Montréal-Nord in the spotlight at the Salon du livre

Montréal-Nord in the spotlight at the Salon du livre

If the festivities of the Salon du livre de Montréal at the Palais des congrès begin on November 23, several activities are offered from Friday in various neighborhoods of the metropolis and surrounding areas. Among them, Montréal-Nord is in the spotlight this year.

During the first edition of this section, in 2019, the invited district was Saint-Michel. After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Salon returns this year with this idea, this time with a view to the north of Montreal. Priority: accessibility.

“We are in downtown Montreal; there is a re-entry fee; we are still a very French Salon; we are like the middle of the book, historically quite white, says Salon director Olivier Gougeon. Some Montrealers don’t always feel challenged by the Montreal Book Fair. However, books are for everyone.”

Challenging this notion of accessibility, Show decided to reach out to these communities and organize activities to welcome them.

Residents of Montreal North will therefore be entitled to 2-for-1 admission to the Palais des congrès this year. A kiosk will also be dedicated to them.

“Each day of the Salon will be a series of activities that highlight the neighborhood, but also its authors, including Guédeline Desrosiers,” says the director.

Photo: Courtesy Montreal Book Fair

Day stay in the city

Decentralization of Book Fair activities in order to provide everyone with access to reading is also the goal of the Book Fair Day stay in the city. The concept was launched during the pandemic, but it was conceived before, explains Olivier Gougeon.

“If the deployment was made in the context of the pandemic, it is an idea that germinated as soon as I took office in 2018, says the director. There is one element that is important in my vision of the Salon, and that is the multiplication of meeting points with books and reading.

So there are only readers who come to meet the Salon; The salon is now going to meet the public in its neighborhood. A total of 54 locations will organize events from November 11 to 22, in Montreal, but also on the North Shore and South Shore.

Given that it is still a pilot project, the director explains that Salon dans la ville wants to present the diversity of the metropolis in a more representative way.

The diversity of Montréal is its population, but also its neighborhoods.

Olivier Gougeon, director of the Montreal Book Fair

Personalities tell their story

If the usual headliners are present at the Salon du livre de Montréal, such as Patrick Senécal, Christine Brouillette or Dany Laferrière, artists and celebrities who have chosen the pen to tell their stories are also part of the program.

Thus, Boucar Diouf, Bruno Pelletier, Cœur de Pirate, Daniel BelangerFarah Alibay, Mariana Mazza and Martha Wainwright will be present to share their experiences with visitors.

If the trend is not new, are there more and more biographical books on the Quebec market and is it a way for publishers to increase their sales by putting a famous person on the cover of a book?

“There are publishers who are looking for well-known personalities so that they can be engaged through a book, but there are also those personalities who are experiencing all kinds of things in a crazy world where they don’t really have time to express themselves,” says Olivier Gougeon.

For him, it is a different and calmer way in which these stars speak.

“Between Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and others, what can we really express? Even a radio, newspaper or TV interview that lasts five minutes where you have to do three somersaults to be funny, otherwise it’s not good for the audience, do they really have time to talk about a topic they care about?

Olivier Gougeon recognizes that some personalities have announced themselves through social networks. It is about the case of an aeronautical engineer from Quebec, Farah Alibay, but part of the public wants to know more about her career, which her book makes possible My Martian year.

“It’s a bit like what literature does, it allows you to stop time, even to enter a new space-time to know another universe,” concludes Olivier Gougeon.

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