Book publishers from all over Alberta came together in the Federal Building on the ides of May to celebrate and promote our industry to Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and legislature staff. The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda, joined us to make proclaim May 15 Alberta Book Day.
Our newest Intern, S. Ren Milmine, enjoyed participating:
I was very excited to help out at Alberta Book Day. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was impressed with the variety of people who stopped by our table and asked questions about what we publish. Some people had very specific interests and zeroed in on the one or two publications we had that matched what they were looking for. Others had a wide variety of interests, still others were happy browsing, choosing books at random and flipping them over to read the back cover.
After spending most of the day displaying books and chatting with those who stopped by, a few representatives from the publishing community were introduced in the Legislature.
Cathie Crooks, Associate Director / Manager Planning & Operations says:
The first ever Alberta Book Day was a tremendous success, initiating conversations about books and the kinds of materials our industry produces. My most treasured moment, however, came as we were in the gallery waiting for Minister Miranda to introduce Alberta publishers to his legislative colleagues.
On the seats across the chamber sat Darlene Dunlop, one of our authors, and Eric Musekamp. These remarkable people have advocated for many years for legislation to support farm worker safety in the province. I couldn’t believe the coincidence. When I spoke to them afterwards, they were absolutely pumped. Earlier in the afternoon, they had been able to speak to both Premier Rachel Notley and Governor General Julie Payette about this critical issue and even put a copy of Farm Workers in Western Canada directly into the hands of the Governor General.
Darlene spoke of the importance of having a book outlining all of the issues, both business and personal, that underlie a complex issue. She noted our key role in bringing worker safety to a broader audience. Knowing how they have dedicated their lives to making workplaces safer, I felt very humble to have our role acknowledged in this generous way.
Most days, our small teams sit in offices and work away on computers. Through initiatives such as Alberta Book Day, it is good to be reminded of our large impact.
The Book Publishers Association of Alberta worked hard to organize this event, and we all hope that it’ll be a yearly opportunity to celebrate the importance of publishers, authors, and readers.