Roland Gulliver is the Director of the Toronto International Festival of Authors, taking up the position in February 2020. With over 12 years’ experience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Roland Gulliver is one of the leading international figures in the literature sector. In addition to the August Festival, he has led, alongside a fellow programme director, on the development of a year-round programme of residencies, mini festivals and standalone events working with a range of communities to offer access and empowerment through the arts. From graphic novel and hip-hop projects with school students, prison visits with authors, to producing a Muriel Spark celebration for 2000 people in 2019. At the British Council in Brussels (2000-2006) he created and delivered a range of multilateral programmes exploring Britain’s role in Europe with projects, festivals and commissions engaging British, Belgian and European artists and organisations. This included European conferences on science, politics and arts, and high-level bilateral conferences involving ambassadors, business leaders and the UK & Belgian prime ministers.
Barâa Arar is a Toronto-based community organizer, writer, and editor. She holds a Bachelor of Humanities from Carleton University and a Master’s in History from the University of Toronto. As a student, she served as editor of In/Words Magazine and the Hart House Review. Her writing has appeared in This Magazine, Canthius, CBC, and the Globe and Mail, among other Canadian and international publications. Currently, she works for a federal government department, advising on matters of equity, diversity and inclusion. Barâa is an editorial committee member of Between the Lines, an independent Canadian press and is the recipient of the Carleton Provost Scholar Award for community engagement and immersive research.
Tyler Pennock is a two-spirit adoptee from Lesser Slave Lake region of Alberta. Their biological family (Mailhot & Chalifoux) has grown roots in Grouard, McLennan, Prince George, Seabird Island, Faust and other communities throughout Western Canada. Their adoptive family (Sansome & Pennock) hails from Winnipeg, and Ottawa. Tyler is a member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. They graduated from Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program in 2013, and currently live in Toronto.
Elizabeth Ruth is the author of three novels, Ten Good Seconds of Silence, (Dundurn) Smoke, (Penguin) and Matadora. (Cormorant) She has also written a novella for adult literacy learners entitled, Love You To Death. Elizabeth's work has been recognized by the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, The Amazon Best First Novel Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and One Book, One Community. CBC named her "One of the Ten Women Writers You Need to Read. Elizabeth teaches creative writing at U of T. She holds an MA in Counselling Psychology, and an MFA in Creative Writing. She is currently finishing a fourth novel, and a poetry collection, for which she was chosen to be the 2019 Berton House Writer, in Dawson City, Yukon.