So many times, the awareness of North American literary talent stops at the border. I think it could only be a positive thing for Canada to have more US writers come up here and find out what kind of literary culture we have here.
Governor General Award winner
Why? Protecting Canadian Culture.
Living next to the United States is a little like sleeping with an elephant. You always wonder if they will roll over on you. No matter how friendly or temperate the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt .
Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Massey Report (1949)
Post-Second World War II (Cold War) Nationalism
Linked culture to international recognition and an independent identity;
Yet, this masked tremendous insecurity as a country.
Support for the arts in Europe common but not in North America.
Canada – vast distances with a small population.
French-English fact in Canada with a huge neighbour to the South.
Perceived result. . . .
Swamped by US mass consumerism via the media, magazines, etc. , . . .
Massey Report Suggestions
Advocated the creation of a government sponsored organization that would distribute grants to Canadian artists.
This suggestion led to the creation of . . . .
The Canada Council
Arms length crown corporation (govt. agency) that reports to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Created in ‘57, the Canada Council functions as an arts council for the government of Canada.
Funds Canadian artists and encourages the arts.
Emphasis of the Council
Writing and publishing
SK Writers Guild
We do this by supporting writers and by raising public awareness of the value of the work of Saskatchewan writers.
Membership in the Guild is open to everyone. You do not need to be a writer, you may simply be interested in supporting Saskatchewan writers or staying current with Saskatchewan's literary scene.
Writers Union of Canada (WUC)
Supporters Canada’s writers by “advocating for their rights, freedoms, and economic well-being."
members are professional writers who must have published at least one book through a commercial publisher.
To be eligible for membership the writer must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant or self-identified as indigenous or aboriginal born or resident in Canada.
WUC funded by Canadian Heritage , Canada Council for the Arts , and the Ontario Arts Council .
WUC provides. . . .
professional development programs
contract advice, grievance assistance
manuscript evaluation service
group health benefits
funding for public and school readings
Good or Bad?
Not the focus of today’s presentation?!
Need to think beyond what we have been thinking in Saskatchewan.
Governor General’s Literary Awards for fiction for 2009 – Kate Pullinger.
Governor General’s Literary Awards for non-fiction for 2009 – M.G. Vassanji.