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Ronsdale Press: Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year!

April 16th, 2014

In 1988, Ronald and Veronica Hatch took over Cacanadada Press with the aim of publishing books that would give Canadians new insights into themselves and their country. With Ron and Ronny at the helm, Ronsdale Press was born. When asked why he bought the press, Ron simply said, “I felt I could add something.”

Indeed, Ron and Veronica have added tremendously to BC’s publishing landscape. Starting out with four poetry books, Ronsdale Press now has some 230 books—all of which are in print—and publishes poetry, fiction, regional history, biography and children’s books.

And people are taking notice. Just recently, Ronsdale authors Pamela Porter was runner-up in the CBC Poetry Prize. Luanne Armstrong was shortlisted for this year’s Chocolate Lily Award and Patrick Bowman was nominated for the Red Maple. Additionally, I Just Ran won the Silver Medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards and Run Marco Run won the Gold Medal in the Moonbeam awards. Ronsdale books are also recognized internationally: Asian publishers have started to translate Ronsdale titles in order to reach new readers.

We celebrate Ronsdale Press not because they have survived two and a half decades in an ever-changing industry, but because they thrive. They march forward, expanding their vision, embracing changing technologies and engaging with new markets.

When considering Ronsdale’s defining moments, one immediately thinks of Clayoquot & Dissent, an exploration of Clayoquot Sound and an account of the 1993 protest against the decision to allow logging in two-thirds of Clayoquot Sounds’s old growth forest. During the protest, Ron himself was arrested and sentenced to community service, probation and 20 days of electronic surveillance courtesy. “We were never allowed to say anything substantial or meaningful in the trial, so we did the book,” Ron said.

Ronsdale Press is also well known for publishing the work of renowned author Jack Hodgins who found Ronsdale based on word of mouth. How does one earn such a solid reputation? “By working gently and honestly with authors,” said Ron.

Ronsdale Press is a publishing house that champions honesty, integrity and a fearless commitment to important, exciting and diverse work.

We thank Ronsdale Press for their many contributions to our literary canon and our cultural history. It is our honour to recognize their work. Ron will accept the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award at the Association of Book Publishers of BC Awards Dinner on April 24th, 2014.

The Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award is presented as deserved to an active BC book publishing company that has, in recent times, earned the respect and applause of the community of publishers for a specific publishing project, an extraordinary contribution to the BC publishing community, and/or its extended commitment to excellence in publishing. Jim Douglas was founder of J. J. Douglas Publishers, which became Douglas & McIntyre.

The ABPBC Awards Dinner is sponsored by BC BookWorld, Friesens Printers, International Web exPress and Rhino Print Solutions as well as funders The Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and Creative BC.

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For more information contact Margaret Reynolds, ABPBC Executive Director, tel: 604-684-0228, email: Margaret@books.bc.ca.