Five Big Questions We’re Asking This Year in Winnipeg

The Forks Market tower, Winnipeg by AJ Batac
The Forks Market tower, Winnipeg by AJ Batac

In a few weeks, the Spur festival kicks off our 5-city national festival in Winnipeg, cutting through the chatter on topics ranging from foreign reporting to urban design. The Spur festival is not a series of lectures. Instead, we conceptualize the festival as a “live-issue” of a magazine with a consistent theme, presented over the course of a weekend of debates, conversations, books readings, walking tours, literary cabaret, parties and more.

The common thread of the Spur festival is the value placed on longform conversations. We are not afraid to ask big questions of our speakers and audiences. We also know that the answers to these questions are going to require collaboration across lines of partisan politics, ideology, medium, and geography.

Here are five of the big questions we’ll be asking this year in Winnipeg, from March 20-23rd:

1. What does influence look like, in the era of Big Data?
In our opening event, Signal vs. Noise, the New York Library’s Paul Holdengräber, author George Prochnik, and ethicist Arthur Schafer discuss the search for meaning in a saturated world.

2. How can watching (and making!) movies impact our political leanings?
In Personal and Political Filmmaking, we’ll sit down with award-winning filmmakers and political activists Peter Mettler, John Greyson and Cecilia Araneda as they discuss how to make political films, personally.

3. What is the future of the dynamic between First Nations and the Government of Canada?
We kick-off our national conversation on what our communities will look like in 2021 with Our Nations In Seven Years. Moderator Sheila North Wilson is joined by Treaty Relations Commissioner Jamie Wilson, Chief Arlen Dumas, and Professor Leah Gazan.

4. How do you tell a Toronto story to a Winnipeg audience?
We’re joined by playwright and actor Ins Choi for Next Gen @ MTC, where he will contextualizes his smash hit Kim’s Convenience for Winnipeg audiences.

5. What is Winnipeg’s role as a gateway to the North?
Continuing our gaze into the future, The North: The World in Seven Years we invite you to join community activist, explorer, and highly decorated writer of sixteen books James Raffan for a look at the future of food, water and land.

These questions are just a small handful of what we’ll be talking about over the four days of the festival; We look forward to working together to come up with some big answers.  From now until March 7, you can get a pass to all the Winnipeg events for only $75.


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