TORONTO – Governor General Mary May Simon started her first international trip in this position on Sunday, traveling to Germany to meet officials and attend the world’s largest book fair.
Mai Simon, who became Governor General of Canada in July 30th, will visit Berlin and Frankfurt until Thursday and represent Canada at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, where Canada is this year’s Guest of Honor.
“Canada and Germany share both our diversity and our common values. The Governor General’s state visit to Germany will strengthen Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, climate and environment, empowerment of women and youth and reconciliation, ”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press release.
“Your Excellency’s participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair will be an opportunity to highlight and celebrate Canadian cultural and literary works internationally.”
During the trip, May Simon will also meet with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and take part in a discussion at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt about exploring the Arctic.
In Berlin, May Simon visits the Humboldt Forum, a museum for non-European art that houses numerous Canadian artifacts, including two indigenous totem poles from the west coast.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest book fair for trading in publishing rights and licenses, from children’s books and novels to scientific databases. Every year they choose a country as a guest of honor in which nations can promote their literature and culture at the fair.
Canada was originally planned as the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020, but was extended to the 2021 fair due to the pandemic.
The Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage has created a program for this year’s book fair to create incentives for acquiring translation rights for Canadian works for publication in German. It covers part of the costs for German publishers when they want to translate and publish a Canadian literary work.
The motto of the program is “Singular Plurality,” which is inspired by Canada’s diversity.
“[It] will focus on innovation in the creative industries, the advancement of women and youth and reconciliation with indigenous peoples, ”the communication reads.
Mai Simon will attend the book fair opening ceremonies as well as the opening of the Canadian pavilion.
Her first official public appearance as Governor General was a week prior to this international visit, when May Simon met staff and volunteers to distribute hot meals at an Ottawa homeless shelter.
With files from the Canadian press