Fay Slift’s Top 10 Pride Reads for Kids

Fay Slift. Image by David Hawe

Most of us grew up without ever encountering a queer children's book. Perhaps you were presented with a queer character that no one ever acknowledged as such, or the idea that certain stories were only for boys, and others only for girls. For some readers, these unwritten rules were to the detriment of their self-confidence and well-being.  

Today, Pride is our annual reminder to celebrate who we are and those we loveand it wouldn’t be a Toronto Pride without a guest appearance by the fabulous Fay SliftThis month, we asked Fay to cast her spotlight to a glittering parade of books that embody the magic of Pride for young readers. 

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Indigenous Authors Contemplate a “New Normal”

This June marks the 11th anniversary of National Indigenous History Month in Canada, where we are fortunate to find the work of many Indigenous authors who have enlightened our hearts and minds through writing. This ia time for recognition and reflection on the unique heritage, culture and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. As it happens, this is also a time for monumental change, as the world continues to adapt to the effects of a global health crisisTo spotlight the Indigenous experience during this pivotal timewe asked three Indigenous writers, who have released a book within the past 12 months, how their writing has been impacted by COVID-19. Below, you’ll find their deeply personal responses and discover their hopes of a new normal, post pandemic.

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#BlackLivesMatter: A Reading List to Understand Systemic Racism & Uplift Black Authors

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is an organization that values Black life and storytelling by Black authors. As a literary festival, we believe that understanding the world around us begins with knowledge, and we have a responsibility to use our platform to help us all get started on that journey. Being actively anti-racist means being critical of racist institutions, practicing inclusiveness and being self-reflective of the role we all play in dismantling oppressive systems. The list of books below should be a beginning and not the end of constant self betterment.

This month, we wish to spotlight A Different Booklist, which is a Black-owned bookstore in Toronto, and hope you will support them in this time, as well as other local Black-owned bookstores in your communities. Our vision of equity only works if everyone is truly free.

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TCAF’s Colourful History, Revisited

Toronto Comic Arts Festival, 2019 (c) Andy Nguyen


 

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) was originally established in 2003 in collaboration with The Beguiling comic shop. Seventeen years later: TCAF's humble beginnings in Trinity St. Paul’s United Church imbue an undeniable magic to its present stature. Today, TCAF is an internationally recognized forum for readers and creators to discover and share what’s new and exciting in the world of comics, its bustling marketplace a testament to the diversity of voices, genres, styles and storytelling techniques that exist within the medium.

Though TCAF will not be taking place in 2020—a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis—we spoke with TCAF’s Artistic Director, Christopher Butcher, and Managing Director, Miles Baker, to learn more about TCAF’s long journey and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

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Nursing the World to Health

Each night at 7:30, the sounds of applause, cheering and cookware being struck echoes between the apartment buildings of a once lively downtown Toronto and in many other cities across the globe. It’s now one of the ways we show gratitude to the essential workers who bravely put themselves in harm’s way each day. The Toronto International Festival of Authors would like to extend sincere thank you to the healthcare workers, food and beverage providersdelivery personstransit drivers and many more who work tirelessly to keep our lives moving during these unprecedented times.  

This month marks National Nursing Week, which in 2020 comes with the theme: Nurses: A Voice to Lead — Nursing the World to Health.  Nurses address a wide range of health challenges, which reveal new heart-wrenching stories that often go untold every day. In times of crisis, we turn to both nurses and storytellers for perspective, strength and healing. This May, in recognition of nurses everywhere, we asked leading voices in the literary community what they think the world might need to heal right now. Here's what they said:

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