Public Auction of Artwork by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Margaret Atwood Highlights 50th Anniversary Celebrations for UBC's Canadian Literature Journal

Event Details

Canadian Literature 50th Gala, with author Thomas King (Green Grass, Running Water), and a benefit auction of artworks donated by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Margaret Atwood and others.

Thursday, Oct. 1, 7:00 pm
UBC Museum of Anthropology (Thomas King)
Sage Bistro (Auction to follow)

For more 50th anniversary events, including a Sept. 30th public lecture by author Stephen Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo), and to preview auction art, visit:

Authors Thomas King, Steven Galloway and Roch Carrier and former Canadian Literature editor W.H. New are available for interviews. Contact Loren Plottel, UBC Faculty of Arts, at 604.822.4483.

Public talks by authors Thomas King and Steven Galloway and a benefit auction of art donated by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Margaret Atwood headline four days (Sept. 30 – Oct. 3) of 50th anniversary celebrations for Canadian Literature, a pioneering UBC-based literary journal that helped put Canadian literature on the map.

All auction proceeds will go to the UBC CanLit 50th Anniversary Tuition Award, which supports the tuition of undergraduate students interning at Canadian Literature.

The celebrations will also include the launch of two new books on Canadian literature and art and a two-day international conference on the future of Canadian writing and scholarly journals.


The first issue of Canadian Literature appeared in 1959, and over the years it has gained an increasingly global readership as many Canadian authors attained international recognition.

“Preserved in the pages of Canadian Literature is the work of Canada’s foremost writers,” says current editor, Margery Fee. “From Margaret Atwood Al Purdy and Dorothy Livesay, to Margaret Laurence, Yves Beauchemin, M.G. Vassanji and Thomas King just to name a few.”

W.H. New, an 18-year editor of Canadian Literature, says that it is ironic given the popularity of Canadian authors that many academics in the 1950s scoffed at the notion of a journal devoted to Canadian literature. “The general climate among academics when the journal started was that real literature happened elsewhere,” he says.

With more than 200 published issues of criticism, reviews and poetry, the quarterly journal has become an indispensable resource not only for students and scholars but also for all readers of Canadian writing. Canadian Literature’s founding editor was acclaimed critic George Woodcock.

Learn more about Canadian Literature and anniversary celebrations at


Loren Plottell
Faculty of Arts
Tel: 604.822.4483

Basil Waugh
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2048