On Saturday, April 29, Canadians can support community, culture and diversity by shopping local and engaging in a variety of celebrations during Canadian Independent Bookstore Day (“CIBD”). This cross-country, annual event highlights the importance of independent bookstores in Canadian culture and encourages readers to show support by visiting their local store online or in person.
Canadian Independent Bookstore Day in Vancouver
Many independent bookstores will launch their own creative ideas, ranging from maps of local indies in the neighbourhood, to events and readings, scavenger hunts, contests and displays. Here are some ways you can participate in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day:
Purchase books and other items in-person, online, or by phone to show your support and to enter the annual Contest for Book Lovers. This contest gives readers the opportunity to win one of three gift cards worth $250, $500, and $1,000 to an independent bookstore of the winner’s choosing. Each book purchased at a participating bookstore counts as one entry into the contest. Books by Canadian writers and illustrators are worth double.
Check out bookstore activities
Local shops across Canada are planning celebratory activities for the big day including customer giveaways, discounts, exclusive products, author events, and more.
In Vancouver, follow Iron Dog Books, Massy Books, Paper Hound, PulpFiction, Black Bond Books and Book Warehouse, Kidsbooks, Banyen Books, Spartacus Books, Hager Books, and Upstart & Crow to see what they have planned for April 29th.
Independent Bookstores in Canada
There are more than 275 bookstores and counting in Canada. Many stores have weathered the pandemic and across North America there has even been a 49% growth in the number of independent bookstores opening between 2009 and 2018. For many book buyers, the pandemic underscored the importance of community and culture.
The initiative has significant benefits for independent bookstores. 2022 sales during the week of CIBD increased by an average of 17% compared to the preceding week, and 175 bookstores across the country reported an increase in sales of 25% or more.
This, in turn, supports Canadian creators. Independent bookstores sell more books by Canadian contributors than their counterparts — sales by Canadian contributors made up 20% of independent bookstore sales, compared to 13% sold from other retailers.
Canadian Independent Bookstore Day grew from “Canadian Authors for Indies Day,” launched in 2015 by Janie Chang, who encouraged hundreds of authors to support independent bookstores on a particular day through readings, signings and other activities.
Follow CIBD on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share our info about the campaign throughout the month of April.