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“Farm Workers in Western Canada” Launch in Kelowna, BC

The third week of March is Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of farm safety. The editors of Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism worked hard to get the word out about, well, injustices and activism.

Editor Shirley A. McDonald organized a book launch in Kelowna, BC on February 24. She partnered with the Faculty of Creative/Critical Studies of the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, who hosted filmmaker Min Sook Lee’s visit. It was an important event, and included the screening of her documentary, Migrant Dreams and a panel discussion. It was a great opportunity to showcase the book: everyone who attended was committed to learning more about the difficult issues facing migrant farm workers. Activists Darlene Dunlop and Eric Musekamp from Alberta were able to participate in a variety of activities and conversations that took place during the week.

 

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A high-profile launch in Edmonton took place on December 8, 2016, with Minister Gray. MLA David Swann has been a remarkable supporter of farm safety and farm workers’ issues over many years, and his office took the lead in creating the event, held at The Common lounge next to the Legislature grounds.

Editor Bob Barnetson’s blog post, “Farm worker injury study bolsters arguments for farm safety legislation” was published on the Parkland Institute and on the Rank and File‘s website.

A book trailer is in the works for Farm Workers in Western Canada. We look forward to sharing the trailer with you once completed.

Canada@150

The Department of History and Classic sponsored the first event to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.The event showcases the work of undergraduate students through a range of historical displays and exhibits as part of the observance of the  quasquicentennial, ensuring that it addresses a wide range of Canadian history, including the history and culture of Indigenous people.

Co-ordinator Professor Susan L. Smith invited us to join and display our books on the subject in the Old Arts Building Foyer on January 18. The event begen at 2:00 with a few words by the Dean of Arts, Lesley Cormack, and the Chair of the Dept of History and Classics, David Marples, with introductions by Professor Smith. You can read more about the event in The Gateway.

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Thank you all who helped to make this event such as success, with over 100 people attending!

Edmonton’s Rubaboo Arts Festival, January 30 to February 4, 2017

Rubaboo is a Métis-Michif word meaning a stew or soup trappers used to make on the trap line. It is also Edmonton’s fabulous Aboriginal arts festival, which is about feeding the spirit. Curated by Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts, the 8th Rubaboo Festival has several remarkable offerings.

9781772122978Wednesday, February 1 at 6 pm at La Cité Francophone. Norma Dunning and Peter Midgley are hosting an Editing Workshop, “Mitsi: The Words, and Things Relative to Them”. They will share their experience working together as writer and editor on Norma’s first collection of short stories: Annie Muktuk and Other Storiespublished this fall by the University of Alberta Press. Using practical examples from Norma’s manuscript and other editing moments, they illustrate some of the questions and concerns that arise when editing Indigenous writing—what happens to a story and how is it shaped during collaboration between non-Indigenous editor and Indigenous author.

Their workshop will be followed by Anna Marie Sewell‘s Wide Awake for 30 Years and Josh Languedoc‘s Starlight Tours at 8 pm.

Monday, January 30 and Tuesday, January 31: Santee Smith of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre will perform NeoIndigenA, an elemental and ritual journey that fiercely cycles through sacred portals between Skyworld, Earthworld and Underworld. Performances will be held at 8 pm.

Thursday, February 2 is Fusion Night, a free event offered in partnership with Flying Canoe Festival, starting at 7 pm.

Friday, February 3 is a Visual Arts Talk with David Garneau at 6 pm and Red Leather Yellow Leather Folk Lordz at 8 pm.

On Saturday, February 4, Elder Jerry Saddleback gives a Bow Making Workshop at 11 am. Closing night, starting at 7 pm, features Kendra Shorter and Skye Demas.

All of the events are held at La Cité Francophone at 8527 rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury (91st Street), Edmonton.

Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts is a professional Aboriginal theatre and performing arts organization based in Edmonton, Alberta. It was co-founded in 2009 by Ryan Cunningham and Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, both Aboriginal (Métis) from Edmonton.

 

Winter Solstice 2016

On December 14, we celebrated Winter Solstice with UAlberta North. It was both humbling and inspiring to hear all the achievements Director Roger Epp, listed in his talk—and to realize that many of them are our authors and collaborators.

As neighbours and partners of UAlberta North, we have experienced the benefit of their work through the wonderful conversations we have had about research in the north and in the new friends we have made among scholars of the north. Roger Epp’s work as liaison and acquisitions editor for northern research and topics has been invaluable.

A few years ago, the University of Alberta Press launched a northern imprint. Polynya Press is moving at full speed, with three books already in the imprint and more on the way. A quick glance at the editors and contributors to these publications—Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing (Barbara Miller), Care, Cooperation and Activism in Canada’s Northern Social Economy (Frances Abele and Chris Southcott), and Imagining the Supernatural North (Eleanor Barraclough, Danielle Marie Cudmore, and Stefan Donecker) shows how UAlberta Press’ reach and influence extends throughout the circumpolar north how our author base to includes authors from around the world who write on northern subjects from other perspectives and other institutions.

What stands out about these titles is the correspondence with the northern themes that UAlberta has been pursuing. This correspondence confirms that Polynya Press is charting the future of northern studies alongside UAblerta North.

The University of Alberta Press and its northern imprint, like UAlberta North, is flourishing and set for even greater things. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate these achievements alongside those of our colleagues.

Some of the highlights of Roger’s talk at Winter Solstice included:

Peter Midgley with files from Roger Epp.

 

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Farm Workers in Western Canada: Edmonton Launch

The Edmonton launch for Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism gave key individuals an opportunity to acknowledge many years of striving to ensure that Charter rights are enforced for Alberta farm workers.

There were many key attendees from government, the activist community, labour policy organizations, media, and publishing. It was a particular pleasure to welcome:

  • Christina Gray, Minister of Labour and Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal. December marks the one-year anniversary of the Alberta’s government’s work on Bill 6: The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.
  • David Swann, Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, MLA, and long-time supporter of this human rights issue.
  • Darlene Dunlop and Eric Musekamp, advocates and activists who have spearheaded this conversation for over a decade, at great personal cost.
  • Bob Barnetson, professor of labour relations at Athabasca University and co-editor, with Shirley McDonald, of the book.
  • Zane Hamm, an Edmonton contributor to Farm Workers in Western Canada.

It was an honour to be in the room with these strenuous advocates for workers’ rights in Alberta—to hear their stories and learn why they were inspired to do this work.

We know that the information and stories in Farm Workers in Western Canada will reach an important audience, from farm workers to employers to policy makers. In the book, key issues are covered in depth, with accuracy, and for posterity. The launch at The Common, organized by Dr. Swann and his staff, was a great start to letting people know where they can go for this information.

 

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“One Child Reading” Launch

On September 30, 2016 the School of Library and Information Studies and the University of Alberta Press celebrated the release of Dr. Margaret Mackey’s book One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography. The guests gathered in Henderson Hall (Rutherford South at the University of Alberta) enjoyed the speeches and presentations by Linda Cameron, Heide Blackmore, and Margaret herself.

We’d like to share Heide’s speech here, which is a great overview of the book. Who wouldn’t want to read One Child Reading after hearing her speak?

For all of my remembered life I have been a reader. Riding in tandem has been an ongoing curiosity about readers and especially their pleasure-reading preferences.

Some two decades ago I met Margaret by auditing her course on reading at the School of Library and Information Science, and I have been learning from her ever since.

And so it is my particular delight to be here to celebrate the publication of her latest book, One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography.

So then here is one reader (me) reading about one child reading. Well, this reader likes:
– first person narratives—TICK
– complex situations—TICK
– suspense—hmm, oddly enough—TICK
– a nice fat book—TICK!

This book is thick, it’s heavy—I love the soft colours of the cover, the weight and shape of the book in my hands, the restful layout, the lovely font, the white space, the smooth feel of the paper—it’s a full body treat; it even fits precisely into my arm. Kudos to the craftsmanship of the folks at the U of A Press for creating a physical object that perfectly embodies one of Margaret’s themes—namely that reading is grounded in the physical, local, and personal. Great job!

It was a surprise to me how little overlap there is between my childhood reading and that of the young Margaret, and yet I frequently found myself staring into the distance as warm memories surfaced of similar early reading experiences. And so I was happy to follow the paths and note the landmarks [one of the metaphors that shapes the book] in the young Margaret’s world, certain that new awareness—both general and personal—was in store for me from Margaret’s examples and analysis.

Close on the heels of that pleasure was the intellectual workout this book offered me—I don’t remember the last time I had to skip so many words because I was in such a rush to keep reading to discover the next theory or insight. Of course, I had to go back since the meaning rests in the words!

This book is an astonishing accomplishment—a self-disciplined scholar applying a courteous detachment—carefully examines the reader she knows best, in order that her readers can learn not about her, but about themselves.

You do write beautifully, Margaret.

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Ten-Ten Soiree: LitFest and the CLC Celebrate Turning Ten

The University of Alberta Press was a co-sponsor of the “Ten-Ten Soiree” at Edmonton’s LitFest. The fabulous tenth anniversary celebration was held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Latitude 53.

The event was packed, with a bevvy of special literati and guests. The more than 100 people included those who have fostered LitFest from its inception, and others who were with the Canadian Literature Centre over its ten years. We launched the CLC’s anthology of some of their Brown Bag Readings at the party: Ten Canadian Writers in Context.

Hosted by Curtis Gillespie, this was the literary event of the season, with food, wine, and much merriment. The presenters were Caterina Edwards, Marina Endicott, Alice Major, Ross King, and Charlotte Gray. They were paired with guest artists Lacey Huculak & Todd Houseman (improvisors), Vern Thiessen (playwright), Jen Mesch (dancer), Emily Storvold (painter), and Donna Durand (musician). At the mid-point of the program, Eric Schloss spoke to us about his friend, the multi-talented and much-mourned Mel Hurtig.

Fantastic food was provided by Culina Restaurants and Catering and Duchess Bake Shop.

A silent auction featured 10 different themes, including literary magazines, historic Edmonton, indigenous writers, sports, and theatre arts. The bidding was lively! Our thanks to the many organizations, individuals, and businesses who donated items for the auction.

Enjoy the photos from the night, courtesy of Jack Bawden and UAP staff.

 

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