Christopher Butcher is set to receive France's insignia as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for his work promoting French authors and bandes dessinées as part of the Toronto Comic Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
"This ceremony is an important symbolic act for France and Canada and at the same time pays tribute to the work accomplished by Mr. Christopher Butcher who has worked for more than twenty years to promote the comic book industry," read a statement from the French government.
Butcher is set to receive the honor during a Toronto visit from the French Minister of Culture Franck Riester. The ceremony will take place October 10 at 6 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library.
"I am thrilled to support the decoration of Mr Christopher Butcher in l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres," said Riester. "Through its achievements, it demonstrates its expertise and creativity and contributes to strengthening Toronto's image as a destination of choice for multidisciplinary cultural collaboration especially between France and Canada. This initiative is perfectly in line with the objective of the French Ministry of Culture to reward the talents who succeed in boosting an artistic sector by making it accessible to a wide audience. I am delighted to award him this high French distinction."
TCAF was founded in 2003 by Butcher and Peter Birkemoe as a partnership between their retail store, the Beguiling, and the Toronto Public Library. The event, which attracts over 25,000 attendees each year, is modeled after European conventions such as Angoulême International Comics Festival
The distinction of France's Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters is given to "persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world."