For four decades, the McGill Book Fair has played a huge role in the life of the university and of Montreal. The primary mission of the fair, organized and run entirely by volunteers and open to the public, is to raise money for university scholarships and bursaries.
Since its inception, the book fair has raised more than $1.5 million; in 2010 alone, the donation to the university was $85,000 for an endowed bursary in honour of Jane Barnett Hood, who served as coordinator of the book fair for many years. Sadly, this year's edition of the three-day fair, which begins tomorrow, will be the last.
"The reasons are many, but basically we, the volunteers, are just growing too old," McGill Book Fair coordinator Victoria Lees wrote to Applause. She is ready to step down - and no one is prepared to take over. "We have tried to attract new volunteers, but to no avail. I know that our plight is not unique among volunteer organizations; it is just the way things are, alas. ... We voted to close down the fair with great regret, even tears, but we just cannot go on."