Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Word On The Street 2006!
By Maurice Ali, Journalist
Toronto, Canada - "Word On The Street Book And Magazine Fair" is a literary fair held in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Kitchener, and Halifax that supports literacy in all forms. I have covered this fair many times before, usually with a host on video. This time The fair was held On September 24, 2006 and this time I was on my own but still managed to get the essence of the fair as you will see in the following text and pictures. The fair I attended was one of several scattered throughout the country and the Toronto event covered Queen's park which is the home of the provincial legislature here in Ontario. A large event is a "must see" for the literary minded that live in Toronto and visitors who happen to be in Toronto at the time. Here is a very small selection of booths we visited at the fair.
Michael And Mark Moore
First up was our own Mark Moore and his publishing company Rogue Planet. The star attraction at their booth as a comic book illustrated by Andre Fernandes and written by our own Michael Atkinson produced/edited by Mark and Rouge planet. The comic book was a pleasant surprise and well made. Has that cool effect as comics are an in thing again.
Anyway, later on that day Andre showed up and he and Michael signed a copy for me that is part of my collection here in our offices at FOF.....Rogue Planet has been at this event for the last three years which says something for the continued viability of this publishing company.
I think we can expect more exciting projects coming out of Rogue Planet in the future.
Canadian Journalists For Free Expression is an organization that supports refugee journalists and helps them get settled in Canada. One of the representatives gave me a pamphlet titled "Journalists In Exile Profile Booklet" with the experiences of many foreign journalists. One man had his printing press destroyed, 10,00 copies of his book destroyed and a bounty placed on is head! He is now in Canada looking for work. It really is frightening to see journalists who ran news departments in television stations down and out in Canada, but there it is. A real eye opener here.
My alma mater York University was at the festival. Kind of a commercial "big business" atmosphere in this collection of obscure organizations. However, the York University bookstore nevertheless supports the small time authors and publishers and so I think their presence here is a good one. University books stores sell those text book students have to by to take the courses they register for; but these book stores also put out the more noncommercial books that retail establishments won't touch because there is still the atmosphere of academic responsibility here. Check it out if you are at the university.
The Editors' Association In Canada is a support group for editors in Canada. The association is located across Canada and the group at the Toronto fair was the Toronto chapter of the organization. They were there to recruit and gave myself some material in order to get me to come to one of their meetings and become a member. We shall see...
Amnesty International was at the fair and I was surprised by that. This seemed to be the year many controversial organizations attended the event. Why were they here; well they produce a plethora of publications and I was handed all the material I wanted. Foremost on their mind is the situation in Darfur, where an act of genocide is occurring, according to the representative I talked to who also gave me one of their publications called "activist" (with the lead story on the situation in Darfur). Many other issues on that table for sure. Less a recruitment drive and more an educational exhibit, but I can not criticize their involvement at the fair.
Picket Signs At The Fair!
What do we have here; a protest? Not really, these women were here to tell their fellow Americans at the festival that they can register and vote by mail in the upcoming election in America. I suspect there is some partisan politics here as they seem to all be Democrats. However, their official message was non-partisan and just showed a person how to register to vote by mail.
Finally we have the International Film Festival at the Word On The Street. What are they doing here? The film festival ran here in Toronto just before Word On The Street and it seems that they also have an extensive collection of print available for distribution.
One such publication was a rather large magazine called "Cinematheque Ontario" which is a quality 56 page magazine about all things in the world of film for the Ontario film maker and enthusiast. The booth also promoted "The Film Reference Library" which is a division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. The library has over 17,000 book titles, over 100 magazine titles and approximately 200 scripts in addition to images, posters, and soundtracks. I would say this organization had every right to be at the literary fair with a collection that large! I entered into a conversation with one of the people in the booth about accessibility to the festival and was surprised to here of a production that cost less than our own Fortress TV Show. Of course that was not for television and the attendant standards; nevertheless they were surprised at our accomplishment and the new information makes me think our little documentary may have a place there. Time will tell...
So that was another edition of the "Word On The Street Book And Magazine Fair". A yearly event for us at Fortress Of Freedom. See you next Year!