News and Interviews

The Word on the Street interview with FedEx Express Canada President Lisa Lisson


The Word on the Street offers tons of exciting programming, but one aspect you don't want to miss is the Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent. Celebrating the unique and powerful literary voices of our province, the tent boasts a stacked line up of talented authors all day long on September 24

We're talking to several authors from the Vibrant Voices tent in the lead up to the festival, and today we welcome FedEx Express Canada President Lisa Lisson, author of Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss and the Road to Success (ECW Press). In Resilience, she draws on her professional and personal experiences to inspire readers as she recounts the moment her entire life changed. Lisson, a mother of four and already an executive at FedEx Express, was happily married to her high school sweetheart. All seemed idyllic until her husband suffered a massive heart attack out of the blue and ended up in a coma. Resilience is the story of how Lisson coped with the most unexpected of tragedies. 

We talk to her today about a book she loved from another inspiring and high achieving woman, and her favourite spot in Ontario. Lisa will be reading at the Vibrant Voices tent at 3:45pm on Sunday, September 24

Lisa Lisson

Open Book:

Tell us about what you’ll be reading in the Vibrant Voices tent this year.

Lisa Lisson:

I’m extremely excited to talk about my new memoir, Resilience. Writing this book has been an incredible personal and professional journey, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone on September 24. 


Have you attended The Word on the Street in the past? If so, tell us about a favourite memory. If not, what are you most looking forward to?


This is my first time attending, but I’ve heard amazing things. The festival is an exciting celebration of Canadian literature and I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, and authors. It’s so exciting to be part of this community. 


The Vibrant Voices tent celebrates Ontario authored and published books. Tell us about a favourite Ontario author or book you've read.


There are so many talented authors that inspire me. I greatly admire Arlene Dickinson and loved her books All In and Persuasion. She’s an incredible role model for Canadian women. I also really enjoyed Kirstine Stewart’s book Our Turn. It explores issues related to women in leadership, and her personal experience in the business world. Kirstine has held so many high-profile positions both in Canada and south of the border. I hope to add to this legacy of strong women leaders with Resilience


What's the best advice you've ever received or the best advice you would offer about public readings? 


Well, I think the first thing is to enjoy the moment. Not everyone gets the opportunity to publish their story, and I’m looking forward to engaging with Canadians on a personal level, and hopefully inspiring a few of them along the way. 


Do you have a favourite spot in Ontario? 


There are so many great spots in Ontario. We’re blessed to live in such a beautiful province. If I had to pick one place it would be the Muskoka Lakes, especially in the fall when the leaves change colour. It is breathtaking place, and a very special place to my family. It’s peaceful and inspiring. 


What can you tell us about your next project? 


I’m really focused on the launch of this book. My goal over the next year is to share my story with Canadians, and listen to their stories. I want to connect with Canadians from coast to coast, and that’s a big task! One of the reasons I wrote this book was to inspire Canadians, and to reassure them that there’s life after adversity, but I also see this as great opportunity to be inspired by others. After that, maybe I’ll have another story to tell! 


Lisa Lisson is the president of FedEx Express Canada. She has been awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her achievements and was inducted into the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2015. She lives in Burlington, Ontario.

The Word On The Street is a is a national celebration of literacy and the written word. Each September, in communities coast to coast, the public is invited to participate in hundreds of author events, presentations and workshops and to browse a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you'll find anywhere.

The Word On The Street takes place in Toronto at the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen Quay West) on Sunday, September 24, 2017 and features dozens of fantastic author readings, kids programming, author signings, food tents and much more.