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Nov 11: Surrey Remembers

Image by the City of Surrey.

Take in the Remembrance Day service at the Cloverdale Cenotaph in Veterans Square at 10:25am. After the ceremony, warm up with activities at both the Museum of Surrey and the Surrey Archives.

At Museum of Surrey

The museum foyer will open at 9:30am with free coffee and hot chocolate. Given the ceremony outside, the full museum will only be open from 12-1pm. A temporary exhibit by Steven Purewal will be set up in the foyer, highlighting the pivotal role that Sikh soldiers played in WW1.

10:25 – The ceremony begins in Veterans Square.

11:45 – ‘Canadian Nurses in War Time’ by Renée Saklikar and Ishbel Newstead. The poem-play, written by Surrey’s former poet laurete, is an artistic response to an exhibit about Canadian nurses in war time. Research for the poem-play was by Ishbel Newstead, a dedicated volunteer with Museum of Surrey and Historic Stewart Farm.

12:30 – ‘Who Am I?’ by Adhel Arop. The film tells the story of Canadian model Adhel’s quest for identity as she reconciles with her mother’s past as a child soldier in South Sudan.

Click Here for More Details

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TWOC Press Release: Canadian Lawmakers Recommend Sweeping Progressive Improvements to Copyright Law

May 16, 2019

For Immediate Release

Canadian Lawmakers Recommend Sweeping Progressive Improvements to Copyright Law

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage yesterday released its long-awaited report on artist remuneration, as part of Parliament’s Statutory Review of the Copyright Act. Titled Shifting Paradigms (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., the report makes twenty-two key recommendations focused on strengthening the rights of artists to control and earn from their work in the digital age.

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) applauds the report and its recommendations, which include several changes suggested by the Union in its own 2018 testimony before Parliament. Since 2012, Canada’s authors have suffered a disastrous income collapse resulting from uncompensated copying of published work by the educational sector. With its industry partners, TWUC asked for better definition of the educational market. The Heritage report delivers on that request, with a series of recommendations aimed directly at the problem:

18. That the Government of Canada amend the Act to clarify that fair dealing should not apply to educational institutions when the work is commercially available.

19. That the Government of Canada promote a return to licensing through collective societies.

21. That the Government of Canada harmonize remedies for collective societies under the Copyright Act.

“The Heritage Committee really heard Canada’s professional creators,” said author and TWUC Chair Eric Enno Tamm. Tamm’s own Heritage Committee testimony ended with strong words that clearly informed the Committee recommendations:

“Fair dealing needs to be fair, not free, for educators, and we need a Copyright Board that’s more than a paper tiger. Significant statutory damages will give the Copyright Board some teeth in dealing with those who don’t pay their tariffs. If we value culture, then we must value the work of those who produce it.”

“It’s less than a day old, and this report is already making waves in the global creative community,” said John Degen, TWUC’s Executive Director and Chair of the International Authors Forum. “I’ve heard from colleagues as far away as New Zealand and South Africa, who will now be approaching their own lawmakers with this Canadian report in hand. It’s authoritative because it comes from a balanced, all-party committee that took its time, and responsibly tested the questions put to it. They took testimony from all players in the copyright debate, and asked a lot of hard questions of everyone.”

“Many TWUC members sent in submissions and provided testimony, as did our publishing colleagues and Access Copyright,” continued Tamm. “We want to thank everyone who helped to advance this conversation. And, especially, we would like to thank the Heritage Committee Chair, MP Julie Dabrusin (L), and Vice-Chair MPs Pierre Nantel (NDP) and the Honourable Steven Blaney (C) for their meticulous work on this study. That a multi-party study concludes so strongly in favour of artists and professional creators is extremely encouraging.”

The Heritage Committee report is one of two expected in Parliament during the Statutory Review of the Copyright Act. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is expected to deliver its own recommendations soon, informed by the Heritage report and by broad sectoral testimony.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.”


For more details:

John Degen, Executive Director
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416.703.8982 ext. 221

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Access Copyright welcomes Shifting Paradigms recommendations

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage tabled its report, Shifting Paradigms, in the House of Commons yesterday (May 15, 2019). The report focused on Remuneration Models for Artists and Creative Industries as part of the Parliamentary Review of the Copyright Act.

The full report may be found HERE.

Over the course of the Copyright Act review, many Access Copyright members and affiliates lent their support for copyright reform and better protections for Canadian creators and publishers by sending a letter to INDU and Heritage committee members through the I Value Canadian Stories coalition’s website. It’s true: When creators speak, politicians listen. Your efforts have made a difference.

The Shifting Paradigms report includes recommendations that – if adopted – will benefit Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers. Access Copyright commends the Committee for its recommendations, that the Government of Canada:

  • Amend the Act to clarify that fair dealing should not apply to educational institutions when the work is commercially available;
  • Promote a return to collective licensing through collective societies;
  • Review, harmonize and improve the enforcement of the statutory damages for infringement for non-commercial use in section 38.1(1) of the Copyright Act;
  • Harmonize remedies for collective societies under the Copyright Act;
  • Establish an artist’s resale right.

This is important validation for Canada’s creative and publishing industries and the concerns we’ve voiced since education was added as a fair-dealing purpose in 2012. Thank you to everyone who took the time to send a letter, file a submission or appear before the Committee; your efforts have helped MPs and policymakers arrive at these positive recommendations.”

The full Access Copyright statement is available HERE

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2019 SETA Writer-in-Residence: An Update

Beginning my journey as the 2019 Surrey English Teachers’ Association’s Writer-in-Residence!

More Details Here

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After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees – A Second Printing

After the Battle of Kingsway

This little chapbook I made is now in its second printing, and just in time for Ottawa’s VERSefest later this month! My gratitude to all the readers who love and collect chapbooks and to micro-publishers like the amazing above/ground press.

Check out their selection of chapbooks HERE