The Literary Arts Committee was convened last November by the Hamilton Arts Council as part of our renewed mandate to promote critical dialogue in our creative community.
The LAC is the longest running Committee associated with the Hamilton Arts Council and all of the members are published authors or publishers in the Hamilton region who work to advocate on behalf of the literary arts in the city. The meeting on November 28, 2012 was attended by Susan Evans Shaw, Mary Anderson, Noelle Allen (Wolzak & Wynn),Claire Meldrum, Wilma Seville and Stephen Near (Hamilton Arts Council Liaison).
1) Lit Live 2012-13: The Committee discussed the Lit Live Festival and reported that Gary Barwin has also agreed to sit on the Lit Live Committee and will be taking a hand in maintaining the blog along with Chris Pannell. The Committee also discussed funding matters regarding Lit Live including the upcoming Ontario Arts Council grant deadline. The Lit Live Reading Series is a monthly event that takes place on the 1st Sunday evening of every month and is held at Homegrown Hamilton.
2) 20th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards: The Committee first reviewed the success of the 19th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards (Held in November 2012) and discussed some ways in which the Awards could be better administered and organized for next year. The Committee also discussed the future format of the Annual Hamilton Literary Awards which will feature four Awards in the following categories: POETRY – Book, NON-FICTION – Book, FICTION – Book and the *new* category of the Book that best epitomizes the spirit or essence of the city of Hamilton. A variety of ideas for what to call the Award were suggested and discussed by the members of the Committee with a final decision being made in January. The Committee also discussed how they can be more involved in administering the Awards including contacting prospective adjudicators and assisting the HAC in gaining sponsors for the Awards. The Committee is very enthusiastic about continuing to move forward with the Lit Awards and the streamlining of the Awards from seven to four categories will allow the HAC to develop more press and advertising by possibly releasing a short-list in advance of the awards ceremony in November. .
3) New Committee Membership: Several members of the LAC have already stepped away from the Committee and so the members briefly discussed prospective candidates. Several notable individuals in the Hamilton literary scene were mentioned as possible candidates and some members have volunteered to ask these individuals.
4) Niagara Literary Arts Festival: The Committee briefly discussed the possibility of collaborating with the planners of the Niagara Literary Arts Festival. Bringing the Festival into Hamilton for June 2013 might be a possibility especially if it could be done in collaboration with Open Streets Hamilton.