world-book-day_unesco-posterToday is UNESCO’s International Day of the Book (now called World Book and Copyright Day). It is also Canada Book Day, which means we have tons of literary events going on right now to celebrate Canada Book Week. Canada Book Day is organized by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, a national organization whose mandate is to represent writers and support Canadian English-language literature.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George’s Day, it has been tradition since the medieval era for men to give roses to their lovers and since 1925 for the woman to give a book in exchange. Also on April 23, 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. However, there is some debate because the Gregorian calendar was used in Spain and the Julian calendar was still being used in England, so Shakespeare actually died ten days after Cervantes. “It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo,” according to UNESCO’s website Quite the literary history behind this one day!

Some events in my radar include:

  • BC Book & Magazine Week: Put together by the BC Association of Magazine Publishers (BCAMP) and the Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC), April 18-25th is BC Book and Magazine Week. Featuring events all around the Province of BC, we celebrate books, magazines, and the writers and publishers that bring them to us!
  • BC Book Prizes: The Soiree was on April 18th, kicking off BC Book and Magazine week, this week and last week we have authors touring Northern and Southern BC, and Saturday is the 25th annual Gala, where we announce the winners and honour Terry Glavin for receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. (erm… no self-promotion here! hahah can you tell I know my work ‘schpeel?)
  • North Shore Writers Festival: April 18-25th, 2009. Celebrating BC writers, organized by the North Shore Public Libraries.
  • London Book Fair: occured from Monday, April 20 to Wednesday, April 22.
  • LA Festival of the Book: This weekend, April 25 and 26th.
  • April is National Poetry Month!
  • Manitoba Book Awards: the winners will be announced April25th, 2009
  • National Magazine Awards announced the finalists yesterday, April 22, 2009
  • Canadian Booksellers Association announces the Shortlist for the 2009 Libris Awards

Let me know if you have any others that I missed!