The Great Ontario Book Break, an event last weekend in Toronto, didn't fare too well. Sad, but funny.
There was supposed to be a cocktail reception for the librarians at 5:30 p.m. — maybe they would show up for that. The authors and the publishers trooped into the bar area and gulped some of the cheese cubes and waited. It was immediately clear that we would have to drink all of the librarians' free booze ourselves. By 6:30 p.m., not one person I spoke to had seen a single librarian all day.
By contrast, Montreal's Blue Metropololis has been deemed a great success.
The Blue Met is a very Montreal event, with a different mandate than the country's other literary festivals. To begin with, at least half the invited writers are French-speaking. . . The Blue Met invites a wild range of literary expression, including cartoonists, rap poets and staged play readings.