Michael Ondaatje speaks, as Founder Miranda Hill and former Toronto Mayor David Miller look on.

Michael Ondaatje speaks, as Founder Miranda Hill and former Toronto Mayor David Miller look on.

 

A Landscape of Literature

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first Bookmark unveiled on the Canadian Literary Trail, and to celebrate this milestone, we are appealing for support to achieve the goal of Bookmarks from sea to sea to sea, across this vast nation. Won’t you join us by donating to Project Bookmark Canada?

Project Bookmark Canada is working toward sustainable operational funding. Until then, we rely on donations from the public and grants from foundations and government agencies. This appeal is to increase our donations, to help us build a truly Canadian Trail in all provinces and territories by our 15 anniversary!

Donate

We would not be celebrating this anniversary without the vision of our founder, Miranda Hill, who receives a big thank you for imagining Canada’s literary trail. This idea had been on her mind for about 10 years and in the planning stage for about three, when she incorporated Project Bookmark Canada on January 11, 2007.

So, on April 23, 2009, Miranda Hill was naturally all smiles as she stood on the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto. This was the launch of Canada’s literary trail with its first Bookmark, one for a passage from Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion

Before Ondaatje read the dramatic passage of the nun falling off the bridge, he started with, “First of all and most of all, I want to thank Miranda Hill for imagining Bookmark.” Mayor David Miller noted that “her energy and passion” got this started.  

At Toronto’s Casa Loma, Miranda and writer Dennis Lee unveil the first Bookmark for children’s literature, “The Cat and the Wizard.”

At Toronto’s Casa Loma, Miranda and writer Dennis Lee unveil the first Bookmark for children’s literature, “The Cat and the Wizard.”

Bookmark’s designer and board members join Dionne Brand, braving the cold on Toronto’s Lakeshore at the unveiling of the  Love Enough  Bookmark.

Bookmark’s designer and board members join Dionne Brand, braving the cold on Toronto’s Lakeshore at the unveiling of the Love Enough Bookmark.

When asked what other Bookmarks she imagined for Toronto, Miranda replied: Dennis Lee and Dionne Brand and Anne Michaels. A decade later, these Bookmarks exist, along with more than 20 others because Miranda, with the help of a strong group of staff, volunteers, partners, supporters and generous donors like you, made it happen!

Miranda and writer Wayson Choy at the first western Bookmark,  The Jade Peony,  in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Miranda and writer Wayson Choy at the first western Bookmark, The Jade Peony, in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

The family of poet Al Pittman at his Bookmark in Woody Point, Newfoundland — “The Seabreeze Lounge” — the first Bookmark outside Ontario.

The family of poet Al Pittman at his Bookmark in Woody Point, Newfoundland — “The Seabreeze Lounge” — the first Bookmark outside Ontario.

As Project Bookmark Canada enters its second decade, under the leadership of Board President Hughena Matheson and Executive Director Laurie Murphy and with the support of board members, the trail has expanded to Prince Edward Island and further to Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta, each with their first Bookmark bringing us closer to our goal of a bookmark in every province and territory.

Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation Executive Director Marilyn Smulders, writer Carol Bruneau, and Laurie Murphy, Project Bookmark Canada Executive Director, at the Halifax Bookmark,  Barometer Rising .

Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation Executive Director Marilyn Smulders, writer Carol Bruneau, and Laurie Murphy, Project Bookmark Canada Executive Director, at the Halifax Bookmark, Barometer Rising.

Hughena Matheson, Project Bookmark Canada’s Board President, at “The Gable Window” Bookmark in PEI.

Hughena Matheson, Project Bookmark Canada’s Board President, at “The Gable Window” Bookmark in PEI.

Canada is a vast country with a huge anthology. To continue this trail, unique in the world, and “a genius idea” according to Elizabeth Hay (a Bookmark author), we need your help. Miranda’s message from a decade ago stills holds: “All we need is passionate people to help us with funding, encouragement and suggestions.” All we need is you!

Help celebrate Bookmark’s 10th anniversary and create a landscape of literature connecting Canadians to their stories. Help blaze the trail in more parts of Canada with your generous anniversary gift.  Tax receipts are issued for donations $50 and over.

As Bookmark’s anniversary shares the day with Shakespeare’s birthday, the British bard’s words come to mind:

“They say, if money goes before, all ways [trails] do lie open.”

Writer Jean Little and students of Jesse Ketchum School enjoy a reading of a passage from  If I Die Before I Wake,  at Yorkville Library, Toronto. Bilingual plaques at Collier and Church Streets, supported by the Government of Canada, mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic.

Writer Jean Little and students of Jesse Ketchum School enjoy a reading of a passage from If I Die Before I Wake, at Yorkville Library, Toronto. Bilingual plaques at Collier and Church Streets, supported by the Government of Canada, mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic.

Project Bookmark Canada’s Executive Director Laurie Murphy and Board President Hughena Matheson join writer Matthew Heiti in celebrating the first northern Bookmark,  The City Still Breathing  at the Townehouse Tavern in Sudbury.

Project Bookmark Canada’s Executive Director Laurie Murphy and Board President Hughena Matheson join writer Matthew Heiti in celebrating the first northern Bookmark, The City Still Breathing at the Townehouse Tavern in Sudbury.

Project Bookmark Canada Board of Directors

Hughena Matheson, President
Anna Ling Kaye, Vice President
Don Oravec, Treasurer 
Linda Hughes, Secretary

Alma Lee, Executive Member
Susan Lightstone, Executive Member
Munju Ravindra, Executive Member
Bianca Spence, Executive Member 


 

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