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Canada’s Guest of Honour role at Frankfurt postponed until 2021

Frankfurt’s handover ceremony

Canada’s Guest of Honour role at the Frankfurt Book Fair will be postponed until 2021, Canadian Heritage announced on July 7. Canada FBM2020, the organizing body behind the Canadian publishing showcase, is now discouraging Canadians from physically attending the pivotal October book fair in 2020.

In a statement, Canada FBM2020 said, “At this time, due to health and safety precautions set in place by the Government of Canada surrounding COVID-19, Canada FBM2020 does not support or encourage the physical presence of any Canadians at the Frankfurt Book Fair or at any related events to the GoH project in 2020.”

The decision was reached with the cooperation of the upcoming Guest of Honour countries: Spain, Slovenia, and Italy. “The agreement with Canada, Slovenia, and Italy to postpone our presence in Frankfurt as a guest country of honour until 2022 will create a better opportunity for the Spanish book sector and increase international cooperation and solidarity,” José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, the Spanish Minister of Culture and Sport, said in a statement.

Canada will continue to have a virtual Guest of Honour presence at the fair, though the details of that program remain unclear. Participation will be by invitation. Canada FBM2020 has advised participants to watch its website and social media feeds for more updates.

The 2021 Frankfurt Book Fair will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from Oct. 20–24.