Canada’s physical presentation as Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair has been postponed until 2021, owing to the changed conditions caused by Covid-19.
Subsequent Guest of Honour countries, including Spain, Slovenia and Italy, have agreed to delay their physical appearance by one year to accommodate Canada’s move to 2021.
Steven Guilbeault, minister of Canadian Heritage, said: “With today’s announcement, Canada can now take full advantage of the countless benefits that come with being a Guest of Honour country at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. We would like to thank Spain, Slovenia and Italy for agreeing to adjust their own Guest of Honour plans to accommodate our request, as well as the Frankfurter Buchmesse for their help in facilitating these plans. Our 2020 virtual programming will be a taste of what’s to come with the full suite of programming planned for 2021, and we look forward to showing the world what’s in store this October.”
For 2020, Canadian Heritage and their partners are preparing a virtual offering to give Canadian authors and publishers a strong presence at this year's digital iteration of the fair.
Juergen Boos, director of the book fair said: “We would like to thank the Guest of Honour committees, publishers' associations and the authorities in Spain, Slovenia and Italy who, out of solidarity with Canada, have agreed to postpone their appearances in Frankfurt for another year in order that Canada will have the best possible opportunity to present its literature and culture at Frankfurter Buchmesse in October 2021. At the same time, we are looking forward to all the digital activities which will be presented by our Canadian partners during the 2020 Frankfurter Buchmesse.
"This year has presented us all with major challenges, and we’ve seen the international book community come together in response. This co-operation between Frankfurter Buchmesse’s confirmed Guest of Honour countries is just one of many examples.”
The Frankfurt Book Fair is still scheduled to go ahead in physical as well as virtual form in October, despite a government extension of the ban on mass events in Germany to the end of October.