April 23 is Canada Book Day. The day was chosen to coincide with UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day, which is now in its 15th year. In Canada, the event, which was first organized by the Writer’s Trust of Canada, has not been celebrated since 2008.
Despite the Canadian government pledging an additional $39.5 million for the Canadian book publishing industry last September, no other organization has stepped in to lead the celebrations this year and no promotion has been done at any level of government. The government now gives over $70 million annually to promote Canadian books and publishing.
In the past, book publishers and sellers have issued special Book Week coupons which gives a $2 discount to readers towards any book at bookstores. Canada Book Day became Canada Book Week in 2003.
The TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, usually in the autumn of every year, will also not be holding an event this year: a decision to move the event to the spring means the next event will not be until May of 2011. The event was started in 1977 and now over 35,000 across the nation participate each year.