▷ Canada says goodbye after two successful years as the guest of honor of the Frankfurt …

24.10.2021 – 16:30

Department of Canadian Heritage

Frankfurt am Main (ots)

Canada ended its unexpectedly long chapter as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair today after two years. Canada presented the traditional guest role to the new guest of honor Spain as part of a festive ceremony in the festival hall of Messe Frankfurt. Canada was represented by Caroline Fortin, chairman of Canada FBM2021 – a consortium established by the Canadian publishing industry to coordinate and plan the literature program and the participation of Canadian publishers. Spain was represented by Maria José Gálvez, Director General for Books and Reading Promotion at the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport.

During the handover ceremony there was a moderated discussion between two renowned authors from the respective host country: the Canadian Dany Laferrière and the Spaniard Manuel Vilas. The two discussed their books and established links between the two countries through common themes in their texts. Canada expressly thanked Spain and the host countries of the following years – Slovenia 2023 and Italy 2024 – for their support in extending the Canadian Guest of Honor year.

The special challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting extension of the guest of honor appearance from 2020 to 2021 allowed the Canadian creatives to surpass themselves. So this year brought a number of innovations – including the first virtual guest of honor pavilion in the history of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which gave guests the opportunity to experience the Canadian pavilion from the comfort of their own home. This virtual counterpart complemented the experience of the physical pavilion, which reflects the richness of Canada’s natural environment as a source of literary inspiration. In addition to a stage for live events and cultural performances, the physical pavilion also made use of innovative, digital functions such as contactless, interactive screens with Canadian authors or video calls with the literary delegation. The book fair also provided the occasion for the first official state visit by Her Excellency Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada, who spoke at the opening ceremony on October 19.

Canada wraps up its successful Guest of Honor appearance with a few highlights that showcased Canada’s literary talent, art, culture and landscapes across Europe between 2020 and 2021. A total of 167 literary events with 160 artists and 219 cultural events with 417 artists took place – online and in 50 different cities across Germany. The interest in content produced in Canada increased considerably due to the intensive presentation and promotion of Canadian cultural workers. With more than 350 titles, the number of Canadian books translated into German far exceeded expectations. In addition, 58 Canadian authors and illustrators took part in the Frankfurt Book Fair virtually and some in person. Much of the Canadian Guest of Honor program continues to be on the website of Canada FBM2021 or be available on the corresponding YouTube channel – including five author panels produced in collaboration with CBC / Radio-Canada:

49 of the Canadian events and installations will continue in 2021 and 2022. Even when the official Guest of Honor year is over, we invite those interested in culture and Canada fans to continue visiting these projects and events in Germany. For more information, see www.canadafbm2021.com/de/veranstaltungen-2021/.

Canada is grateful for the opportunity to present as a guest of honor and thanks the Frankfurt Book Fair for inviting Canadian creative professionals. The Canadian Guest of Honor appearance is the result of a collaboration between Canadian Heritage, Global Affairs Canada, provincial and territorial governments, CBC / Radio-Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the National Film Board, Destination Canada, Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada and Canada FBM2021. A number of other federal, provincial and territorial cultural organizations were also involved in this initiative.



“2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year for the world, with the arts and culture sector being hit particularly hard. Strengthened by a successful appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Canadian authors, illustrators and creative people can now take off and discover new business opportunities and markets in the Explore overseas. The global demand for cultural and literary content from Canada is high – and the relationships forged through this event will ensure that demand is met. ”

– The Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister for Cultural Heritage of Canada

“As a guest of honor, Canada was at the center of the action at the 2021 Book Fair. Your Excellency Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, was accompanied by an outstanding group of authors and artists at the opening ceremony and the Canada Night, and our pavilion was attended by thousands of guests. We are confident that our publishing and creative industries have received a tremendous international boost that we will build on in the years to come. ”

– HE Stéphane Dion, Ambassador of Canada to Germany and Special Envoy for the European Union and Europe

“At the closing event of the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2019, I said that Canada would surprise the international publishing world. Two years later, I can confidently say: ‘Mission accomplished’ – and by that I don’t mean the global pandemic that hit us and our guest plans During the 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair, Canada presented its Guest of Honor pavilion and a virtual counterpart – the first of its kind in the history of the book fair Presented virtual and interactive content and programming, as well as live performances and on-stage discussions. This open, yet intimate literary experience has brought the richness of Canadian literature to the fore – and will undoubtedly have long-term benefits for the Canadian publishing industry . ”

– Caroline Fortin, Chair Canada FBM2021


  • The motto of the Canadian guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair is “Singular Plurality”. The slogan reflects the diversity and culture of Canada, where each and every one of us is unique and yet connected by our shared values.
  • The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest market for the sale of licensed rights to published works. In a typical year, it has over 7,500 exhibitors from around 100 countries, over 300,000 visitors and 4,000 events. In 2021, the concept of the Frankfurt Book Fair had to be revised in order to accommodate around 1,800 exhibitors from 74 countries.
  • Germany is an important focus market for Canada’s creative export strategy. The Canadian Embassy in Berlin plays a special role in promoting business relationships between Canadian creative companies and this lucrative market


Canada FBM2021 Guest of Honor website

Canada’s creative export strategy

Frankfurt Book Fair 2021

Press contact:

For further information (only for media inquiries) please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
[email protected]

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
[email protected]

Original content by: Department of Canadian Heritage, transmitted by news aktuell


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