Comment 6393

By Bus Boy (anonymous) | Posted April 16, 2007 at 12:30:52

I like both these ideas. St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Byward Market in Ottawa, Jean Talon Market in Montreal, even the historic "inverted hull" in St. John, New Brunswick, they are all at the centre of varied, and interesting commercial districts. Markets are the original community business incubators, unless they're in concrete bunkers isolated from surrounding streets.

Art walks too, are relatively economical ways to build ongoing, low key attractions to the city, serving as excellent backgrounds to special events. Such things make the city appear multi-dimensional, with something going on all the time.

In that spirit I'd like to suggest something similar, especially as we may be digging up sidewalks around the market: The CanLit Hall of Fame, with brass plaques of great Canadian writers, their bibliographies and a quotation from their work, inlaid in the courtyard outside Hamilton Public Library's central branch, and then branching out to surrounding sidewalks.

We don't need anyone's permission to locate the CanLit Hall of Fame in Hamilton. Supported by a web-site, a local CanLit Hall of Fame Committee might select a panel of Canadian authors who then recommend a short list to be voted on by readers across the country, final selection(s) to be announced at an annual gala here in the city. Lots of PR potential, selecting judges, sending out short-lists etc., all representing a "new" Hamilton. Not that we should be ashamed of the old.

Speaking of the old, what can be done to resurrect the list of Hamilton authors and books that used to be maintained by city library staff? It was a very usefull resource for this sector of the city's economy, but seems to have disappeared through recent cutbacks and amalgamations. Just as the literary scene seems to be really taking off in this town.

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