The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is delighted to announce that Karen Boersma, Publisher of Owlkids Books, is the recipient of the 2023 President’s Award. ACP is also pleased to report that Grace Westcott, founder of Westcott Law and President of PEN Canada, will be presented with an honorary lifetime membership in the association, in recognition of over two decades of legal counsel with ACP. This year’s awards are being presented in conjunction with ACP’s 2023 Annual General Meeting, which will be held online via Zoom from June 19–21, 2023.

Karen Boersma has spent over 30 years working in publishing with a variety of companies in a range of roles. She joined Owlkids Books as Publisher in 2012 and wasted no time shaping a top-notch children’s book program. Beyond that program, Karen has spent countless hours volunteering, adding her energy, intelligence, and savvy to many organizations, including ACP. Karen’s commitment to ACP is evident in her many years on the ACP board, as a chair and participant on various committees, as well as representing ACP on the BookNet Canada and CCBC boards. More recently, Karen has taken on the added role of publisher of Bayard Canada Livres, Owlkids’ counterpart in French Canada, sharing her extensive expertise and ensuring the ongoing growth and renown of that publishing program as well.

Grace Westcott has provided over two decades of support, service, and friendship to ACP and its members as a professional development speaker, legal counsel, and wise guide through the labyrinthine fields of copyright law and not-for-profit governance. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and the Columbia Law School, she began her legal career on Bay Street, before setting up her private practice at Westcott Law. Her work in the cultural industries, heritage, and education sectors includes both volunteer and professional support to both large and small organizations, including PEN Canada, the Canadian Copyright Institute, the University of Toronto Governing Council, MusicFest Canada, Soundstreams Canada, the Canadian Centre for Diversity, and the Toronto Legacy Project.

“We are excited to be able to recognize the many contributions of Karen and Grace at this year’s AGM,” said Ruth Linka, ACP President. “We look forward to celebrating the positive impacts they have had on the Canadian publishing industry and to reconnecting virtually with colleagues from across the country.”

The President’s Award is awarded to ACP members who have made a significant contribution to the Canadian publishing industry and to ACP. Honorary lifetime membership in ACP is presented to an individual or group who is not a member of ACP, but has made a significant contribution to the association and to the Canadian publishing industry.

For more information, contact:
Jack Illingworth, Executive Director
Association of Canadian Publishers