The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts board of directors has surpassed its goal of raising $1 million through the Legacy of Literacy endowment campaign.
“We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the 180 generous and enthusiastic donors who helped us reach our goal almost two years ahead of schedule,” the board said in a news release announcing the milestone.
John Lussier, board president, thanked donors on behalf of the board, the writers, patrons and students who will continue to benefit from the Legacy of Literacy.
“We are never fully certain of funding from year to year and you have ensured that we will continue to bring Canadian writers and readers together,” Lussier said.
“This community continues to amaze and humble me. I would also like to give my deepest thanks to Jean Bennett and the fund development committee for envisioning what could be possible and bringing it to fruition. Through everyone’s dedication, the Festival of the Written Arts is now in excellent shape for the future.”
The Legacy of Literacy endowment campaign was launched in 2017 with a goal to increase the endowment funds from $250,000 to $1 million by the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2022. The Department of Canadian Heritage contributed more than $320,000 in matching funds.
The earnings generated through the endowment funds will support festival programming and outreach initiatives like Celebration of Authors, Books and Community (CABC). Through CABC, Canadian authors visit and work with K-12 students in Sunshine Coast schools, inspiring them to read and write their own creative works, many of which are published in the annual adjudicated anthology, Coastal Voices.
“These funds ensure that the festival will have even greater control over its own destiny,” said Jean Bennett, past president of the board and chair of the fund development committee.
“It will be able to continue to take risks in programming and ensure that emerging voices, including the voices of our youngest writers, the children and youth in our schools, will always have space to be heard.”
More information about the Festival of the Written Arts and the Legacy of Literacy endowment initiative is on the festival website at writersfestival.ca.