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The Frye Festival, formerly known as the Northrop Frye International Literary Festival, is a bilingual (French and English) literary festival held in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada in April of each year. The festival began in 2000 and honours noted literary critic Herman Northrop Frye (1912–1991), who spent his formative years in Moncton, graduating from Aberdeen High School.
Invited participants of the Frye Festival include not only noted Frye scholars, such as Robert D. Denham, Alvin Lee, Michael Dolzani, Jean O'Grady, and Caterina Nella Cotrupi, but also local and international literary figures.
Two separate series of lectures take place during the Frye Festival. The Antonine Maillet - Northrop Frye Lecture began in 2006 with Neil Bissoondath, and has since been followed by David Adams Richards in 2007 and Alberto Manguel in 2008, Monique LaRue in 2009 and Noah Richler in 2010 and Margaret Atwood in 2011.
The Frye Symposium Lecture began during the first Festival and continues today. In 2000 David Staines delivered the lecture, followed by Branko Gorjup in 2001, Caterina Nella Cotrupi in 2002. In 2003 there were two Frye Symposium Lectures, one in English by Robert Denham and one in French by Naim Kattan. In 2004 there were also two lectures, both in English, one by John Ayre and one by Michael Dolzani. In 2005 there were two lectures, one by Alvin Lee and one by B. W. Powe. In 2006, the first year of the Maillet-Frye series, there was no Frye Symposium Lecture, but the lecture returned in 2007 when there were again two Frye Symposium Lectures, one by Jean O'Grady and one by Robert Denham. In 2008 there was one lecture, by Glenna Sloan.
The two lecture series are quite separate, with one featuring a well-known writer or thinker, and the other featuring a noted Frye scholar.
Although born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Northrop Frye was seven years old when his family moved to Moncton, New Brunswick. Frye became an accomplished author and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1951. He was named University Professor by the University of Toronto in 1967 and was Norton professor at Harvard University. In November 1990, at the invitation of Professor Serge Morin, Northrop Frye returned to Moncton to deliver the Pascal Poirier Lecture at the Université de Moncton. During his stay he had the chance to meet and talk with many Monctonians, and he was able to visit his old home and the grave of his mother in Elmwood Cemetery. 'They were two of the best days of my life,' he reported to fellow Monctonian, Reuben Cohen. The following year, after Frye's death in January 1991, The Northrop Frye Society hosted a gathering of Frye-ites, and John Ayre, Frye's biographer, delivered the Pascal Poirier Lecture.
In 1997 the City of Moncton, developed an Arts Policy which recommended that the city have a festival to honour Northrop Frye. In its first year more than 3,000 people attended the Festival. In 2011 more than 15,000 people attended. The Frye Festival has become one of the major literary events in Canada, and continues to grow every year. More than 350 award-winning authors, from every continent and recipients of almost every major international literary prize, have now attended the Festival. The Festival is the proud recipient of the 2005 Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award, the 2007 Éloize for Event of the Year, the 2009 TD Canada Trust Arts Organization of the Year by the New Brunswick Foundation for the Arts, and the 2014 Commissioner of Official Language's Award of Excellence—Promotion of Linguistic Duality.
The Frye Festival is the largest literary happening in Atlantic Canada.
Among the authors to have appeared at the festival are Russell Banks, Marie-Claire Blais, Neil Bissoondath, Robert Bly, Patrick Chamoiseau, Catherine Cusset, John Dufresne, Richard Ford, Nikki Gemmell, Douglas Glover, Ursula Hegi, Nancy Huston, Witi Ihimaera, Dennis Lee, Alberto Manguel, Yann Martel, Nino Ricci, David Adams Richards, and Bernhard Schlink.
- Fraser, Graham (2014-09-30). "Annual Report 2013–2014". Office of the Commissionner of Official Languages. Retrieved 2018-03-16.