About those Canadian voices

To acknowledge this Canada Day, I thought I would explain a bit about Five Rivers’ mandate: publishing Canadian voices.

That statement, publishing Canadian voices, might be thought a bit exclusionary, a bit insular, especially in light of an increasingly inclusive and global recognition.

In fact, when I set my foot upon the path of this venture, this publishing house, I realized there were some very deep, fundamental beliefs I held that were worth exploring. At the forefront was the knowledge Canada, although huge in geographic mass, is, in fact, a very small country, 36M at last count. We rank approximately 34th largest by population among the world’s countries. Tiny Morocco comes in at 32M.

Viewed another way, the UK with its nearly 64M people, would fit, geographically, into Southern Ontario, which is only about 1/10 of the land mass of Canada, and with approximately 14M people. Kind of staggering to think about, isn’t it?

And because of Canada’s small population, our culture and talent often struggles to be noticed on the global stage, overshadowed by that giant force to the south of us, our friend and ally, the US, and by the huge voice from the EU. In a way, Canada is that lone voice, calling from our own beautiful wilderness. How many documentaries do you watch which promise a global look at food, or culture, or nature, and by the end of the program or series you realize Canada has been overlooked. Again. Yet we’re always called upon to assist in humanitarian aid, in NATO, in other global commitments and imperatives. And we do. Gladly. Because although we’re a small population, we realize we have large responsibilities to the world, and to ourselves.

What does any of that have to do with publishing Canadian voices? Well, in fact, quite a great deal.

I’ve always believed there is a rich vein of talent in this country. We are a people who create. While that’s not something unique to Canada, it is also true that our creative voices struggle for an opportunity to gain an audience.

And that’s where I come in. Well, me and this publishing house of Five Rivers. By developing a mandate to allow Canadian authors and artists an exclusive stage, Five Rivers is able to bring to a global audience these unique Canadian voices and visions. Sure Five Rivers is small, like the population we represent in this vast country. But we also believe readers who want to delve into what might be quintessentially Canadian, can avail themselves of a clear, clarion call from this publishing house. Here you will find Canadian talent the likes of award winning Candas Jane Dorsey. You will find a strikingly Canadian novel from Nowick Gray in the form of Hunter’s DaughterA growing series on Canada’s Prime Ministers which showcases people who affected global and political institutions like the UN. Or a fantasy novel from Paula Johanson which very much draws upon West Coast First Nations culture and influences. And so very much more.

Every single author and artist represented by us is Canadian, writing and creating from a Canadian perspective, whether it’s a fantasy, fact or historical and cultural influence.

Five Rivers publishes Canadian voices, bringing them to a global community in celebration of not only our culture and heritage, but as a willing and active partner on the world’s stage.