Barbara Bell is a familiar face to the festival crowd – she was at the first festival planning meeting in 2009, and was Artistic Director from 2014-2020. “I’m interested in creative exploration of the big questions,” she says, “why am I here? What is my purpose? How do I live my most authentic life?,” so it’s no surprise to see her new career path, as a Certified Integral Professional Coach with her own practice, TurasLife Coaching. 

Barbara has flexed her creative muscle in many ways, as 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:
17. Words as Solace: The Joy of Reading


Past Festival Appearances

2020: 2. An Evening with Helen Humphreys
2019: 41. Stitching in Time: Historical Fiction
2018: Home in Any Country: Non-fiction
2017: 26. Café Noir: Death at Dowbiggen, 38. Compound Sorrows and a Touch of Magic: Chinese Historical Fiction
2016: 28. Mystery Mavens: Coffee and Cozies with Two of Canada’s Top Mystery Writers
2015: 13. Illuminated Manuscripts
2014 – 2013 – 2011