Local publisher, BookFest receives grant

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Book lovers, rejoice: Local publishing and literary arts in Windsor were boosted Thursday with more than $100,000 in provincial funding.

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Biblioasis, a Windsor-based independent press, received $95,000 through the Ontario Book Fund to support publications and content, while Windsor’s own BookFest, a celebration of literary arts that kicks off next week, received a $12,000 grant. through the Ontario Arts Council Literary Organizations Projects fund. Announcements were made by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Andrew Dowie.

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“The support of the Ontario government, which I believe is one of the most flexible and creative of all funding agencies, has helped make us the publisher we are,” said Biblioasis owner Dan Wells.

“It’s helped us make sure important Canadian stories are being told, and at the same time that investment has resulted in millions of dollars in revenue earned, so there’s been a good return.”

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The announcement was attended by Charmaine Williams, the associate minister of social and economic opportunities for women.

“Thank you for your contribution to your community, to our economy and to the arts and artists,” Williams said. “I just think there’s such a sense of relaxation when you walk into this space and even the name ‘Biblioasis’, it’s an oasis for us.”

Charmaine A. Williams, associate secretary of social and economic opportunity for women, made two funding announcements on Thursday, October 6, 2022, honoring local publishers and literary arts in Windsor.
Charmaine A. Williams, associate secretary of social and economic opportunity for women, made two funding announcements on Thursday, October 6, 2022, honoring local publishers and literary arts in Windsor. Photo by Kathleen Saylors /Windsor Star

BookFest, which began in 2002 and this year marks a return to in-person events after the pandemic, brings authors from across Canada to Windsor for the multi-day, bilingual celebration of Canadian and Ontario literature.

BookFest organizes events from Thursday, October 13 to Sunday, October 16. Another special event will be held on October 22, Words and Monuments, to mark the anniversary of the Tower of Freedom Monument and focus on black history-related poetry, fiction, dance and music in collaboration with the Essex County Black Historical Research Society.

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“We are always very grateful when there is public investment in supporting Canadian and Ontario literature, writing and authors,” said Sarah Jarvis, president of the host organization Literary Arts Windsor.

“We’re just really happy with this continued funding that supports our volunteer work.”

Dowie co-hosted Thursday’s announcement in Biblioasis Bookshop with Williams, Mayor of Windsor Drew Dilkens and Essex MPP Anthony Leardi.

“I’m just so proud to have Biblioase here in the community and to be able to celebrate the grant that supports the amazing work they do,” Dowie said.

“Celebrating reading in our community is a great investment by the Ontario Arts Council, and it’s great to see such a beloved local event recognized and supported in Windsor-Tecumseh.”

ksaylors@postmedia.com

twitter.com/KathleenSaylors

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