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A Garden Party Turned Indoors

The Launch of Illuminating The Alberta Order of Excellence

Alberta Order of Excellence member and former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed with his wife, Jeanne Lougheed, celebrate the launch of Illuminating the Alberta Order of Excellence with UAP Director Linda Cameron and Bruce McCollum.
Photo by Walter Tychnowicz/Edmonton Journal

Government House, Edmonton:

Under some circumstances a garden party turned indoors due to rain might be disappointing. Such was not the case on Sunday, June 22, when the celebration to launch the University of Alberta Press, Gutteridge Books imprint book Illuminating the Alberta Order of Excellence took shelter in Government House. Master of Ceremonies and Chair of the Alberta Order of Excellence, Dr. Robert Westbury, welcomed the Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Norman L. Kwong, and his wife, Mary, and special guests, recipients of the Alberta Order of Excellence. The Alberta Order of Excellence is the highest honour the Province of Alberta can bestow on a citizen.

Members of the Alberta Order of Excellence come from all walks of life. Their careers range from medicine, science, engineering, law, and business to politics, education, agriculture and the arts. The one thing all members have in common is that they have made an outstanding provincial, national, or international impact.

The Alberta Order of Excellence is about more than simply doing one’s job well. It’s about Albertans who have made a difference, who have served fellow Albertans with excellence and distinction, and whose contributions will stand the test of time.

Also in attendance were Cora Healy-Tobin whose artistry adorns each of the personalized scrolls presented to AOE awardees and which is featured in the book, and Allison Sivak whose essay about Healy-Tobin appears in the book. Dr. Carl Amrhein, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) delivered greetings and congratulations on behalf of the University.

It was a thrill to be among so many Albertans who have, through the example of their lives and work, made this province a special place.

Publication of Illuminating the Alberta Order of Excellence was made possible in part through the generosity of Alberta Community Development (2005) which agreed to purchase copies of the book for all public libraries within the province.

Illuminating The Alberta Order of Excellence cover spread

To view more photographs of this stunning event, please visit the gallery at The Edmonton Journal site.

Dot Middlemass: Rep of the Year Award

Vibrant, red-head Dot with colleagues at a 2005 sales conference.Dot Middlemass is one of our marvellous sales representatives. We’re not the only ones who think she is tops: she’s just won Sales Representative of the Year from the Canadian Booksellers Association. She has been with Kate Walker & Company as a trade sales rep for 15 years, working with booksellers and librarians in BC and the Yukon.

Some of Dot’s passion for reading and books shines through in this email she sent to me shortly after UAP published Reading Writers Reading (Schaub): “I have just finished having a wander through Reading Writers Reading. I am at a loss for words… This is such a wonderful, encouraging, uplifting, joyous ode to reading and books. This is a book you want to keep on your coffee table and your night table, a book to have close by when you only have a couple of minutes to read but want to be affirmed in how wonderful the written word can be. Everyone and anyone could take something memorable away from this fantastic book.”

What a treat it is to work with Dot and her wonderful colleagues.

Jean Wilson: Celebrating 40 Years in Scholarly Publishing

June 4

Jean Wilson is retiring after 40 years as an editor of scholarly books. Authors and colleagues name her as friend and mentor as well as one of Canada’s finest scholarly editors.

I met Jean in my first year with the University of Alberta Press, some 10 years ago. She came to Edmonton as part of the ACP’s* mentorship program, and spent two days explaining her view of the acquisitions and editorial process and answering a myriad of questions. Jean’s graciousness and warmth were in evidence, along with her experience. Fortunately, she named herself “godmother” of the press during a long period without a director, and came to visit us regularly when family or work brought her to Edmonton.

Jean’s work with UBC Press, from 1988 to 2008, saw that publishing house move from a place of near-extinction to its current position as one of Canada’s top scholarly presses. It was a pleasure to hear authors, administrators, and colleagues talk of Jean’s contributions, whether as “Young Wilson” at the University of Toronto Press, where she began work at the tender age of 21, to today.

Jean noted that she has helped guide thousands of authors bring their scholarship and insights into print. It’s been a remarkable career to date, distinguished by both intelligence and heart.

Thank you to Peter Milroy, director, and the staff of UBC Press for giving me and colleagues Peter Midgley and Michael Luski an opportunity celebrate Jean’s contributions.

*Association of Canadian Publishers

Access Copyright in a digital world

I’ve just returned from several days of Access Copyright meetings in Toronto. The work of Access Copyright is licensing reprographic rights, collecting royalties for those licenses and distributing the royalties to the copyright owners, creators and publishers.

Access Copyright has been licensing reprography rights since the 1980s and is entering its 20th year. Access Copyright works with copyright owners across Canada and around the world. Basically, Access Copyright offers two kinds of licenses: Transactional licenses for one-time use, and Comprehensive licenses which provide advance permission for most copying needs. Comprehensive licenses are ideal for institutional use of copyright protected works by governments, schools, libraries, businesses and associations.

Access Copyright has been doing a reasonable job of collecting and distributing reprographic royalties to rightsholders: that is authors and publishers; however, the world is going digital. Licenses are behind the technology. Digital rights management (DRM) tools help us to identify and catalogue rights and technical protection measures (TPMs) can be put into place. Access Copyright is exploring and testing new mechanisms to identify and license digital uses and distribute royalties in an equitable manner.

If you are a Canadian publisher or creator and register your works with Access Copyright you will be eligible for royalties. Visit Access Copyright for information how on you can register.

Linda Cameron, Director

Pat Touchie, Beth Bruder, Kirk Howard, Linda Cameron, Grant Lovig, Frieda Lovig, Alvin Schrader, Rodger Touchie

Clockwise from front left: Pat Touchie; Beth Bruder, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, the Dundurn Group; Kirk Howard, President & Publisher the Dundurn Group, 2004 – 2006 President of the Association of Canadian Publishers; Linda Cameron, Director, University of Alberta Press, 2002 – 2004 President of the Association of Canadian Publishers; Grant Lovig, President, Company’s Coming Publishing Limited; Frieda Lovig; Alvin Schrader, Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Past President, Canadian Library Association 2008-2009; Rodger Touchie, Publisher & President, The Heritage Group, 2008 – 2010 President of the Association of Canadian Publishers

Tom Fairley Award / Editors’ Association of Canada

Peter Midgley, our Acquisitions Editor, came home from Congress a day early to attend the AGM and annual awards dinner for the Editors’ Association of Canada. He joined our freelance editor, Paul Payson, as they waited to hear the results of the jury’s deliberations on the Tom Fairley Award. We were all very excited to see two of “our people” being recognized on the shortlist for this important award.

In the end, Peter received an Honourable Mention for his work on Culturing Wilderness in Jasper National Park. Paul Payson had already won the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence at the Alberta publishing awards gala, for honing Don McPhail’s The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. We are so pleased to see Peter and Paul’s passion and intensity rewarded by their peers. (Hey—that makes a good tongue-twister!)

For a full article about the award, including this year’s winner, and a really nice photo of our guys, see the article on the EAC website.

Congress 2008, Vancouver

With Congress* in Vancouver this year, we decided to have a greater presence. So, instead of simply organizing catalogues, designing order forms, producing signage, selecting books, and arranging shipping, I came to the conference for two days. This is the fourth Congress I’ve attended, and as usual, I found it a rewarding experience. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to scholars in various disciplines, to see the depth and scope of books being published, and to share ideas and stories with my peers.

I particularly enjoyed meeting colleagues from Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Lisa Quinn, Leslie Macredie, and Clare Hitchens) and Canadian Scholars Press (Rick Walker). It was great to re-connect with David Carr and Cheryl Miki of the University of Manitoba—who were celebrating 40 years of publishing—and Brian Mlazgar of Canadian Plains Research Centre.

It was delightful to host author Gloria Mehlmann and chat over lunch at Sage Café and to meet her husband, Peter. (Boy, do I ever recommend this on-campus restaurant, despite the drilling and pounding of the contractors working one floor below.) The food, service, and view were all exemplary. Gloria was so pleased to see a mock-up of her forthcoming book on display: Gifted to Learn.

I also had a chance to catch up with one of my favourite marketing associates from a few years back, Laraine Coates, who left University of Alberta Press to take a Masters in Publishing—and has stayed on in Vancouver with Pacific Educational Press. And I was fortunate to overlap for a morning with a good friend, Catherine Edwards, who I first met when we both worked for Weigl Educational Publishers in Regina. She is a gifted publisher—a triple-threat editor, administrator, and sales person—and one of the brightest people I know.

Next year, Congress will be in Ottawa. Hmm…

*Each spring, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Science Annual Congress acts as an umbrella for dozens of scholarly societies to come together and share conference resources; a meta-conference. While imperfect, it allows publishers and others an opportunity to interact with several thousand scholars in a wide arrange of disciplines over six to ten days of meetings.

William Wray Carney’s Media Relations in Canada Blog

William Wray Carney, author of In the News, second editionWilliam Wray Carney, the author of In the News: The Practice of Media Relations in Canada, 2nd edition, has made a real splash in the blogosphere with his brand new Media Relations in Canada weblog. The Media Relations in Canada blog is shaping up to become the premiere resource for practitioners and students of media relations, where else? in Canada.

In addition to regular, timely posts on emergent news stories about media and a growing roster of links to relevant blogs and websites, Bill has been diligent in structuring several static pages chock full of information and further links for interested readers in the media relations sector. Here are some of the key resources you will find on Bill Carney’s blog:

A media relations practitioner and instructor with over 20 years experience, Bill continues to provide media relations training in small-group and one-to-one settings as per your requirements.

This is a blog to watch. As Bill scours the internet and main stream media (MSM) for pertinent articles on a wide ranges of topics dealing with media relations and the news industry, the Media Relations in Canada blog will only grow more valuable for media relations professionals, instructors, and students alike.

Terrific site, Bill!

When the cats are away…

…the mice will hold an impromptu Employee of the Month award ceremony

All UAP staff present—Yoko & Mary Lou (w. Jeff behind camera) celebrate Tony\'s achievement.It’s been kinda lonely here at Ring House 2 since the heft of our staff took off to Vancouver for Congress (AKA The Learneds). Acquisitions and Managing Editors Michael Luski and Peter Midgley were the vanguard, jetting off to dewy Van a week ahead of Director Linda Cameron and Sales & Marketing Manager Cathie Crooks. That left yours truly alone with Office Manager Yoko Sekiya, Editorial Administrator Mary Lou Roy, and Student Worker / Logistics Superintendent Tony Buchanan to pilot the HMCS UAP through some pretty placid waters.* Certainly, there were bills to pay, proofs to proof, new titles to market, and books to ship hither & yon; but, due to the utter desolation of our staff complement, this was an uncommonly dreary Wednesday.

My office is certainly a cheerier place now that Tony’s courses are done for the summer; he spends every morning at a nearby desk superintending all sorts of logistical matters (mailings, reviewer comps, changes of address, return to sender mail, etc., etc.) all with pluck and a savoir faire virtually unknown to the youth of today, and afternoons he works at our storage facility in the U of A Bookstore. He has an unhealthy affection for CBC’s Radio Two (the classical music station in these parts), but we’ve grown to accept his idiosyncrasies. It beats the sinking feeling of abandonment I have been coping with since our senior colleagues flew the coop.

So, midmorning, while preparing some marketing collateral for a women’s history conference coming up fast, I stumbled upon an InDesign template for a generic award certificate. This gave me an idea. Why not show Tony how appreciated he is here in our quaint, Victorian-style enclave? that success in publishing depended on people more than books, dedicated people like our Tony Buchanan?

Employee of the Month certificateIn five minutes I completed the certificate and showed it to Yoko as I framed it in one of our spare plaques. This gave Yoko the notion to wrap a little gift for Tony to present at an award ceremony. I phoned upstairs to Mary Lou who was toiling in the old servant’s quarters on the third storey (AKA the attic). I told her to come down for a special presentation.

In a heartbeat we were all set. I called Tony into the front room. He was wearing one of his tentative, suspicious looks that I’ve come to know well. I prefaced the handing over of the plaque with some congratulatory words, and Yoko presented him with the little gift she’d wrapped, reminding Tony that she’d need the gold ribbon back after the ceremony. I whipped out my camera and captured highlights of the event for posterity.

Congratulations, Tony! You deserve it!

*Designer Alan Brownoff took the day off to climb up on his roof and bask in the miserly sunshine; I think he intended to do some repairs.

Launching Lois Hole Speaks: Words that Matter

Last night, I attended a book launch for Lois Hole Speaks: Words that Matter. In an unusual twist, this event was organized by the President’s Office, and the University of Alberta Press had no official role. Sheila Stosky coordinated the launch and did a marvellous job.

A good turnout at the Lois Hole Speaks launch at Telus CentreThe program, as befits this important collection of speeches by Mrs. Hole, was inspiring. Three senior officials spoke of their memories of Mrs. Hole and then read short passages from the volume.

Chancellor Eric Newell read from Mrs. Hole’s 1998 inaugural address as Chancellor of the University of Alberta. The Chair of the Board of Governors, Brian Heidecker, chose a passage from her May 2001 address at the Seniors Wellness Conference, which illustrates her passion for gardening and finished with a reading the John Wesley poem quoted on pp. 95–6. Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Carl Amrhein read from a speech he heard Mrs. Hole deliver on the occasion of the installation of Eric Newell as Chancellor. He reminisced about his introduction to Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole, which he imagined would be a formal and austere production. Instead, after shaking his hand, she smiled with her characteristic warmth and said, “I think we can do better than that.” She followed up with a hearty hug: most suitable from “the Queen of Hugs.”

President Indira Samarasekera shared her experience of spending one hour with Mrs. Hole. Even critically ill, Lois had an enormous impact on the incoming president, as the two connected over their shared passion for education.

The launch was rewarding on a personal level, as I heard both MC Jim Edwards and President Samarasekera speak about the role the University of Alberta Press played in shaping and producing an important and beautiful volume, with the aid of editor Mark Lisac and the cooperation of Mrs. Hole’s family, especially sons Jim and Bill Hole. The president’s public support of our work and achievements, noting our most recent spate of awards, was both thrilling and humbling.

Definitely a book launch to be savoured, along with our memories of the special woman whose words are now preserved in the hope that they will inspire others.

PSObviously, Lois Hole Speaks is hitting an immediate chord. In its first two weeks on bookstore shelves, it has been #7 and then #5 on the Edmonton Journal’s Top 10 Bestseller list for non-fiction. Jim Hole’s radio presence and Audreys Books’ huge window display have given sales a jump start.