Slightly more than a decade ago, Philip Lanthier approached several leading citizens and pitched the idea that Knowlton should have a literary festival, celebrating both French and English writing. When the laughter subsided, he moved on down the food chain from leading citizens to those who’d accept his calls and landed at Judith Duncanson, Danny McAuley, Kate Holbrook and Douglas Hooper. Frankly, just to shut the man up, they agreed to sit on a committee with him.
They approached publishers and agents and writers with conversations that went something like this:
‘We’re organizing a literary festival, in Lac-Brome.’
‘You might know it as Knowlton.’
That committee became a gang. A team. A force. Passionate, committed, excited. Determined to make the literary world see what they could.
This isn’t just a festival, it’s a celebration of kinship. Of belonging. Of community that extends far beyond any geographical borders. It’s a community of the imagination. And all are welcome.
Ten years later, the Knowlton Festival is on the literary map and going from strength to strength. Recognized as one of the top festivals in the country.
Philip Lanthier still heads it, because he is, honestly, just a little nuts. And extremely passionate about literacy and literature. He’s swept us all into his vision. And this community is so much richer for it.
It’s been a highlight of my own life here in Knowlton that I’ve been the (very) honorary Chair of the festival. Not a day goes by that I’m not aware of how lucky I am.
Merci. Thank you. And welcome.
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Honourary Patron of the Knowlton Literary Festival
Member of the Order of Canada.