Salon du Livre: Vancouver hosts its very first French book fair

Volunteer organisers of Salon Du Livre: Lyne Gareau, Léa Tricoire, Jean-François Packwood, Alexandra Bolduc et Louis Anctil. | Photo by Zora Bouchard

rich and diverse programme will be seen for the first time in twenty years in Vancouver on Apr. 26. Salon du Livre (French book fair) will bring together nearly twenty francophone authors from British Columbia and beyond, signing their books and offering a variety of literary activities.

Author Danielle S. Marcotte will introduce her book for children aged 5–7, Capri, The Little Prairie Antelope, at the event.

“For me, meeting new kids is very exciting,” says Marcotte. “They bring the riches of their imagination to your world and take your book to a place you’ve never even thought about.”

What to expect

Starting with a book launch on Friday, accompanied by wine and cheese, there will be a variety of literary activities throughout the weekend; on Saturday, there will be be a range of programmes with different authors for ages 1 to 12. There will then be signature sessions and authors presenting excerpts from their work, accompanied by the musician Auto Heart. The weekend will continue with conferences and presentations of new books with the invited writers, and a “speedbooking,” where people can exchange information with authors in four ten-minute flash meetings. The public will also have the opportunity to discover the exhibitions at Salon du Livre.

“This event is great [to learn about] culture and for your mind to expand,” says Marcotte. “We live in an expensive world; this is a free event where you can meet new people and explore new activities – it’s a fun place to be on the weekend!”

A unique event

Salon du Livre will be hosting the Franco-Canadian publishers group REFC. This association was as established in 1989, bringing together 17 francophone publishers from New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. REFC conducts joint promotion, outreach and market development activities in Quebec and abroad. This association will open its doors for the first time ever in B.C., to captivate everyone with the richness of French literary life outside of Quebec.

“Having 17 French-Canadian authors in one place over two and half days is very unique,” Marcotte explains. “The REFC gives us an opportunity to engage with the French publishers outside of Quebec for the first time.”

In addition, the newest B.C. publishing house, founded by two university professors, is offering specialists outside of Quebec access to more serious publishing through Les Éditions de l’Épaulard. Their first book is the work of linguist Annie Bourret, a B.C. author taking part in the “speedbooking” event on Sunday. She, along with three other novelists and playwrights, will be quickly presenting her latest work and answering questions from the public.

Salon du Livre has been organized by a group of hard-working volunteers and lead organizer Lyne Gareau.

“This event is a great example of what change volunteerism can bring about in a community in terms of culture,” Marcotte highlights. “If we want these riches to keep coming back to Vancouver, we need to participate in these events.”

If this year’s Salon du Livre is successful, the volunteers and local art organizations hope to make this an annual event.

The event will be taking place at the Vancouver French Cultural Centre Apr. 26 to 28, 2019. All activities are free and open to the general public as of 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The soirée launch starts Friday, Apr. 26 at 5 p.m. More information can be found at www.salondulivrevancouver.com.

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