May 24, featuring local writer Steven Galloway. Galloway is an award-winning author whose fourth novel, The Confabulist: A Novel, will be published by Random House in 2014. Galloway is a mentor with The Writers’ Studio at SFU.

Founded in 2013 by the Literary Review of Canada and Diaspora Dialogues, Spur Festival is designed as a live event magazine, where participants can enter the magazine where they choose and still become acquainted and involved with the overarching theme.

“Spur aims to provide opportunity for people to explore, together, topics or issues that may be provocative, informative, infuriating or just plain fun,”says Helen Walsh, founder and Spur Festival director.“ We want to ask what would make this a better city, country or world in which to live. As a society, we’re inundated with daily news of what’s wrong. Spur wants to ask what’s possible.”

Spur 2014 festivals have been held in Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa, and will conclude May 25 in Vancouver.

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs works to enable and promote creative and leading edge practices in both the contemporary arts and public community discourse.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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