|Alicia Cherayil & Candice McCavitt, Zis Parras, Mrs. D, Meredith Tutching|
Exhibit Coordinators, Program Manager, (me), OLA Forest Program Coordinator
This past week, Ontario Library Association (OLA) held it's annual conference at the Toronto Convention Centre. I had the honour of speaking at the Forest of Reading Breakfast, where we bestowed an Honour Recognition Award to Zis Parras, Program Manager of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). He, along with his colleagues, Candace McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil were instrumental in hosting the Blue Spruce 10th Anniversary Exhibit at the CNE this past summer. Here is the speech I made:
Forest of Reading- CNE, Zis Parras, Candace McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil Presentation
- Breakfast - January 31, 2013.
It was in 2002 that OLA ran the first Province-wide Blue Spruce Reading Program. Ontario children from Kindergarten to grade 3 were introduced to the best in Canadian Children’s Picture Books. I had the opportunity to meet artist Bill Slavin at this very Conference several years ago. When I asked him what he did with all the amazing artwork he created over 25 years of illustrating, he said, "I have a house full. You want some?"
So fast forward 10 years, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Blue Spruce Award. The Celebration took form in a National Exhibit of the original artwork that was borrowed from artists across Canada and displayed at the CNE.
It is my immense honour to introduce to you 3 outstanding individuals from the Canadian National Exhibition.
Zis Parras, – Program Manager at the CNE
Exhibit Co-ordinators - Candice McCavitt & Alicia Cherayil
Although he warmly refers to himself as a "Carnie"... Zis is no stranger to the Canadian Arts Community. In the past, he has been:
- General manager - Theatre Direct Canada
- Outreach Consultant - Opera Ontario
- Education and Outreach Director - National Ballet of Canada
- Education and Outreach Co-ordinator - Canadian Opera Company
This past summer, the OLA staff and volunteers had a very special project that was finally realized with the partnership of the Canadian National Exhibition. At ‘THE EX’ we got the opportunity to be part history of Toronto’s landmark summer games and entertainment park. The exhibition size of the space Zis arranged for OLA to put on the exhibit was 75' x 20' = 1500 sq ft for 3 weeks of time.This was the 134th year - 1879 being the first Exhibit year. This past summer the CNE was host to 1.9 million visiters, up 13% in paid attendance from 2011.
The Ontario Library Association would like to present a special recognition award to Zis and the CNE, on behalf of all the Librarians, readers of the Forest of Reading and especially the illustrators of Canadian Children’s Books who were nominated for the Blue Spruce Award in the first 10 years of the Blue Spruce Program. The CNE played a huge role in helping us promote the Blue Spruce artists and the 10th Anniversary Exhibit to the Canadian public and many, many visitors from across Canada and from around the world.
Watch in the next few days for more reports from OLA Super Conference.