Barbara Bell has been with the Festival since the first meeting in 2009, becoming Artistic Director in 2014. “I love working in the arts,” she says, “and offering writers and readers a place to come together to celebrate literature.”

Besides being a brilliant organizer, she is an actor, theatrical and film producer, television host, editor, and writer. Barbara won the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s Award for Best Actress for her ‘courageous’ and ‘riveting’ title role performance in Dacia Maraini’s Mary Stuart.

She wrote, produced, and performed the one-woman play, Dreams and Desires in Kingston and at fringe festivals across the western provinces. She co-produced: a 28-minute film, Pretty Pieces, which screened at the Reel Heart International Film Festival, among others; several shorts including the award-winning Digging Up Plato; and a feature — Fault — which debuted at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. A second feature is in post-production. Barbara co-produced and hosted TVCogeco’s Pageturners: Kingston’s Book Club, sparking lively conversations with local authors.

Barbara is past-chair of the City of Kingston’s Arts Advisory Committee, sat on the inaugural Mayor’s Arts Awards Nominations Working Group, and also sat on Kingston Arts Council’s Arts Advocacy Committee and the Kingston Writers’ Refugee Committee.

Appearing in: Home in Any Country: Non-fiction