Holiday Book Fair 2022: Annual festival celebrates Quebec’s English-language publishers and writers (November 2–5)

Posted on: 19 October, 2022

Category: Holiday Book Fair, QWF News, Salon du livre Montreal

Toula Drimonis, Neil Smith, Stanley Péan

Montreal, October 19, 2022 – Produced by the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ) in partnership with the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), the Holiday Book Fair celebrates the vibrancy of English-language writing, publishing, and translation in Quebec. After two years of virtual and hybrid book fairs in 2020 and 2021, we’re thrilled to return to the Concordia McConnell Building Atrium (1400 Maisonneuve Blvd W.) to present twenty overflowing tables of exciting new works from local publishers, authors, and translators, as well as a full program of hybrid literary events. 

“We’re looking forward to welcoming people in person again to discover Quebec’s wide range of excellent English-language books and authors,” says Rebecca West, Executive Director of AELAQ. “People turned to books in droves during the pandemic, and we have exciting new titles for those who continue to find entertainment, stimulation, and solace in reading.” 

A unique strength of local English-language publishers is bringing the French-language literature of Quebec to English readers here and beyond. Many translated titles will be available, some of which, like Kevin Lambert’s Querelle of Roberval, are receiving international praise and acclaim. Holiday Book Fair special guest Stanley Péan is another author whose gifts are appreciated in both languages. 

A kids’ activity area will make the fair fun for young book lovers. There will be a wine-and-cheese reception on Friday and coffee on Saturday morning. All events will be live-streamed, visit for all the details, including links to participate online. 

This year’s fair boasts a stellar lineup of exhibitors, including: AOS Publishing, Baraka Books, Black Rose Books, Concordia University Press, Corner Studio, Guernica Editions, Studio Georgeville, Linda Leith Publishing, Maisonneuve Magazine, Metatron, Metonymy Press, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore, Pow Pow Press, QC Fiction, The Secret Mountain, SpokenWeb, Universitas Press, Vallum, and Véhicule Press.

The Holiday Book Fair is open Friday and Saturday November 4-5, 2022, from 11 am – 5 pm, in the Atrium of the McConnell Building at Concordia University, 1400 De Maisonneuve Boulevard W.. The building is accessible directly from Guy metro and fully accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

This year’s Holiday Book Fair events:

Wednesday, November 2, 2022, 7 pm
Montreal Review of Books – Fall Issue Launch
Ursa Montreal (5589 Park Avenue)     Free, no registration required
Join us for the launch of the Fall Issue of the Montreal Review of Books, featuring Alexei Perry Cox (PLACE), Neil Smith (Jones), and Toula Drimonis (We, the Others). Hosted by Montreal Review of Books Editor, Malcolm Fraser. In-person and livestreamed. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022, 7 pm
Atwater Poetry Project – Holiday Book Fair Special Edition
Atwater Library and Computer Centre, Adair Auditorium
(4023 Tupper Street, Westmount)     Free, no registration required
This evening of new writing will feature poets Prathna Lor (Emanations), River Halen (Dream Rooms), and Trynne Delaney (the half-drowned). Moderated by APP curator, Faith Paré. In-person and livestreamed. 

Friday, November 4, 2022, 1 pm
Eight Voices: Finalists for the First QWF Spoken Word Prize
4th Space, inside the McConnell Building, Concordia University 
(1400 Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal)     Free, no registration required
In an exciting world premiere, the finalists for the inaugural Quebec Writers’ Federation Spoken Word Prize will offer short performances to showcase their talents. Hosted by poet and SpokenWeb director, Jason Camlot. In-person and livestreamed. 

Friday, November 4, 2022, 3 pm
Jazz Stories: En Direct
4th Space, inside the McConnell Building, Concordia University 
(1400 Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal)     Free, no registration required
Author and Radio Canada personality Stanley Péan will discuss Black and Blue: Jazz Stories with host Jason “Blackbird” Selman. They will be joined by Anita Anand (A Convergence of Solitudes), Rana Bose (Shaf and the Remington), and Kasia Van Schaik (We Have Never Lived On Earth) for a musically inspired session of improvised live writing. In-person and livestreamed.

Friday, November 4, 2022, 4:30 pm
Opening Cocktail
LB-Atrium, Concordia University
(1400, Maissonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal)     Free, no registration required
In person only
Following the book fair events in the 4TH SPACE, attendees are invited to join us for a wine and cheese reception in the McConnell Atrium, with guest speakers Bert Archer (Montreal Gazette editor-in-chief) and author Stanley Péan. Guests are invited to mingle, peruse and purchase books throughout the reception.

In accordance with local public health guidelines, mask wearing will be optional though encouraged, with hand-sanitizing stations available at all in-person events.

The books of the participating authors will be available for sale at the in-person events, and a curated selection of books by Quebec writers will also be available through the Read Quebec online catalogue. This is a wonderful opportunity to find the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones. New AELAQ member releases will be available for exclusive purchase before hitting the shelves, as well as copies of this year’s Quebec Writers’ Federation Awards finalists, and other bestselling titles, such as Dimitri Nasrallah’s HOTLINE, Julie Doucet’s Time Zone J, and Martha Wainwright’s Stories I Might Regret Telling You

The Holiday Book Fair is brought to you by the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ) with our partners the Quebec Writers’ Federation, SpokenWeb, and the Atwater Poetry Project. It is made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada, SODEC, the Montreal Gazette, Penguin Random House Canada, Babar Books, Baraka Books, Guernica Editions, Linda Leith Publishing, Maisonneuve Magazine, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Pow Pow Press, Universitas Press, Véhicule Press,  as well as our bookseller partner, Paragraphe Bookstore.

The Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ) represents a wide-ranging community of publishers, and supports and promotes the broad spectrum of books published in English in Quebec. AELAQ also publishes the Montreal Review of Books, celebrating its 25th year in 2022, which showcases books written or published in Quebec through intelligent, in-depth reviews, features, and interviews.


Media contact: 
Danny Payne
(514) 621-8657