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Canada named guest of honour at 2020 Frankfurt fair

Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly

Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly

Canada will be the guest of honour country at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair. Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly accepted the invitation on Oct. 6 at a meeting with fair president Juergen Boos and publishing-industry representatives.

Canada originally had been asked to appear as the guest of honour in 2017, to coincide with the country’s sesquicentennial. Ottawa-based non-profit Livres Canada Books headed a committee requesting $6.5 million in government funding to attend the fair. That funding was denied, even after Boos travelled to Ottawa in a failed attempt to meet with then Heritage minister Shelly Glover.

The 2020 Canadian contingent will be required to build a pavilion on the fair’s main stage to showcase the country’s literary talent.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest marketplace for book-industry representatives, who buy and sell rights and licences at the networking event. Approximately 275,000 visitors attend the annual event.