Wow. This past month here at Project Bookmark Canada has been a literary whirlwind, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the participation and excitement from our fellow CanLit lovers and supporters.
On October 1, 2015 we unveiled our first ever Bookmark in the Maritime Provinces, No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod, at the Nova Scotia Visitor Centre in Port Hastings, Cape Breton Island. Alistair’s son Alexander read the passage from his father’s book, and Alistair's wife Anita helped us officially unveil the Bookmark. Many friends and family members were also in attendance, and Project Bookmark Canada would like to say a warm thank you to the entire MacLeod family and to our island hosts for their support of this project as well as to the Good Foundation Inc., the Government of Nova Scotia, the Destination Cape Breton Association, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail Writers Festival, Betty Muggah, Don Oravec, and Hughena Matheson, for making this Bookmark happen. You can see the entire list of supporters here.
That same evening, Canadians from coast to coast to coast got together to #RaiseaGlass4Alistair across the Twittersphere. People paid tribute to Alistair by tweeting pictures, toasts, fond memories, and reflections of what his work has meant to them. Thank you to all who joined the party. Setting the joyous tone for the evening was our wonderful host and toastmaster, and dear friend of Alistair's, Shelagh Rogers. Thank you Shelagh for sharing so many great memories and photos of your friendship with Alistair. Sláinte!
Meanwhile in Halifax, a group of writers and readers gathered at The Company House to #RaiseaGlass4Alistair in person, with all proceeds going to Project Bookmark Canada. The event was hosted by writer Stephanie Domet and the group toasted the author while enjoying readings from Alistair’s work by writers Sheree Fitch and Donna Morrissey, with kitchen party music provided by Wendy MacIsaac and Brad Davidge. Thank you to the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, Sarah Emsley, Robin Spittal, Johnathan Meakin, and the entire event organizing committee.
Four days later, on October 5, 2015 we were so pleased to unveil the 15th installation on Canada's Literary Trail for Lawrence Hill's Any Known Blood in Oakville, Ontario. The Bookmark was unveiled by the author and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton at the corner of King and Navy Streets on the grounds of the Oakville Museum. Enthusiasm from the Town of Oakville, the Oakville Museum and members of the community was instrumental in securing this first Oakville Bookmark. Thanks, Oakville! You can see the full list of supporters here.
A few days before the unveiling, Oakville and area Bookmark supporters gathered at an event held at the former home of Captain Robert Wilson (a sea captain who helped fugitives escape on the Underground Raidroad and who appears as a character in Any Known Blood), with all proceeds going towards funding the Bookmark installation. Guests were also treated to a reading by Lawrence Hill and a beautiful violin performance from the talented Leslie Ashworth.
Thank you to our evening's hosts Jennifer Doherty and Jeremy Schaal, fundraising committee chair Don Pangman, to France Fournier and Whole Foods Market, Terry Smith and ReMax About Towne, Francine Landry, Mag Shorey and Gemma Hagerman, Cari MacLean, Linda Hughes, Hughena Matheson, and HarperCollinsPublishersLtd for your support.
Thank you as well to all of our friends for your continued support and enthusiasm for Project Bookmark Canada. We look forward to working with you to build the next 15 stops on Canada's literary trail.