Branding Committee


Chélanie Beaudin-Quintin, Rights Manager at Éditions Michel Quintin

Marylin Biderman, Senior Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency

Judy Brunsek, Director Sales and Marketing for Owl Kids Books

Caroline Fortin, Executive Director of Éditions Québec-Amérique

Harold Johnson, Senior Crown Prosecutor, Author and Activist

Antoine Tanguay, President of Editions Alto

Wendy Whitebear, Office Manager at University of Regina Press

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Contemporary Artist


Julie Boyer, Director General – International Trade, Department of Canadian Heritage

Literary Programming Committee

Cherie Dimaline 

Cherie Dimaline’s young adult novel The Marrow Thieves shot to the top of the bestseller lists when it was published in 2017 and won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category. It also took home the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and, among other honours, was a fan favourite in the 2018 edition of CBC’s Canada Reads. It was a Book of Year on numerous lists including the National Public Radio, the School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe and MailQuill & Quire and the CBC. Cherie was named Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in 2014, and became the first Indigenous writer in residence at the Toronto Public Library. Her new book, Empire of Wild, based on a traditional Metis story, debuted on Canadian bestseller lists just days after publication. From the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario, she now lives in Vancouver.

Heather Kanabe 

Heather Kanabe is an arts leader with over 15 years’ experience working with cultural and corporate partners. For over four years, she was the Festival Director of The Word on the Street Toronto, Canada’s largest book and magazine festival. She is the General Manager of the Hamilton Fringe Festival and provides consulting services to such not-for-profit arts organizations as Telling Tales, the children’s book festival. She was a Project Manager with SALT & PEPPER Events in Dubai, producing local and international marketing events for clients that included Lexus, Ford, and Nokia. Prior to receiving her MBA, she was the Programming and Business Affairs Manager at Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT-T), where she developed an annual programming schedule of over 600 hours of creative and business training. Heather holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto in Arts Management, with a specialization in Art History, and an MBA from the HULT International Business School in Dubai.

Photo: Andréanne Gautheir

Claudia Larochelle 

Claudia Larochelle is a Québécois writer, journalist, and media personality. Among her published works are the short story collection Les bonnes filles plantent des fleurs au printemps [Good girls plant flowers in the springtime], the novel Les Îles Canaries [The Canary Islands], the non-fiction work Je veux une maison faite de sorties de secours – Réflexions sur la vie et l’oeuvre de Nelly Arcan [I want a house made of exits – Reflections on the life and work of Nelly Arcan], and the successful children’s series La doudou qui [The little blankie that…], which has sold more than 25,000 copies in Quebec and France. Having hosted the television program “LIRE” on ICI ARTV for four seasons, she is now presenting their web clips and also the on-line LIRE book club to several thousand members who make it the largest Francophone club in North America. She makes regular appearances on the French-language network ICI Radio-Canada, on the Friday six o’clock news show “TéléJournal” with Patrice Roy and on Sundays on “RDI Matin,” and contributes to ICI Première radio network’s Plus on est de fous plus on lit [The crazier we are the more we read]. Every week she writes columns on culture and society for A dedicated volunteer, she acts as a spokesperson for Vues et Voix, an inclusive social economy digital audio organization that produces audiobooks for everyone. She is a member of the Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ), the Quebec writer’s union; the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ), the province’s professional journalist’s association; and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. 

Hal Wake 

Hal Wake has been active in Canada’s literary community for more than 30 years. For the past 12 years, he was the Artistic Director and Co-Leader of the Vancouver Writers Fest (VWF). Under his leadership, the VWF has been recognized as one of the world’s finest literary festivals. It presents more than 100 writers in 90 events annually, as well as an extensive schools program. During his tenure, the VWF greatly increased its reach and activities and saw almost annual increases in box office revenues, attendance and book sales. He has conducted hundreds of on-stage interviews across Canada as well as in New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. A small sampling of writers he has interviewed includes: Alice Munro, Eden Robinson, Louise Penny, Richard Ford, Rohinton Mistry, Bill Clinton and James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, and Anne Michaels. As the book producer of CBC Radio’s “Morningside”, he researched, organized and supervised hundreds of interviews, readings and panel discussions featuring Canadian books and writers. During the 1980s,  “Morningside” was the most significant media outlet in English Canada for information about books, leading to more sales than any other print or broadcast equivalent. Host Peter Gzowski referred to Hal as “the Wayne Gretzky of producers.” He has contributed to Canada’s cultural life as a journalist, teacher, volunteer, workshop leader, and moderator of public discussions and forums. He is an honorary member of the Writers Union of Canada.

Literary Programming Sub-Committee

Bernard Gilbert, CEO of Théâtre le Diamant

Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, Poet-Performer, Comedian, Artist

Nicole Saint-Jean, President of Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur

Rob Sanders, Founding Publisher of Greystone Books

Matt Williams, Vice President, Publishing Operations at House of Anansi / Groundwood Books

Partnership Development Committee


Kate Edwards, Executive Director at the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)

Richard Prieur, CEO of the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL)

François Charette, Executive Director of Livres Canada Books


Anne-Sophie Lawless, Director Frankfurt 2020, Department of Canadian Heritage

Led by

Jennifer-Ann Weir,  Associate Executive Director at Canada FBM2020

Pavilion Committee


Julie Boyer, Director General – International Trade, Department of Canadian Heritage

Caroline Fortin, Executive Director of Éditions Québec-Amérique

Peter McKinnon, Scenographer, Set Designer, Member of the Event-Community in Toronto

Hugues Sweeney, Head of the French Language Interactive Production Studio at National Film Board

Nicole Winstanley, Vice President at Penguin Random House Canada and Publisher at Penguin Canada


Evan Medley, manager, Frankfurt 2020, Department of Canadian Heritage


Jennifer-Ann Weir,  Associate Executive Director at Canada FBM2020