Project Bookmark Canada Announces New Leadership

Laurie Murphy, Project Bookmark Canada's new Executive Director

Laurie Murphy, Project Bookmark Canada's new Executive Director


Toronto, ONProject Bookmark Canada Board of Directors President Don Oravec is pleased to announce Laurie Murphy as the national charity’s new Executive Director, working from Project Bookmark Canada’s newly established Toronto-based head office at 215 Spadina Avenue.

Murphy brings 20 years’ experience working in Canadian arts, culture and heritage as a producer, entrepreneur, fundraiser, and marketing and communications/PR professional to her new ED role, effective January 2017. “I see the next chapter of Project Bookmark Canada as an opportunity to grow as an arts advocate and leader and I will apply my business expertise to help shape new projects.” She will be working with individuals and organizations who are passionate about Canada, its literature and literacy, and the health of Canadian communities, to build Canada’s literary trail with Bookmarks across the country.

Project Bookmark Canada marks our stories in our spaces, by placing fiction and poetry in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes are set. “Founder/Executive Director Miranda Hill did an astonishing job of building Project Bookmark Canada from the ground up, creating a firm foundation for future growth,” says Oravec, “Her hard work and determination over this past decade to build the first 17 bookmarks will now enable Laurie Murphy, the new Executive Director, to lead the organization confidently into the future.”

Hill, a writer herself, says, “It has been a wonderful experience to be the Executive Director of Project Bookmark Canada as it grew from a little idea into a celebration of Canada’s spaces and stories that reaches from coast to coast. I am delighted now to pass the baton to Laurie Murphy, Bookmark’s new Executive Director. With Laurie’s leadership, I believe that Project Bookmark Canada will reach its full potential, becoming a lasting legacy for all Canadians.”

Incorporated in 2007, and registered as a national charity in 2008, Project Bookmark Canada unveiled its inaugural Bookmark in 2009: a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion at the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto. Other plaques, marking published fiction and poetry excerpts of up to 500 words, followed in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kingston, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Port Colborne, Port Hastings, and Woody Point (Gros Morne National Park). Bookmark #17 was erected in 2016 for Dennis Lee’s The Cat and the Wizard (with Illustrations by Gillian Johnson) at Toronto’s Casa Loma.

Visit Project Bookmark Canada at CSI Spadina, call (647) 646-2622 or send an email to For further information, visit


Laurie Murphy, Executive Director
Project Bookmark Canada
215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
Ph: (647) 646-2622 / Cell: (647) 883-8460

Don Oravec, President
Project Bookmark Canada                                     
(647) 878-0958                     

(Download a PDF of this press release here.)



A Gift with Impact

Help the book lovers on your list to build our great Canadian literary trail, with a gift to Project Bookmark Canada. Make a donation in the recipients’ names, and they’ll receive this charming holiday card (send it by email or print and tuck into a stocking).

A gift with impact — and you can get it without having to wrap a package, stand in line, or get snow in your boot. Happy holidays!



Project Bookmark Canada Announces Search for New Leadership

Toronto, ON, November 4, 2016 — Project Bookmark Canada President Don Oravec and the board of directors of Project Bookmark Canada are pleased to announce a new chapter for Canada’s literary trail. After ten years at the helm of the organization, Project Bookmark Canada founder Miranda Hill will step down as executive director in December. To lead the organization into an era of greater expansion and strong partnerships, Project Bookmark Canada is seeking a new executive director.

“Miranda Hill has contributed her ideas and her energy to this initiative for over a decade, and we are delighted to help her pass the torch to the next leader,” says Don Oravec, Project Bookmark Canada President. “The board is excited to work with a new executive director to turn Miranda Hill’s vision for a Canadian literary trail into a true national legacy.”

Shelagh Rogers, honorary patron for Project Bookmark Canada, applauds Hill’s work and says that the project helps Canadians to understand ourselves and each other. “As a reader and a journalist, it’s been so powerful to witness this innovative idea establish itself on our landscape, becoming an important part of our cultural conversation,” says Rogers. “What better way to get to know this country than through the diverse voices and perspectives of our great storytellers?”

Project Bookmark Canada was incorporated in 2007 and unveiled its first Bookmark in April 2009, Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion at the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto. Since then, Project Bookmark Canada has unveiledsixteen more Bookmarks across the country, from Vancouver, British Columbia to Woody Point, Newfoundland and Labrador. In September 2016, Project Bookmark Canada added the first children’s Bookmark to the trail: Dennis Lee’s The Cat and the Wizard (with illustrations by Gillian Johnson) at Casa Loma.

The author and former Toronto poet laureate has been a long-time fan of Project Bookmark Canada, offering his advice and support from the organization’s earliest days. Says Lee, “I love the way Project Bookmark is mapping the Canada of our hearts and imaginations. And I love the fact that we're the first country to do so in this memorable fashion.”

Founder Miranda Hill says that enthusiasm and support like this was vital to help establish the organization. “Writers, community leaders, and readers from across the country were instrumental in encouraging me to make Project Bookmark Canada a reality,” Hill says. “That was very important — especially in our earliest days — because when I began Project Bookmark Canada some people didn’t understand why we would want to celebrate our Canadian stories and spaces.”

Hill says that today any questions about the merit of a Canadian literary trail have been replaced by requests to build the trail faster, taking it to new communities.“In 2017, Canadians are eager to promote and examine our country’s stories, and to celebrate these explorations through marking our fiction and poetry in the landscape,”says Hill. “It’s been wonderful to have a small part in the growth of Canada’s reading culture over the past decade. I look forward to watching what comes next.”

Project Bookmark Canada is a nationally registered charity. In 2016, Project Bookmark Canada received essential financial support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Good Foundation Inc., as well as from donors across the country. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Canada’s literary trail online The job posting for the position of executive Director can be found at Work in Culture


Don Oravec, President                                      Miranda Hill, Founder
647-878-0958                                                       905-975-1797                        

Project Bookmark Canada Board of Directors:

Don Oravec, President
Anna Ling Kaye, Vice President
Linda Hughes,  Secretary
Kevin Noel, Treasurer
Alma Lee
Hughena Matheson
Munju Ravindra
Bianca Spence
Allegra Swanson



Discover Lazaro’s Dream

The Koffler Centre of the Arts and Project Bookmark Canada invite you to walk the territory of Lazaro’s Dream:

October 1, 2016, 5 p.m., begin at the Bookmark on the Northeast Corner of the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto. Please bring your smart phones and headphones and download the audio walk before we begin. Allow for an hour to enjoy the walk.
Taking its inspiration from Michael Ondaatje's In The Skin Of a LionLazaro’s Dream is an audio walk like no other. Beginning at the Bookmark for In the Skin of a Lion, at the Northeast corner of the viaduct, history and fiction are artfully assembled into a surreal dreamscape that carries the listener from the viaduct, through part of the Danforth neighbourhood, and down to Riverdale Park. 

Lazaro’s Dream is produced by Angela Shackel of Accounts and Recordsand is a collaboration between the Koffler Centre of the Arts and Project Bookmark Canada. Project Bookmark Canada would like to thank the Good Foundation Inc. for their support.
Can’t make this event? As of October 1, you can discover Lazaro’s Dream at any time. Just download the audio walk and begin at the Bookmark.

Thanks to the support of the Good Foundation Inc., Project Bookmark Canada has a new, immersive exhibit featuring interviews with author Michael Ondaatje about the creation of In the Skin of a Lion and archival photographs of the building of the Prince Edward Viaduct. We are pleased to provide more context and celebration of this iconic Toronto story and our first Bookmark on Canada’s literary trail. Visit the exhibit here.



Unveiling Bookmark #17: THE CAT AND THE WIZARD, September 29, 2016

They stroll together
Chatting still
To Casa Loma
On the hill

Be part of the magic!

Join Bookmark and Dennis Lee on September 29th at 10:30 a.m. at Casa Loma for the unveiling of Bookmark #17: The Cat and the Wizard (written by Dennis Lee with illustrations by Gillian Johnson). The first 35 guests will receive a signed copy of The Cat and the Wizard and free admission to the castle.






Hamilton's Cootes Paradise Latest Stop on Canada's Literary Trail

On Thursday, June 9th, Rachael Preston’s The Fishers of Paradise became the 16th Bookmark on Canada’s literary trail. The installation was unveiled by the author and Hamilton City Councillor Aidan Johnson, on Hamilton’s Desjardins Trail near the floating bridge.

The Fishers of Paradise is set among the fictional residents of Hamilton’s historic boat house community at Cootes Paradise. The novel explores Hamilton in the 1930s, the City Beautiful movement, and considers what it means to live beyond the margins. In 2013, the book won the Hamilton Arts Council’s inaugural Kerry Schooley Book Award and in 2016 it was published in a new edition by Hamilton-based publishers Wolsak and Wynn.  

Author Rachael Preston is now a resident of Vancouver Island, but she spent many years in Hamilton and area, teaching writing and working on her own books, taking inspiration from Hamilton’s history and landscape. “The seed for the story came from a photograph of boathouse community kids which I first saw on a plaque along the Waterfront Trail,” says Preston. “What a lovely symmetry that this story will now have its own plaque on that same trail.”

Noelle Allen, Publisher of Wolsak and Wynn, agrees. “It places the book in the web of stories that help define our country, and physically anchors it to the land that inspired the novel. We know this Bookmark will help people connect story to place in a particularly wonderful way.” 

Project Bookmark Canada founder Miranda Hill says that connections and co-operation were what brought The Fishers of Paradise Bookmark to Hamilton. “We couldn’t have created this Hamilton Bookmark without the enthusiastic participation from the City of Hamilton, The Hamilton Public Library and Wolsak and Wynn,” says Hill.

Among the local champions for the Bookmark was Councillor Aidan Johnson. “Rachael Preston is a great artist,” says Johnson. “I had the privilege of learning from Rachael at her outstanding writing seminar at Hamilton's Grit Lit Festival this year. The participants reaped a deep spiritual reward. The Fishers of Paradise is a most powerful evocation of Hamilton in our literature. Like Cootes itself, the book is deep, romantic, and beautiful -- a primal site. It is an honour to sponsor its Bookmark.”

The Hamilton Public Library is one of the many places where members of the public can pick up a copy of The Fishers of Paradise, and on June 10th at 8 p.m. the Central Branch will host Rachael Preston for a reading from the novel. Says Paul Takala, HPL Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer, “Hamilton Public Library is proud to partner with Project Bookmark Canada to celebrate our country’s talented authors, including Rachael Preston, who make Canada part of their stories – a truly wonderful cultural gift.”

The Fishers of Paradise is actually the second of two Hamilton stops on Canada’s literary trail. A Bookmark for “Giants,” a poem by Hamilton poet John Terpstra, can be found in Sam Lawrence Park.

“Hamilton is a city with a lot of stories, and it’s also home to the head office for this national celebration of Canada’s literature,” says Hill. “I encourage Hamiltonians to go out and take a look at their Bookmarks – and I urge other Canadians to come and take a look at Hamilton’s markers. Read your city, and read the country. There are so many stories set in this land.”