IBBY Canada is celebrating over 40 years of helping children around the world through access to books and literacy programs and supporting the Canadian authors, artists, storytellers, organizations, and scholars who have all contributed to producing quality children’s books.

IBBY Canada is one of more than 70 National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organization that was founded in the wake of World War II by Jella Lepman. This remarkable woman believed in the power of children’s books to bridge cultures and, ultimately, to promote peace.

IBBY Canada is pleased to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, has granted viceregal patronage to the organization.

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Depuis 35 ans, IBBY vient en aide aux enfants du monde grâce à des programmes d’accès aux livres et d’alphabétisation, et en soutenant les auteurs, artistes, conteurs, organisations et érudits canadiens qui contribuent à la réalisation de livres pour enfants de haute qualité.

IBBY Canada est l’une des plus de 70 sections nationales de l’Union Internationale pour les Livres de Jeunesse (IBBY), une organisation à but non lucratif fondée au lendemain de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale par Jella Lepman. Cette femme remarquable croyait au pouvoir des livres de jeunesse à rapprocher les cultures et, par conséquence, à promouvoir la paix.

IBBY Canada est heureuse d’annoncer que Son Excellence la très honorable Mary Simon Gouverneure générale du Canada a accordé la présidence d’honneur vice-royale à l’organisme.


IBBY was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953. Today, it is composed of more than seventy National Sections all over the world. IBBY’s founder, Jella Lepman, believed that books could build bridges of understanding and peace between people. After World War II, she saw an opportunity to reach out to the next generation of German children, who needed not only food, medicine, clothes, and shelter, but also books. Good books from around the world could show these children that they are not alone and their experiences and feelings are shared by children from other countries and cultures.

IBBY’s policies and programmes are determined by its Executive Committee: ten people from different countries and a President, elected biennially by the National Sections at a General Assembly during the IBBY Congresses. The daily management of IBBY’s affairs is conducted from its Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland. The annual dues from the National Sections are IBBY’s only source of regular income.

Canada’s National Section, IBBY Canada, has built on a rich history of enacting positive change through children’s literature since its inception in 1980. Our mission is to introduce Canadian children’s literature to the world and to promote exceptional international children’s literature in Canada. This is done through so many initatives that it can be difficult distilling what it is we do! If there is an opportunity for IBBY Canada to support, promote, or honour creators of Canadian children’s literature; bring Canadian children’s literature to children in Canada or around the world; or encourage the creation and distribution of quality children’s literature in developing countries or those in need, then IBBY Canada will take that opportunity.

But we can only do it with the support of people like you. IBBY Canada consists of a vast national network of authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and academics, but because we are in a developed country, our dues to IBBY in Switzerland are among the highest. Membership fees, individual donations, and fundraising efforts contribute to this cost, allowing us to support IBBY’s important work around the world. IBBY Canada’s Executive Committee consists entirely of volunteers.

As a non-governmental organization with an official status in UNESCO and UNICEF, IBBY has a policy-making role as an advocate of children’s books. Our framework going forward is the Right of Every Child to Become a Reader, meaning every child in the world must have access to books and the opportunity to become a reader in the fullest sense. If this were accomplished, then Jella Lepman’s vision of a world with engaged and empathetic citizens might at last be fully realized.

2022-2023 IBBY Canada Executive Committee
1st Vice-President
Marcela Mangarelli
2nd Vice-President
Past President


2022-2023 IBBY Canada Board of Directors
Membership Secretary
Helena Aalto
Recording Secretary
Maral Maclagan
Promotions Officer, French
Promotions Officer, English
Newsletter Editor
Liaison CCBC
Liaison Communication-Jeunesse
Shamaila Siddique
Regional Councillor West
Regional Councillor Ontario
Regional Councillor Quebec (Acting)
Regional Councillor East
Co-Regional Councillors Alberta
Collette Poitras
Lorisia MacLeod
Website Editor
Awards & Grants Chair/Co-Chairs 2022/2023
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award Chair
Heather Doepner
Frances E. Russell Grant Chair
Hans Christian Andersen Award

Claude Aubry Award Susane Duchesne and Lisa Doucet Co-Chairs

Contact Us:

IBBY Canada
c/o The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Suite 200, 425 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C1