FAQ on COVID-19 for Literary Programming

Last update: October 14th, 2020

Q&A Session held on October 5th with Canada FBM2020 and the Canada Council for the Arts

Since the announcement of Canada’s Guest of Honour postponement to 2021, Canada FBM2020 anticipated that authors and illustrators would have many questions regarding their status as a member of the official literary delegation. To best answer these questions accurately and efficiently, Canada FBM2020 and the Canada Council for the Arts hosted a live Questions and Answers session on October 5th where updates on Guest of Honour events, as well as updates pertaining to authors’ and illustrators’ roles, responsibilities, contracts and financial support in relation to their participation at these events were provided. 

 

Question 1

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and with all the international events being cancelled, is the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM) still taking place this year?

Yes, the organizers of the Fair have created a “Special Edition” for this year, which will take place from October 14 to 18, 2020. Please note  that as of Tuesday, September 8th, all of the book fair’s traditional on-site exhibitions have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada’s participation in the “Special Edition” will be exclusively virtual. The Government of Canada is delighted to be supporting the FBM by participating with three (3) video clips that have been pre-recorded in Canada. The Government of Canada will share more details later this fall once plans are finalized.

Please also note that following discussions between the Government of Canada, the FBM, and the next three Guest of Honour countries: Spain, Slovenia and Italy, Canada’s presence as Guest of Honour has been postponed to 2021. More information pertaining to Canada’s Guest of Honour presence in 2021 will be shared by the Government of Canada in due course.

Question 2

Does that mean that some authors/illustrators will be asked to travel to Germany?  

No. Canada’s presence at the 2020 “Special Edition” of the Frankfurt Book Fair will rely exclusively on virtual activities to promote translated Canadian works on the German market. The authors/illustrators who have been invited to participate in our virtual literary program have received a Letter of Acknowledgement and Acceptance from Canada FBM2020 with more details about the recording session.

The Government of Canada’s priority is to ensure the health and safety of people in Canada and around the world and has issued a travel advisory to that effect. At this time, due to the COVID-19 health and safety precautions put in place by the Government of Canada, Canada FBM2020 does not support or encourage the physical presence of any Canadians at the Frankfurt Book Fair or at any events related to the Guest of Honour project.

For the moment, we ask that authors/illustrators refrain from making travel arrangements or modifying existing arrangements made as a result of receiving funding for this initiative. 

Question 3

Will the authors/illustrators of the 2020 literary delegation be included in the virtual plans for this year’s “Special Edition” of the Frankfurt Book Fair? 

Yes, but only some of the authors/illustrators have been selected. Canada will have a virtual presence at this year’s Fair by offering three (3) pre-recorded video clips that will be made available on the Canada FBM2020 website and the Frankfurt Book Fair’s website. As space is very limited, the authors/illustrators who have been invited to participate received a Letter of Acknowledgement and Acceptance from Canada FBM2020 with more details about the recording session. 

Question 4

What are the details pertaining to the recording of video clips for Canada’s virtual literary program?

As part of the virtual offerings for the 2020 “Special Edition” of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Canada FBM2020 has facilitated the production of three (3) pre-recorded video clips featuring selected Canadian authors/illustrators. The recording sessions have been completed in various locations across Canada to align with public health and safety guidelines, and with travel advisories issued by the Government of Canada. The finished video clips will be available on the Canada FBM2020 website and the Frankfurt Book Fair’s website.

Question 5

Will there be Canadian collective stands at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM) this year?

No. On Tuesday, September 8th, the Frankfurt Book Fair announced that all of the book fair’s traditional on-site exhibitions have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this announcement, both Livres Canada Books and Québec Édition had made the decision to cancel their physical collective stands  due to the health and safety precautions put in place by the Government of Canada as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both organizations will be participating virtually. If you have any questions pertaining to the virtual collective stands or physical presence in 2021, please contact:

Question 6

Since Canada’s Guest of Honour presence is postponed to 2021, does this mean the authors/illustrators who were invited to be part of the 2020 literary delegation will be guaranteed automatically an invitation for 2021?

It is our intention to extend the invitations that were sent to the authors/illustrators in the 2020 literary delegation to 2021 now that Canada’s presence as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair has been officially postponed.

An author’s/illustrator’s participation in October 2021 will only be confirmed after signing a new and/or amended contract with information on new travel arrangements and any additional financial support they may be eligible to receive. In the meantime, we recommend that authors/illustrators continue to refrain from making any travel arrangements or from modifying any existing travel arrangements until further notice. 

As stated in our June 22 communication to the members of the official literary delegation, detailed information on plans for 2021 will be released in due course.

Question 7

Now that Canada’s Guest of Honour presentation has been postponed, will authors/illustrators who were not originally selected as part of the literary delegation have the opportunity to participate in 2021?

No, not at this time. Invitations to participate in 2021 are only being extended to the authors/illustrators who were selected to be part of the 2020 literary delegation. An author’s/illustrator’s participation in October 2021 will only be confirmed after signing a new and/or amended contract.

Question 8

Does that mean that the authors/illustrators who signed a contract to participate at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM) 2020 will have to return the financial support they received? 

Not at this time. As stated in our communication to authors/illustrators on June 22, Canada FBM2020 will contact all authors/illustrators that received financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) individually to outline next administrative steps. Canada FBM2020 and the CCA’s primary concern is to ensure that no author/illustrator will suffer any financial loss as a result of their original participation at the FBM 2020 or other events/festivals that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Question 9

An author/illustrator selected to participate in an event related to Canada’s Guest of Honour presence this past spring but it was cancelled. They were asked to keep a record of the travel expenses they have accumulated using the financial support they received from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) before everything was put on hold. What should they do now?

As stated in our June 22 communication to the members of the official literary delegation, we will contact all members of the delegation that received financial support from the CCA individually with next steps on how to proceed.

If a member of the delegation incurred expenses as a result of activities that were cancelled because of COVID-19, and if these expenses cannot be recouped, the author/illustrator must notify us immediately if they have not already. Canada FBM2020 and the CCA want to ensure that no member of the delegation will suffer any financial loss as a result of their original participation at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair or other events/festivals that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Question 10

An author/illustrator received an invitation to attend a festival/event/activity related to Canada as the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM) 2020. They have received financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Should they book their travel (ex.: Booking flights, hotel reservations)?

No. As of Friday, March 13, 2020, a non-essential travel advisory outside of Canada was issued by the Government of Canada that remains in effect. Even though Canada’s virtual activities are still moving forward for the FBM in October 2020, until further notice, we are asking authors/illustrators to hold off from making any travel arrangements and to wait to hear back from us before doing so.

Please note that from March 16 until September 1, 2020, no travel compensation was processed or issued by the CCA due to the blackout period that was in effect. For authors/illustrators who have incurred expenses or are in the process of being reimbursed, we ask that they keep their receipts; make note of their expenses and await news from us before moving forward.

As stated in our June 22 communication to members of the official literary delegation, we will contact all members that received financial support from the CCA individually with the next steps.

Question 11

An author/illustrator received an invitation to attend a festival/event/activity related to Canada as the Guest of Honour at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair but they have not yet received any financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Should they book their travel anyway (ex.: Booking flights, hotel reservations)?  

No. Until further notice, we are asking all authors/illustrators to hold off from making any travel arrangements and to wait to hear back from us before doing so. From March 16 until September 1, 2020, no travel compensation was processed or issued by the CCA due to the blackout period that was in effect. For those who have already incurred expenses, please notify us immediately if you have not already done so.  

Question 12

An author/illustrator received financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) for their travel expenses for an upcoming literary event in Europe but haven’t yet booked their travel arrangements. Can they use the financial support given to them to pay for  travel or cancellation insurance? 

No. At this time, we ask that authors/illustrators refrain from making any travel arrangements or modifying existing arrangements with any funding they have received for this initiative.  

As stated in our June 22 communication to members of the official literary delegation, we will contact all members that received financial support from the CCA individually regarding the next steps and will include more information on travel and cancellation insurance at that time.

Question 13

An author/illustrator received financial support to travel or tour for an event that has been cancelled. They cannot be reimbursed for some or all of their expenses. Will they have to pay back the financial support they received from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA)? 

No, not for the moment. Canada FBM2020 and the CCA’s primary concern is to ensure that no author/illustrator who received financial aid will suffer any financial loss as a result of their original participation at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair or other events/festivals that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As stated in our June 22 communication to members of the official literary delegation, we will contact all members that received financial support from the CCA individually regarding next steps.


For information on updates regarding the Canada Council for the Arts financial support programs excluding the literary programming at the FBM2020, please visit the following website: COVID-19: Info update.