When friends and business partners Nancy Frater and Ellen Clare opened BookLore in 1989, they were among Orangeville, Ontario’s cultural pioneers. Today. the indie bookstore celebrates its 25th anniversary.
“In those days there wasn’t much cultural focus in the area,” Frater told local newspaper In the Hills in 2008, the year she became president of the Canadian Booksellers Association. “That was before Theatre Orangeville, the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, and In the Hills. We started having authors readings, and that was something new. We brought in some big names, like Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Pierre Berton and others, and we’d sell out 250 tickets right away.”
Clare passed away from cancer in 2004, but Frater continues to run the store today. “She is always in my memory especially at this time of year,” Frater says in a Facebook post. Last year, Frater was recognized by her peers as Bookseller of the Year at the annual Libris Awards.
BookLore customers who spend at least $25 today until Dec. 24 will be entered into a draw for a $250 gift certificate. On Jan. 31, the store will host a “Thank You Celebration” in honour of the milestone.