NEWS BULLETIN file photo Attendees at last year’s Bookfest read together at Diana Krall Plaza. The event returns this Saturday, June 1, to downtown Nanaimo venues.

Nanaimo Bookfest will foster a love of reading

Event will be held Saturday, June 1, in and around Diana Krall Plaza

Books and reading will be celebrated in downtown Nanaimo.

The Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival will return this weekend, with authors and illustrators meeting children and their families. Bookfest takes place Saturday, June 1, at Diana Krall Plaza, the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo Museum, Harbourfront Library and the Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Bookfest is made up of a series of presentations from authors and kids can attend three different talks over the course of the day leading up to book signings at the end of the event.

“It’s just so exciting,” said Laura Foran, festival co-coordinator. “The adults get just as excited as the kids to meet some of the presenters and it’s just so much fun to see the kids really engage.”

Foran said one of the big names among the attending authors this year is Linda Bailey, the “incredibly popular” author of Stanley’s Party, If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur and Under-the-Bed Fred.

Other presenters are Emma Fitzgerald, Monique Gray Smith, Gabrielle Grimard, Michael Kusugak, Kit Pearson, Jordan Stratford, J. Torres, Nancy Vo and Sally Williams.

“We’ve been able to attract some really talented people,” Foran said. “We try to divide up our roster between people who are established and really well known and who are popular, but also supporting some new and emerging authors and illustrators. So it’s a nice mix for the kids.”

Bookfest is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets cost $10 per child or $25 for a family pass. Adults accompanying their children will be admitted free. To purchase tickets or find out more information, visit

RELATED: Bookfest helps fill school library shelves leading up to event

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