Back in April 2008 there was a big noise about Vancouver applying to UNESCO for designation as a UNESCO Literary City. Alma Lee who founded the Vancouver International Writers Festival was leading the effort. I haven’t heard much about it since but it turns out that Melbourne (Australia) just received their designation in August 2008. They were second city to receive it after Edinburgh. Somewhere in my internet travels, I saw that there are currently three other cities (in addition to Vancouver) with applications: Kolkata, Iowa City, and Dublin (I can’t confirm this last one).
Further investigation showed that the Literary Cities are part of something bigger, the Creative Cities Network. Apparently UNESCO has a whole series of designations, Cities of Design, Cities of Music, Cities of Gastronomy, etc.
The April publicity was in aid of a public meeting to garner support locally. At the same time, city council was asked to support the effort. These were the last steps for completing the application. So far, there’s no word as to Vancouver’s current status.
Meanwhile, the Word on the Street (WOTS) festival is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008. Heather Haley (her website is here) will be appearing at the Poetry Tent on Homer St. and Georgia St. at 2 pm. For more on the festival, go here.