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ONTARIO: READ IT HERE

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NEW PROJECT PUTS ONTARIO LITERATURE ON THE MAP

Ontario is about to secure a fresh and prominent place in the literary landscape through a new initiative called Ontario: Read It Here.

Over the next two years, Ontario: Read It Here will install eight permanent exhibits of literature on the exact geographic sites where literary scenes take place. A sophisticated online mapping project, including travelogues and reading lists, will enhance the installations, driving Ontario book lovers and tourists from all over to visit the installations at cities and towns across the province, to read the featured books and authors and to further explore Ontario’s literary scene.

“Ontario is a creative hub for the book industry,” says Amy Logan Holmes, Executive Director of Open Book: Toronto. “This project is exciting because it will highlight Ontario writers and publishers, and also showcase Ontario as a vibrant literary setting.”

Ontario: Read It Here is produced by three Ontario-based organizations, Open Book: Toronto (a program of the Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario), Project Bookmark Canada and the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College. The project is made possible with funding from Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund.

“OMDC is delighted to support Ontario: Read it Here through our Partnerships Fund,” says Karen Thorne-Stone, OMDC President & CEO. “Ontario is fortunate to be home to some of Canada’s finest literary talent and this innovative project promotes that talent to new audiences across the Province.”

As part of the Ontario: Read It Here partnership, Project Bookmark Canada will identify, develop and install eight permanent plaque installations (called “Bookmarks”) bearing passages from site-specific literature at locations across Ontario; Open Book: Toronto will expand to include a province-wide site (www.openbookontario.com) that will map and promote the Bookmarks, related events and other literary landmarks online; and students and graduates of the Creative Book Publishing Program will further explore and promote the project through lively readalogues/travelogues about the Bookmarked books, authors and locations, which will be published on the Open Book: Ontario website.

“Students come to our program because they want to make and support great books,” says Cynthia Good, Director of the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College. “This project is a chance for our graduates to use their skills and enthusiasm to build a greater readership for Ontario books.”

“This initiative will mark the places where Ontario’s real and imagined landscapes meet,” says Miranda Hill, Founder and Executive Director of Project Bookmark Canada. “Reading about a place gives you an added appreciation for it.”

Ontario: Read It Here will entice readers to visit Ontario destinations and create new readers for Ontario literature as people encounter some of the many stories and poems that are set in this province,” Hill says.

The Ontario: Read It Here installations will follow the Project Bookmark Canada design of black text on a white ceramic background, under the Bookmark logo of a large, green “B” in the shape of a typewriter key. The plaques will be roughly the size of the average poster and will hold up to 500 words from the featured story or poem.

The locations for the first sites for Ontario: Read It Here will be announced in the next few weeks. The first Bookmarks in the Ontario: Read It Here series will be installed in Summer 2010.

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