On September 18, 2008, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie Monique Gagnon-Tremblay and Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women Christine St-Pierre announced that Québec would be taking part in Liber 2008—the 26th edition of Barcelona’s International Book Fair—to be held October 8 to 10. At a press conference announcing the event, representatives for Québec “stated they were very proud to be taking part in the prestigious event and thanked the organizers for inviting Québec to be this year’s guest culture of honour.” According to a press release, Québec Édition responded to the invitation by Spanish and Catalan publishers by putting together a major delegation of some thirty publishers and twenty writers to take part in a variety of activities to be held at the fair and in bookstores.
The release goes onto say that the Québec government has created a diverse cultural program for the occasion with the theme “Imagina Québec.” It will be presented in performance halls and theaters in Barcelona from September 26 to October 11. “We want to make Québec’s participation in Liber a true charm offensive that puts the spotlight on our dynamic publishing industry, creative authors, and avant-garde culture in all disciplines. We’re hoping to sign trade agreements with Spanish and Catalan publishers in addition to promoting our artists and film industry in order to become better known in the Spanish-speaking world,” stated Minister St-Pierre.
“This is about more than Québec’s publishing culture and publishing industry. Québec itself is being honoured at Barcelona’s International Book Fair. Through their work, writers discuss society, culture, politics, and the economy. In that sense, all of Québec will be on display in Barcelona. Our presence in Spain combined with the ties our government has developed come from our desire to strengthen our relations with this European nation, which is one of our priorities,” added Gagnon-Tremblay.
Ms. Maryse Gaudreault, the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women will be present October 5 to 9 to support Québec’s presence in Barcelona. She will take part in a number of events including the opening night of Liber and the inauguration of the “Québec: Society, Culture, Literature” seminar through a Spanish distance education university. During her visit, she will also be meeting with Spanish and Catalan representatives.
Liber is an international fair dedicated to the sale and purchase of translation rights. It is reserved exclusively for professional publishers. Québec Édition will have a booth where publishers will display their published works and meet with their Spanish and Catalan counterparts. Québec’s participation will also include author tours in book stores, dance and music performances, a film festival, and a forum on the development of the youth theater market.
Click here for more information (available in French only).