Throughout the year we host a range of events for book lovers, collectors, and creators.

Often featuring high profile, expert speakers and beautiful collections, each event connects like-minded people and offers the opportunity to find out more about book arts.

Here are some recent past events:


Alcuin Society’s 2017 Annual General Meeting

When: Monday, June 5th, 2017, at 7:00 pm

Where: The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Avenue

Cost: free

The Alcuin Society’s 2017 Annual General Meeting, will be held at The University Women’s Club of Vancouver at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Avenue, a short distance east and south of Granville Street at 16th Avenue. The Club is accessible by various buses running on Granville Street. Parking is available at the Club and nearby.

The meeting will take place on Monday, June 5th. Please feel free to come at 6:30 to see the award-winning books from this year’s Alcuin book design competition, The 2016 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The short meeting, at 7 p.m., will be followed at 7:30 by Michael Kluckner (artist and writer, who has spent more than two decades recording and interpreting, in a dozen books, the histories and landscapes of Vancouver). He will give an illustrated talk entitled Art, Activism and the Challenges of Illustrated Books.

Type in Multiple Dimensions: a lecture & films.

When: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7:00 pm

Where: Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver – Fletcher Challenge Room.

Cost: free

Judith Poirier will give a presentation of La chose imprimée, a research-creation project investigating the book as a space for design experimentation. In a rather rhizomic approach, it brought together students and specialists from various disciplines around five themes: tactility, legibility, abstraction, manipulation and collection. (All four books published received awards from the Alcuin Society, and two of them were shortlisted at the “Best Books from all over the World” competition in Leipzig).

She will also screen some of her experimental films, including Two Weeks–Two Minutes (Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation 2013) and Setting West, her latest touring film (honorable mention at the Nashville Film festival 2016). This abstract Western was made by using original printing materials from the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, such as wood type and stereotypes of “Cowboys and Indians”. She will explain her animation process, which creates a unique texture on screen, as well as generating an original soundtrack.

You can read more about the event here.

This event is sponsored by the Alcuin Society.

Working with Leather: a one-day introductory workshop on bookbinding with leather.

When: Sunday, 4 December, 2016, 10am – 3pm

Where: Multi-purpose Room 1 at Creekside Community Recreation Centre, 1 Athletes Way (at Manitoba St.), Vancouver.

Cost: $70 + $20 Materials fee (Alcuin Society members), $80 + $20 Materials fee (non-members)

With instructor Adele Shaak, participants will learn about the differences in working with different types of leather, to make corners in leather, to work with paste, and how to plan and cut out leather. Students will produce two “coasters”, covered in two different types of leather. Pre-registration required.

For more information and to register, contact Gina Page at 604-274-0919 or

This event is sponsored by the Alcuin Society.

2016 Book Auction: Beautiful new Canadian books of 2015 for sale!

When: Sunday, 27 November 2016, noon – 4 pm

Where: Westpoint Room, University Golf Club, 5185 University Blvd., Vancouver.

Cost: Free and open to everyone.

Books that Canadian publishers considered to be their most beautiful publications of 2015 were submitted to the Alcuin Society’s book design competition this past March. These books are now available for purchase by auction from the Society, at a fun event (and at a deep discount – bidding starts at only half of the list price). The prize-winning books from the previous year will be there too.

The proceeds from this auction help fund next year’s competition, as well as the wonderful free events that are part of it. Registration for the auction is required, although the event is free.

For more information and to register, contact Wendy Massing at 604-736-7758 or

This event is sponsored by The Alcuin Society.

34th Annual Book Design Awards, Toronto edition

When: Monday, 3 October, 2016, 5:30pm (for 6:30 dinner)

Where: The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, 14 Elm St.

Cost: $25.50 per person, payable at the door. Cash or credit card accepted.

The winner of this year’s First Prize in the Children’s Books category, Michael Solomon, will be the keynote speaker. The 2015 competition’s winning books will be on display. Copies of the Awards catalogue will be available. Reservations are required, as dinners are prepared only for guests with reservations; so please notify the Arts & Letters Club as soon as possible if you have to cancel. Please also let the Club know if you have any dietary considerations (food allergies; vegetarian meal required; etc.).

This event is sponsored by The Alcuin Society, and hosted by The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

34th Annual Book Design Awards  + Graphic Storytelling Panel Discussion

When: Thursday, 22 September, 2016, 7pm (come at 6:30 if you want to see and touch the award-winning books!)

Where: Emily Carr University of Art and Design, 1400 Johnston Street on Vancouver’s Granville Island, South Building auditorium.

Cost: Free! But tickets are required: visit Eventbrite to reserve yours today.

We will be celebrating the winners of the 34th annual Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada  – and then hearing artists Nick Bantock, Sarah Leavitt and Johnnie Christmas discuss graphic storytelling in a panel moderated by Inkstuds podcaster Robin McConnell. Copies of the presenters’ books will be available for purchase and signing after the panel discussion.

Rod McDonald on Carl Dair and Alcuin Society AGM

Date: Monday, June 6, 2016

Time: 7pm-9pm

Place: Westpoint Room, University Golf Club, 5185 University Blvd, Vancouver B.C.

The Keynote Speaker at this year’s Alcuin Society AGM will be Rod McDonald. McDonald will show Carl Dair’s short film, Carl Dair at Enschedé: The Last Days of Metal Type – at this event, and discuss both Dair’s and his own work, and the making of the film. He will be available to answer questions. The Alcuin Society will present McDonald with the 8th Robert R. Reid Award and Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts.

For more information please see here.

Please RSVP to

Robert Tombs in Vancouver

Date: Friday, May 13, 2016

Time: 7pm-9pm

Place: The Post 750 Hamilton Street, Vancouver B.C.

The Alcuin Society is pleased to have as a speaker the Ottawa-based artist and graphic designer Robert Tombs, an award winner in the recent Alcuin Society’s 34th Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada and designer of the catalogue Robert Tombs: Index. Graphic Works 1985-2015. Robert will be introduced by his colleague Professor Marina Roy of UBC’s Department of Art History Visual Art, and Theory. Marina is an artist, writer and an essayist in “Index”. For more information see here.

This event is sold out. Please email to be put on the waiting list if you’d like to attend.

Drop-back Book Box Workshop

Date: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Time: 10am-2pm

Place: Creekside Community Centre, Vancouver, B.C.

At this workshop, instructor Adele Shaak taught participants to make a handsome drop-back box to store and protect valuable books and ephemera. The fee for Alcuin members is $73 ($93 for non-members). Additional materials fee is $20, payable to the instructor.

George Walker in Vancouver

Date: Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Time: 7pm

Place: SFU Harbour Centre, Fletcher Challenge Theatre, 515 West Hastings St.

George Walker – wood-engraver, graphic novelist, Neil Gaiman collaborator, wordless biographer of Conrad Black, Alcuin Society Book Design Award winner – will be giving a free talk in Vancouver. Likely the only opportunity for most book arts enthusiasts to see his limited edition private press books on Leonard Cohen and Pierre Trudeau up close, he will also be bringing trade editions published by Porcupine’s Quill for sale and signing post-talk. Not to be missed!
This event is FREE and open to the public.

See here for more information.

Bookbinding Workshop

Date: Sunday, March 6th and Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Time: 10am-2pm

Place: Creekside Community Centre, Vancouver, B.C.

In this two-day bookbinding workshop with instructor Adele Shaak, students will learn techniques to produce a beautiful hardcover book from the loose sheets of the Alcuin’s illuminated 1977 Flowers in Heraldry publication.
The fee for Alcuin members is $129 ($139 for non-members), with an additional materials fee of $20 payable directly to the instructor.

The 50th Anniversary Talk Series: Richard Hopkins

Date: November 26, 2015

Time: 7 pm

Place: The Post at 750, 110-750 Hamilton St, Vancouver

As a member of the Alcuin Society for the past 46 years, Richard Hopkins will give an account of both the official and the anecdotal history of the society.

Book Auction

Date: November 14, 2015

Time: 1 pm, doors open at 12 pm

Place: UBC Golf Club, Vancouver

The book submitted for the Book Design Awards are sold in a fun and charming auction. The bidding starts at half the regular price.

The Wayzgoose

Date: October 31, 2015

Time: 10am-4pm

Place: Vancouver Public Library Main Branch, Vancouver

Local book artists, printers, bookbinders, paper marbles will display their beautifully crafted work for the public.

The 50th Anniversary Talk Series: Don Stewart

Date: October 22, 2015

Time: 7 pm

Place: The Post at 750, 110-750 Hamilton St, Vancouver

Don Stewart will present his experience as a long-standing bookseller and owner of the MacLeod’s bookstore in an ever-changing market.

Design Awards Vancouver

Date: October 15, 2015

Place: Emily Carr University Auditorium, Room 301, South Building

A panel of book designers and illustrators will discuss various aspects related to illustrated books, particularly children’s books.

Design Awards Toronto

Date: October 5
Place: The Arts & Letters Club, 14 Elm Street, Toronto

Keynote speaker: George Walker

The 50th Anniversary Talk Series: Alex Rimmer

Date: September 24, 2015

Time: 7 pm

Place: The Post at 750, 110-750 Hamilton St, Vancouver

Alex Rimmer will reminisce about his work with his grandfather, Jim Rimmer, at Pie Tree Press.

Rod McDonald Celebration

Date: September 22, 2015

Time: 6-8 pm

Place: Massey College in the University of Toronto, 4 Devonshire Place, the Common Room

All those who appreciate Rod McDonald are invited to this reception that celebrates his achievements and his receiving the Robert R. Reid Award and Medal in 2016.