Skip to main content

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon will speak at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, will travel to Frankfurt from 19 to 21 October 2021, where she will represent Canada, the Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse (20-24 October 2021). The Governor General will attend the opening ceremony and the opening of the Canadian pavilion. This will be Her Excellency’s first visit abroad since being installed as the 30th Governor General of Canada on July 26, 2021. As the representative of Canada’s head of State (the Sovereign presently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), the Governor General is a key figure in Canada’s parliamentary democracy.

From 17 to 19 October, the Governor General will undertake a State visit to Berlin where her programme will include meetings with the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

This year, Canada is Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Canadian programme, entitled ‘Singular Plurality – Singulier Pluriel’, will focus on innovation in the creative industries, the promotion of women and youth, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. A delegation of nearly 60 Canadian authors and illustrators have participated in the programme since 2018 when the official literary delegation was selected. Eight delegation members will represent Canada in-person in Frankfurt and will be participating in Canada’s literary programme. A wide range of Canadian talent from diverse backgrounds will be onsite hosting readings and interactive sessions, with over 50 authors participating in a variety of virtual events, including virtual appearances by Margaret Atwood and Joséphine Bacon for the opening ceremony. Onsite delegation members include Michael Crummey, Michel Jean, Dany Laferrière, Catherine Mavrikakis, Paul Seesequasis, Vivek Shraya, Kim Thúy, and Nancy Vo.

Speakers at the Opening Ceremony of Frankfurter Buchmesse will be:

Juergen Boos, CEO and President of the Frankfurter Buchmesse
Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, Chairwoman of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association
Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main
Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Housing – State of Hessen
Prof. Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture and the Media
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, The Governor General of Canada
Deantha Edmunds, Inuk Soprano
Margaret Atwood, author (remote participation from Canada)
Vivek Shraya, author and performer
Joséphine Bacon, author (remote participation from Paris)

An official photograph of Her Excellency, the Governor General, is available here:

Attendance of the Opening Ceremony is by invitation only. The Opening Ceremony will be live streamed on Tuesday, 19 October 20201 at 5 p.m. CEST at