The Project Bookmark Canada AGM on June 4 marked the end of an important era for our organization, and the beginning of an exciting new wave of possibility, as long-time board member and President Ben McNally passed the torch to incoming President Don Oravec.
Project Bookmark Canada has had some stalwart supporters over the years, but none more long-serving than Toronto bookseller, Ben McNally. Ben was a fan of the Bookmark concept long before it was an entity, back when it was just a nameless idea. I would go visit Ben at the bookstore he was then managing on Front Street in Toronto, and tell him how I saw it rolling out. His endorsement and his companionship gave me the energy to keep building. When it came time to round up brave people to sit on a board of a project that was completely untested, and perhaps impossible, Ben agreed to put his name to paper and to give his time — even though he was in the midst of realizing his own big idea, the glorious Ben McNally Books. A few years later, Ben became President of Project Bookmark Canada's board. I am so grateful to have had Ben's presence and confidence for all these years. Thank you, Ben. I look forward to visiting you without a stack of cheques to sign!
It is with real excitement that we welcome our new President, Don Oravec. Don joined the Bookmark board last year, after many years of providing me with quiet mentorship. Don, too, was among the people I queried when considering how to create Project Bookmark Canada, and since his retirement from the Executive Director's position at The Writers' Trust of Canada, I have received advice and counsel from Don on numerous occasions. We were very pleased last year to make Don's participation official with his election to the board, and now his election to the position of President expresses the board's confidence in his leadership. We look forward to seeing where we can take Project Bookmark Canada in this new era. Thank you, Don for your passion for Project Bookmark Canada and your vision for what it can become.
A big welcome also to our new Secretary, Linda Hughes. We are so glad to have you on the Bookmark executive, joining the commitment of Anna-Ling Kaye (re-elected Vice President) and Kevin Noel (re-elected Treasurer).
Thank you to all of our board members. Let's build Canada's Literary Trail!