May 5th 2023
THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY presents The Great Readception: A Literary Cabaret
$189,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grant Supports the Growth of FOLD Kids
Brampton, ON – The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) today welcomed attendees and authors to The Rose theatre for a special reception prior to one of their signature events, The Great Readception: A Literary Cabaret. The VIP Reception at the eighth annual FOLD – Canada’s first festival prioritising marginalised and under-represented authors – acknowledged the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s generous support of FOLD Kids programming through a multi-year $189,000 Grow Grant, to provide new and innovative opportunities for readers, writers, and educators.
“Reading opens up a whole new world of perspectives and experiences that can expand our minds and enrich our lives,” said a congratulatory message to the FOLD from Prabmeet Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South. “The FOLD Foundation is doing remarkable work to bring diverse voices into the literary discussion and give Brampton youth and families the opportunity to encounter cultures, places, and meaningful experiences through literature.”
The FOLD Foundation runs a number of literary initiatives, including two annual festivals – The Festival of Literary Diversity in May, and FOLD Kids Book Fest in November. Thanks to the Grow Grant awarded in June 2020, The FOLD has established FOLD Kids Book Fest as an industry-leading space to showcase children’s book authors and illustrators. In addition to programming that targets youth, the festival provides opportunities for writers and illustrators to develop their craft and allows educators to discover incredible storytellers through the festival’s school group events and educator workshops.
Receiving the Grow Grant enabled the FOLD to hire Ardo Omer, FOLD Kids Coordinator, allowing the FOLD to:
- Expand FOLD Kids Book Fest from a single-day event to an annual four-day festival with in-person and virtual programming;
- Launch a Book-of-The-Month program highlighting Canadian Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult authors and titles;
- Create the FOLD Kids Reading Challenge, a kid lit-focused counterpart to the monthly FOLD Challenge;
- Expand School Group programming throughout Ontario by increasing virtual content;
- Implement an annual FOLD Kids Illustrator-in-Residence program;
- And create the FOLD Kids Advisory Committee, a year-round group of educator volunteers who meet to help shape FOLD Kids programming.
“This remarkable investment in FOLD Kids from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has already allowed the FOLD to engage with a significant number of children’s authors and illustrators, and connect a community of young readers and educators with their work,” said Jael Richardson, Executive Director of the FOLD. “The impact can’t be understated: young people need to see themselves and their stories reflected in the books they read. This is a pivotal time in the industry, especially in children’s lit, and we are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Fund for recognizing the importance of FOLD Kids within the larger literary ecology.”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
The FOLD is generously supported by: Audible Canada; The City of Brampton; Penguin Random House Canada; Simon & Schuster Canada; HarperCollins Canada; Harlequin; ECW Press; and Literary Press Group; with additional support from the Government of Canada; Canada Council for the Arts; Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Trillium Foundation; and Access Copyright.
Twitter: @TheFold_ #FOLD2023 http://www.thefoldcanada.org.