Canadian books, authors to be feted on global stage in 2020

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Juergen Boos, CEO and President of Frankfurt Book Fair, with The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, at the Guest of Honor signing ceremony. Image: Thomas Minkus (CNW Group/CanadaFBF2020

TORONTO – The Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 Committee (CanadaFBM2020), formed by associations representing Canadian-owned book publishers, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), and supported by export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition, applauds Canada’s acceptance of the invitation to be Guest of Honour (GoH) of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.

The book industry is already focusing its efforts on planning a successful and impactful event, and has consolidated support across Canada for the project. The event represents an important and comprehensive opportunity for Canada’s publishing industry to demonstrate its vitality and show the world the considerable talent and great diversity of its creators.

The Canadian publishing industry has worked together for the past three years on this project, so it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome this fantastic news. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international hub of the publishing world and being its GoH will provide extraordinary opportunities to showcase our world-class literature, books, and Canadian culture,” said Caroline Fortin, Québec-Amérique and President of the CanadaFBM2020 Committee, during the signing ceremony.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest event of its kind worldwide, showcasing technology and innovation as applied to the book publishing sector, with approximately 275,000 visitors and 10,000 media representatives attending each year. The GoH consistently becomes a magnet for participants and the general public for the duration of the Fair and throughout the entire year of its nomination.

Left to right: Nicole Saint-Jean, (President of Guy Saint-Jean Editeur and President of ANEL); Caroline Fortin (President of Éditions Québec-Amérique and President of the CanadaFBM2020 Committee); The Honourable Mélanie Joly (Minister of Canadian Heritage); and Matt Williams (Vice President of Publishing Operations at House of Anansi Press and President of the Association of Canadian Publishers, ACP

“In a context of a highly competitive market in which Canada’s cultural industry and goods need to stand out at both the national and international level, Canada’s participation as a GoH at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair represents an important, unifying and exceptional business opportunity.” – Matt Williams, House of Anansi and President of ACP.

Canada, like other countries that have been in the spotlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair, can anticipate major economic impacts: the event will open the door to new audiences and markets for Canadian books, digital content, film and academic work, as well as for arts, culture, and tourism.

Canada’s diversity and stories deserve to be celebrated and shared with the world, and a country’s books and literature, whether they are in print or digital format, are an important key to understanding its multifacetedness. We are very pleased that as part of this invitation, French Canada and Quebec can participate in promoting this rich cultural contribution.”Nicole Saint-Jean, Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur and President of ANEL.

For the publishing industry, this project falls within a global development strategy in which export, promotion ofCanada’s diverse talents, and the expansion of digital products are at the forefront. With this project, many small- and medium-size publishers, and the authors they publish, will have their first international trading experience, while benefiting from being part of a large delegation and one-of-a-kind event programming. Though there are other cultural fairs and cultural events around the world, none has a GoH program that offers FBM’s level of visibility and impact, or offers meeting opportunities with as many influential industry players from around the world.

Given the high levels of cultural exchange between Canada and Europe, we believe there is strong international interest in learning more about Canadian publishers, authors, culture and media. Canada brings to the world stage a strong commitment to its bilingual tradition and embraces the diverse immigrant cultures that contribute to its society. We are pleased that Canada accepts this invitation to showcase its rich literary, cultural and linguistic heritage to global industry representatives.”Juergen Boos, CEO and President of the Frankfurt Book Fair

On a national level, the CanadaFBM2020 Committee is pleased to understand that this project lies within a global vision that seeks to enable and facilitate international competitiveness and dissemination of Canadian cultural goods and artistic creativity, as outlined by Minister Joly.

Our Government is committed to ensuring that readers everywhere have access to a wide range of Canadian-authored books, and I look forward to showcasing Canada’s book industry—as well as our country’s artistic and cultural sector—at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020. This is a fantastic opportunity to enable Canada’s artists and cultural entrepreneurs to maximize their full export potential, to help increase their competitive position on the international stage, and to ensure long-term sustainability, which will contribute to Canada’s overall economic and social prosperity.” —The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

The Canada FBM2020 Committee will continue to work actively with Canadian Heritage, its partners, and other stakeholders to engage the publishing, artistic, cultural and business communities around the project in order to develop a strong event that will benefit all, while addressing the industry’s specific needs and vision.

The CanadaFBM2020 Committee is made up of representatives of the industry, namely members of Canadian-owned publishing associations ACP and ANEL, and is supported by export associations Livres Canada Books and Québec Edition. For the past three years, it has promoted the idea of Canada becoming the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and in so doing has developed and engaged partners across the country.Caroline Fortin, Executive Director, Québec-Amérique, has been appointed CanadaFBM2020 Committee President. – CNW Telbec

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