Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

2008 was a great year for us at CANVAS.

We released two books (launched through accompanying sold-out art exhibitions): John Santos’ and Rowald Almazar’s “Si Lupito at ang Baryo Sirkero” and Charmaine Aserappa’s and Roel Obemio’s “Message in the Sand.” The latter was also our first e-book - downloadable for free on our website, and we will make all our books similarly available in the coming year.

We had the groundbreaking Looking for Juan - Rakenrol, which saw the unique collaboration of artists and rock bands to explore the theme of “What It Means to Be Filipino.” We rocked the Ayala Museum, and were especially gratified to see that this project connected with the young (not that we’re old!).

2008 also marked the year we picked the site of the Philippines’ Friendship Park, which will rise in Puerto Princesa City in May 2009.

We explored new avenues to promote Filipino talent abroad - placing “Sol - A Legend About the Sun” on Amazon, opening communication lines (and another unique storywriting competition) with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and pushing forward with CANVAS Downstream, our US-based online store.

Speaking of downstream products, we also (very selectively) joined a few choice bazaars - Art in the Park, the Corporate Gifts Fair and the American Women’s Bazaar.

We allowed ourselves the luxury and privilege of being patted on our backs - getting invited to the by-invitation-only SKOLL Global Forum on Social Entrepreneurship; winning the National Book Award for “The Boy Who Touched Heaven” (written by Iris Gem Li, illustrated by Serj Bumatay and published in partnership with Adarna House); and winning the Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Award for “The Rocking Horse” (written by Becky Bravo, illustrated by Elmer Borlongan).

All these activities, best of all, planted seeds for future projects and future success.

There’s so much to look forward to, and to be thankful for this coming year. At the very least, we have three - maybe even four - new books to launch, one rock CD to produce, one park to build, a couple of storywriting competitions to host, four major exhibitions to organize (including our first in the US), and a big e-book site to launch.

We’re very excited! Thank you, everyone, for all the support, guidance, prayers and help! We wish you all the best in 2009!

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