Five Big Questions We’re Asking in Ottawa


Hey Ottawa! After amazing weekends in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Calgary, the Spur festival is headed to our nation’s capital!  We’ll be cutting through the chatter on topics ranging from the impact of political satire to how the global economy will look in 2021.

The common thread of the Spur festival is the value of a longform conversation. We are not afraid to ask big questions of our speakers and audiences. We explore the answers to these questions over a weekend of debates, conversations, book readings, walking tours, literary cabarets, parties and more.

Get your tickets now! And check out five of the big questions we’ll be asking this year in Ottawa from May 8 to 10.

1 How do political insiders create buzzwords and craft messages that resonate with the public?
In The Language of Politics, Evan Solomon sits down with pollster and political strategist Dimitri Pantazopoulos, Toronto Star journalist Susan Delacourt, and principal secretary to the leader of the official opposition in Canada, Brad Lavigne, to discuss the how, why, where and who of writing the language of politics.

2.What will our labour markets and income levels look like in 2021?
As a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Armine Yalnizyan has particularly keen insight into the current and future state of the economy and the politics that surround it. Join her for The World in Seven Years: The Economy, which will tackle the puzzle that is politics, power and money for the year 2021.

3. What is the legacy of Al Purdy?
Find out at Signal, Verse, Noise: The Purdy Show. This special evening of music, comedy and poetry, features Bruce Cockburn, Steven Heighton, Douglas Gibson, Marni Jackson, Rivka Galchen and Anne Fenn. Hosted by David O’Meara and in support of The Al Purdy A-Frame Restoration Campaign!

4. What is the relationship between journalists, elected officials, and voters?
Journalist Paul Wells hosts Media and the Rhythms of Democracy, a conversation with Jennifer Ditchburn of the Canadian Press and Tim Naumetz of The Hill Times. They’ll discuss the state of the media and its effect on the rhythms of democracy.

5. Why are short stories so notoriously difficult to write?
Brilliant, complex, original: the work of Canadian-born writer Rivka Galchen is as unpredictable as it is intriguing. Join her in conversation with long-time writer and editor Marni Jackson.

What are your answers to these big questions? Grab a festival pass, and come share your thoughts.

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