Monday, August 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities: Alcuin Award Ceremonies, October 2010

There will be two ceremonies celebrating the winners of the Alcuin Awards this fall; first, a by-reservation dinner and event in Toronto will be held October 4th, followed by a free public event in Vancouver on October 21st.

City: Toronto, ON
Date: Monday, October 4 
Time: 5:30 (bar) for 6:30 (dinner)
Place: 14 Elm St., Toronto ON M5G 1G7
Hosted by: The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto
MC: Linda Gustafson (Counterpunch Book Design)
Speaker: David Michelides (Swipe Books)
Additional presentation: Jowi Taylor on the making of his guitar, and the book Six String Nation (Douglas & McIntyre)

The award-winning books from this year's design competition (including Jowi Taylor's Six String Nation) will be available for viewing and for sale, before (and after) the evening's events.

Admission: Dinner - $22 cash or Visa at the door  - Open to All - Reservations are required for the dinner. There will also be a cash bar available.

Reservations: call Naomi, at The Arts and Letters Club -- (416) 597-0223 ext. 2. The dinners that have been reserved are made to order. If you are unable to attend, please notify Naomi as soon as possible. Do please feel free to bring colleagues, friends, and family; this event is open to everyone.

Alcuin Society Book Design Awards

At this year's ceremony in Vancouver, Alcuin Society Directors will present awards in two different categories. Winners of the 2009 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada will receive their awards from Richard Hopkins. The Robert R. Reid Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts award for 2009 will be presented to one of the family members of the winner, the late Jim Rimmer, by Eric Swanick.

City: Vancouver, BC
Date: Thursday, October 21
Time: Book viewing: 6:45; Event: 7:00
Place: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Room 301, South Building
Co-sponsors: The Alcuin Society and Emily Carr University for Art + Design
MC: Roberto Dosil (CCSP Press, Vancouver)
Speaker: Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, San Francisco)

This year's speaker, Michael Carabetta (Creative Director, Chronicle Books, San Francisco) will give a talk On Chronicle Books: Seeing Things Differently. The Emcee will be Roberto Dosil (Publisher, CCSP Press, Vancouver). The award-winning books from this year's design competition will be available for viewing before (and after) the evening's events. As the event in Vancouver is free and open to the public, be sure to invite your book loving friends to come and hear Michael Carabetta speak. You can catch up on his past blog posts here on the Chronicle blog.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forgotten Knowledge Project on display at the PNE

Container Art at the PNE
Container Art at the PNE by jmv

Last year one of my personal highlights of the PNE was an innovative display of art in a series of shipping containers. This year is the PNE's 100th anniversary, and I'm pleased to say that the Container Art has returned. One of the featured artists just so happens to be a friend of mine, artist and photographer Rachael Ashe. Rachael has put together an extra special treat for the cultured bibliophile, transforming an entire encyclopedia set into a large scale work of art.

Rachael described the process on her blog as she prepared for the installation of the project at the PNE. Below are a few excerpts from her blog:
In June I began working on a large scale book project tentatively titled, Forgotten Knowledge. I'm working with twenty-five volumes of a set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias I found discarded in our old laundry room. I intend to combine each one of these with objects I have collected from nature. The inspiration behind this work is the idea that knowledge can be lost or forgotten when people no longer value it. The encyclopedias represent the sum of human knowledge contained in written form, while the found objects represent information about the natural world.  (posted 2010-06-30)
Forgotten Knowledge, the completed set of 25
Forgotten Knowledge, the completed set of 25 by Rachael Ashe.

Earlier this month, she successfully completed the project, and proudly displayed the entire volumes on the dining room table. She writes: "While there are about a million ways for these to be displayed, for the purposes of the Container Art space they will be hung on the wall fully open." (posted 2010-08-09)

Paper Flowers
Paper Flowers by Rachael Ashe.

For those making the pilgrimage out to the Pacific National Exhibition this year, do make a point of visiting the Container Art exhibit. It runs for the entire 2 weeks of the PNE, and access to the Container Art exhibit is included in your PNE ticket price. And in case the work brings back volumes of memories of your own experiences with encyclopedic study, feel free to share your response. Rachael openly invites your reactions to the show via blog post, twitter, facebook, flickr, and beyond. I have a hunch this particular encyclopedia set still has much to teach us.

Monday, August 02, 2010

What it takes to win a Book Collecting Contest

Wondering what it takes to win a book collecting contest? Check out last year's winners, profiled on the National Post's book blog (@npbooks on Twitter)

Collecting books is awesome, part one: a Q&A with Charlotte Ashley

Anne Dondertman, President of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC-SBC), has also posted all three of last year's winning essays on their website:

The prizes were awarded to the winning entrants of the first National Book Collecting Contest at the Annual General Meeting held in Toronto on Wednesday June 24th.
The first prize ($2500) went to Charlotte Ashley for her collection The Works (and Quirks) of Alexandre Dumas pere.

The second prize ($1000) winner was Vanessa Brown for her collection The L.M. Montgomery Collection in the Forest City.

The third prize ($300) winner was Naseem Hrab for her collection The Complexities of Ordinary Life: Autobiographical Comics and Graphic Novels.

As we've mentioned previously, Canada's National Book Collecting contest aimed at young readers under 30 is back for it's second edition. The deadline for entry is 7 March 2011, and there are 3 cash prizes available, with the primary requirement to the contest being a 1,500 to 2,000-word essay about the contestant's book collection.