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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Finally some news about World Book Capital

I had to chuckle at Pat Donnelly's article in the Montreal Gazette yesterday. Here is an excerpt:

No one would have been surprised if Montreal had been named World Circus Capital, World Film Festival Capital or just plain World Festival Capital. Hardly a week goes by here without the announcement of a coming cultural festival, usually touted as "international."

But Book Capital? In Canada, shouldn't that be Toronto? In North America, shouldn't that be New York? What about author-magnet, publishing-mad cities like London or Paris? What makes Montreal so special? Or, for that matter, what was so great about last year's World Book Capital, Antwerp, Belgium?
At the very least, those Taverne" vs. "Tavern" dustups with the Office quebecois de la langue francaise do make us look a tad provincial, rather than a world capital of anything.

Here's a link to the main web site (English link) for the proposed activities in my old home town of Montreal. The opening day's events were diverse in nature to say the least. Laurie Brown hosted Just Give’r yesterday with guests Terry and Dean. "The supposed writers of Just Give'r, were the protagonists of David Lawrence and Paul Spence's mockumentary Fubar". After this event, if you were quick enough, you could also see the next scheduled event where Sophie Durocher interviewed Gilles Vigneault and Angèle Dubeau. Échange de notes entre deux virtuoses. I purport that it would be really more interesting to see the Fubar crew and Vigneault et Dubeau share the same stage. But that's just me.

Be warned, most of the page of the WBC site currently has the ubiquitous COMING SOON or À VENIR dead links. As predicted in my previous weblog post, the seemingly lack of preparation, at least online, is visible in this regard. However, it's a good start and hopefully the excitement will build and the readers-cum-tourists will visit in droves to Montreal to read their little hearts out, and more people will start to dust off their library cards or register for news ones. At the very least they can read in transit while stuck in the ever present traffic jams. Construction season just started didn't it? Have Fun!


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