02 July 2012

Jack Layton: Arts and Action

Jack Layton: Arts and Action is springing to life! This project is an opportunity to reclaim and renew the Canada we love... We especially need all the pre-orders we can round up, to support the publication! Please pre-order from Quattro Books: details and more information on http://www.quattrobooks.ca/fourfront-editions/jack-layton-art-and-action.

Editor Penn Kemp is still looking for stories, from a paragraph to a page or two, on encounters with Jack in the many arts and cultures that intrigued him. She is also seeking pieces on how Jack has continued to influence our lives and our activism; how his spirit has stayed with people since his death last August. Jack inspired her personally to move from performance poet to poet activist. Like so many others, she still strongly feel his motivating spirit inspiring this book project in particular! His support of, and interest in, arts and culture in Canada underlay his politics. Throughout his long municipal and federal political life, Jack welcomed and encouraged everyone to become an activist to effect change. Hence, this book for him!

Olivia Chow endorses this work, as does his family. She writes: "I heartily encourage folks to send Penn your stories of Jack's relationship with, and his support of the arts. This project is a great opportunity to share our stories about how Jack and the NDP celebrated our Canadian cultures and what we must do together to continue this great relationship. You know he loved to make music and we loved to dance!"

Let us reclaim, restore and rejuvenate the Canada we love! Penn Kemp's main aim in Jack Layton: Art and Action is to encourage folks not to abandon politics but to keep positively proactive just as Jack did. He was a strong supporter of our many Canadian cultures that offer us such diversity and perspective. As Jack would say, Never turn down an opportunity to serve! Penn first met Jack when she lived on Toronto Island through the Seventies, fighting City Hall to "Save Island Homes". Fifteen years ago, she became part of his extended family: her husband's brother is married to Jack's sister Nancy. Jack warmly welcomed Penn with his customary inclusivity. She called him my outlaw; he called her sister.

Arrangements are being made with the well-respected publisher, Quattro Books, to produce the book. Appropriately, Quattro Books is a publisher that wishes to reflect the unique cultural character and dynamism of Canada now: what it has been and what it is in the process of becoming. Quattro will produce a book of about 150 pages, including photographs, in time to celebrate May 2, the anniversary of the New Democratic Party becoming the official opposition. Penn Kemp will finish collecting material for the book by August 31 and then edit it, with Allan Briesmaster, editor at Quattro.

The list price will be $25 per book but pre-orders are only $20. They will be available early next spring from Quattro. The project hinges on having a means of ensuring that the production costs would be covered: one way of financing would be through pre-ordering copies. An alternative would be monetary contributions from individual sponsors. Quattro will retain copies which could be ordered directly by bookstores and by the public through their distributor, LitDistCo. A webpage with more information on Jack Layton: Art and Action is on http://www.quattrobooks.ca/fourfront-editions/jack-layton-art-and-action.

Thanks for celebrating Jack’s ongoing influence! For pre-orders please contact Quattro Books, 382 College St., Toronto ON M5T 1S7; www.quattrobooks.ca. Email: info @ quattrobooks.ca. Ph: 416-419-3541 (till August), 647-748-7484 (from 1 August 2012).

No comments: