The CALQ promotes the success of authors who create memorable works, forging our cultural identity through different literary genres. Once again this year, the CALQ awarded over $2 million in grants to authors who are gaining acclaim in literature and storytelling. Enthusiasm for Québec literature just keeps growing.
In Québec, the Bilan Gaspard 2020 du marché du livre au QuébecThis link will open in a new window reported a 4.6% increase in sales of Québec books in the past year and over 26% for Québec novels.
Abroad, Québec’s literary star is rising, and it has made a place for itself at many international events. Canada will be the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair at the end of October, creating a place of honour for francophone, anglophone, and Indigenous publishers and writers.
The CALQ encourages artists to complete the Retombées section via Mon Dossier CALQ This link will open in a new window at the end of each of their projects. This section helps the CALQ stay informed of the impact of artistic projects supported and showcases resulting achievements.
Audrée Wilhelmy – Blanc Résine
Audrée Wilhelmy, originally from Cap-Rouge, Québec, spent 15 years in Montréal before settling in the Lanaudière region, between field and forest. Her first three books were met with success: she was twice a finalist for the Prix France-Canada, a finalist for the Prix des libraires du Québec, and won France’s Prix Sade. Her fourth novel, Blanc résine, received enthusiastically by readers and critics, is an ode to freedom and invites readers to reflect on the relationship between women and nature.
“The opportunity for a retreat during an artist’s residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity was decisive in writing my novel Blanc Résine. The seven weeks I spent in the mountains shaped how I perceived, wrote, and told the story of nature. Blanc Résine has since been on an exciting journey. A finalist for the Prix des libraires du Québec and Grand Prix du livre de Montréal, Susan Ouriou’s English translation of the novel was published in September 2021, and it will be published in France by Grasset in January 2022.” – Audrée Wilhelmy, author
Christian Quesnel – Ludwig
A comic book artist from the Outaouais, Christian Quesnel works with artists in a range of disciplines and draws inspiration from history in creating his stories. He has taken part in major cultural events in Europe and North America, and in 2008 he became the first comic book artist to win the CALQ’s Prix à la création artistique régional for his body of work. Film lovers particularly enjoyed his works on Félix Leclerc and Ludwig van Beethoven, both winners of the Oeuvre de l’année en Outaouais award.
“When I received a CALQ grant to create Ludwig (Art Global), I didn’t realize the impact the grant would have on my work. Thanks to the grant, the comic book was launched at Chicago’s Beethoven Festival: Love 2013, was exhibited in Chicago and at the Salon international du livre de Québec, formed the basis of a concert by the Gatineau Symphonic Orchestra, was presented to the French Senate in Paris, then in Berlin, Vienna, and Beirut, where I was invited to the Salon du livre francophone. Plus, the teams for the books Vous avez détruit la beauté du monde (Moelle graphik, 2020) and Mégantic: un train dans la nuit (Écosociété, 2021) invited me to work on these projects after seeing Ludwig, so the impact went far beyond this book.” – Christian Quesnel, author
More recently, the author published Mégantic: Un train dans la nuit with Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny, putting into images and telling the story of the 2013 tragedy.
Monique Deland – J’ignore combien j’ai d’enfants
Poet, essayist, and literary critic, Monique Deland has been acclaimed in the literary world since the early 1990s. A visual artist by training, she taught art for 20 years before turning to writing. Since then, her books have received a number of awards, including the Prix Alain-Gadbois, the Prix Félix-Antoine-Savard, and the Prix Émile-Nelligan. Her most recent work, J’ignore combien j’ai d’enfants, which was also a resounding success, addresses the themes of time, family, memory, and people who are gone.
“In 2015, I applied for a CALQ grant to write my seventh book of poetry, J’ignore combien j’ai d’enfants. I received the grant, and the book was published by Noroît in 2018.
In 2019, the book received the Grand prix Québecor at the Festival international de la poésie. This award earned me an invitation to the 20th Berlin International Poetry Festival, where my poems were translated into English and German. I was also invited to take part in cultural radio shows in Germany and to collaborate on anthologies and literary journals in Germany, France, Spain, and Haiti.
What a joy! An enormous thanks to the CALQ!” – Monique Deland, author
Cora Siré – Fear the mirror
A Montréal-based author, Cora Siré published two poetry collections and two novels before releasing a short story collection entitled Fear the Mirror in early September. Her stories, essays, and poems have been featured in literary journals in Canada and abroad. Her work is based on her international travels and encounters, exploring themes of exile, identity, and the redemptive power of the arts.
“The grant from CALQ allowed me to create a book that stretches the boundaries of genre. Fear the Mirror is a blend of fiction, memoir, and essays that explores the persistent legacies of my background and the strange alchemies that haunt me as an artist. In this, my fifth book, I have written my most urgent and personal work. It is also the first time that one of my books is being published by a Québec publisher, Véhicule Press, which is very important to me as a writer in Montréal. I am grateful to CALQ for supporting this milestone in my artistic development.”
Ariane DesLions – Rêves à colorier
Ariane DesLions first worked in mental health and with the homeless before turning to the arts. Through these experiences, she hit upon the idea of creating intervention materials for young audiences. With her character of the “fabricoleuse,” whom she brings to life through literature and music, Ariane Deslions addresses children and complex themes such as family conflict, immigration, poverty, and grief.
“I received the Prix Mérite estrien and the Prix Excellence du Conseil de la Culture de l’Estrie in 2019 for my song writing project Rêves à colorier supported by the CALQ. After an initial ADISQ nomination in the category Youth Album of the Year in 2020, three of my new works are being played on Sirius, and my new album ranked among Radio-Canada ICI Musique’s top 30 albums mid-year, all categories combined. It quickly rose to the 8th on iTunes Canada (children’s music 2020), while my new show Rêves à colorier is part of the official programming for the largest show venues in Québec (beginning 2022).” – Ariane DesLions, author, composer, performer, and maker
We cannot discuss literary promotion without mentioning the incredible impact of works such as Naomi Fontaine’s Shuni: ce que tu dois savoir, Julie, and Manikanetish, Fred Pellerin’s De peigne et de misère, L’arracheuse de temps, and Il faut prendre le taureau par les contes, and Hélène Dorion’s Le temps du paysage.
The CALQ is proud to have provided financial support for these projects that forge Québec culture and that bring it international acclaim.