Reading Town Canada an important celebration

Justin Crann
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Initiative marks active literary community

The National Reading Campaign's Reading Town Canada is a win-win proposition, according to Donna Lee Howes.

"This is a good partnership for Moose Jaw and it's good for Reading Town Canada to have its pilot here," said Howes, executive director of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words. "Certainly, something that has the electricity of Reading Town Canada will get people behind it … We're delighted to have been partners."

Howes spoke to the Times-Herald at the Reading Town Canada pancake breakfast launch Saturday morning about the relationship between the initiative and her organization.

She said the initiative "keeps literature at the front of mind for people," and will feed directly into the Festival of Words, which begins July 17.

But more importantly, "it's very significant that Moose Jaw was picked," she noted.

"I think it's hugely important," said Howes. "They've recognized the fact we have already done some ground work. … The library has regular events, Literacy Moose Jaw has regular events and the school districts both have their own literary events throughout the year, so I think we've always had a few balls in the air."

Recognition for what already exists was among the more exciting aspects of the Reading Town Canada initiative for Christine Boyczuk, co-ordinator of the Moose Jaw-South Central Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC), as well.

"I think it's very important we celebrate some things that we have that make our community special, such as the community of readers we have here in Moose Jaw," she said. "It is also important to show how much we value literacy skills, and that we make reading successful and enjoyable."

For her, Reading Town Canada represents an exciting opportunity to promote the hobby.

"When one person starts to talk about what reading means to them or what literary moments they've had, it sparks conversation with others," said Boyczuk. "I think it's important to have those discussions.

"It was very nice that we were able to come out and eat together (at the pancake breakfast launch) and enjoy some of those stories," she added.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Reading Town Canada, Times-Herald, Moose Jaw-South Central Regional Intersectoral Committee RIC

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Canada

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