The first-ever Kamloops Word Walk will take place in downtown Kamloops this Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All activities will be free and family-friendly.
The Kamloops Museum and Archives (at Second Avenue and Seymour Street), the Kamloops Library (at Fifth Avenue and Victoria Street), the North Kamloops Library (at 693 Tranquille Rd.) and a dozen businesses in and near the 200, 300 and 400-blocks of Victoria Street will host word-related activities.
The Word Walk is a community day add-on to the longstanding Words Alive Kamloops Festival (previously known as the Kamloops Writers Festival).
“Think Art Walk, but with words,” said organizer Tamara Vukusic.
“Words that are shared — written, read or spoken. It’s about the community coming together to appreciate the power of playing with words and, if they choose, sharing them with others.”
Activities hosted by businesses will include paint chip poetry, book tasting, snowball writing, a community story wall, alliteration letter grab, old-school typewriters, free little libraries and poetry busking.
Hourly workshops will be held at the Kamloops Museum and Archives, including a haiku workshop and Secwepemc storytelling.
A large magnetic poetry wall will be hosted by the Kamloops Library.
Visitors to the North Kamloops Library can try their hand at blackout poetry.
Art will meet the Secwepemc word with local artist and poet Chris Bose from 11 a.m. to noon in the 200-block of Victoria Street.
With help from Bose and some chalk, participants can dress up the sidewalk with the Secwepemc alphabet while listening to transformation stories.
Kamloops Word Walk maps will be available at the museum and Archives, at both libraries and at businesses along Victoria Street.
The map will double as an event passport, with a draw for prizes for those who visit Word Walk activities.
“We plan to make the Kamloops Word Walk an annual community-wide event,” said JP Baker of Words Alive Kamloops and the Kamloops Society for the Written Arts.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not you consider yourself a reader or a writer; we live in words “
Words Alive Kamloops will take place in Hotel 540 from Friday through Sunday with various events and speakers.
For more information, go online to wordsalivekamloops.com.