Launch Wrap-Up

April 4, 2008

Launch Crowd - from above

So. The launch occurred on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at Casa Loma. Though slated to begin at 7:00 pm, a few keeners snuck in early – one even came at 5:15. The authors, with help from the Casa people, Liberty Group and a few friends, set up the event, trying to turn the (somewhat murky) castle into a lively backdrop. With the help of interior designer Reg Dohms (a family friend of Alex’s), small flowerpots on tables bloomed balloon sextets, a coatrack was transformed into an alluring replica of the book’s cover and the book-selling table proclaimed itself in a remarkably colourful fashion. We couldn’t have asked for a better set-up.

When the trickle of people coming in turned to a flood, the staff quickened their pace and dealt properly with the unexpected hundreds. People began talking about the book – which, for authors, is always welcome – and about the location. When the speeches started, it became difficult to fit everyone into the spacious library.

Dundurn representative Beth Bruder got things off to a good start, giving worthy praise to the young stalwart who helped bring Kickstart into the publishing world, Zoe Pope. Then, Andrew Feindel welcomed everyone and the other two authors (Paul Matthews and Alexander Herman) spoke about the book, how it came about and where they see it going in the future. Most of which, ye worthy blog readers, is well known from this site. Paul outlined the plan to bring Kickstart to students, to help them figure out what to do with their lives. Alex (in a somewhat more mercenary move) told people to go to their favourite bookstores and ask for the book (just to see if it’s in stock).

Eddie Greenspan then spoke about his early start as a criminal defence lawyer. He spent a good deal of his speech, however, talking about how the authors had ripped him off with the cost of parking ($5) and drinks ($3). This was all in jest of course, but, for the record, the authors would like to say that those amounts were a) not their decision and b) not going into their pockets. Greenspan helped promote the Kickstart project by explaining how important it would be for young people to learn about these early “success” stories.


Eddie Greenspan speaking at the Kickstart launch (photo: Sarah Guerin)

The founder of GAP Adventures Bruce Poon Tip echoed these comments. He explained that, as someone who once got fired from a Dennys restaurant (and never made the McDonalds training program), it was hard to become an entrepreneur. Sometimes, he said, you feel like an island. It’s important to know that others in Canada are going through the same thing. And so, Kickstart can help with that.

Then Joe Magnotta, a former high school classmate of the authors, spoke about the CanLyme foundation. His father had had Lyme disease and he knows about its devastating effects first hand. The problem in Canada, he explained, was that there’s no awareness – Health Canada barely recognizes it as a serious issue. As a result, it’s rarely diagnosed. This makes prevention extremely difficult.

The launch was a success. They came from many generations, from many fields and from many walks of life. Some flew from Ottawa, some drove from Montreal, some skipped meetings, work, anniversary parties. We couldn’t have asked for any more. The important thing is that we sold a lot of books – the proceeds of which are going to CanLyme. And that people started talking about that awkward time in life when you don’t quite know what to do. Ideas were exchanged, experiences communicated and stories heard. Thank you all!


Pushing Copy: Krista Stout selling Kickstart (photo: Sarah Guerin)

The Casa Loma Library

The Casa Loma library (photo: Sarah Guerin)

Alexander Herman and Paul Matthews introducing Kickstart.

Alexander Herman and Paul Matthews introducing Kickstart (photo: Sarah Guerin)

Listening to speeches in the library.

The audience listening to the speeches (photo: Sarah Guerin)

Bruce Poon Tip

Bruce Poon Tip talking about getting fired from Dennys (photo: Sarah Guerin)


The authors signing books (photo: Sarah Guerin)

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