Vancouver is gunning to be named the second UNESCO City of Literature, after Edinburgh was named as the first in 2005. It’ll have to beat out competition from Amsterdam, Alexandria, and Krakow.
Alma Lee, founder of the Vancouver International Writers Festival, is spearheading the campaign, with the help of representatives from the Association of Book Publishers of B.C., the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University, Tourism B.C., and, naturally, Douglas Coupland.
From the Vancouver Sun:
“I decided the best way to present us as a city was as new; you know, we’re new, we’re young, we’re vibrant, we’re part of a new world,” said Lee, who has been talking to representatives of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization since 2004
Lee said application to UNESCO must be made by the City of Vancouver. She said the bid already has the support of Mayor Sam Sullivan, Coun. Elizabeth Ball and Coun. Peter Ladner.
“Personally, I don’t see how [city council] can say no — you never know, of course — and I certainly don’t see how UNESCO can say no.”