Fleming, Nancy Barbara, 1931-2008

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Fleming, Nancy Barbara, 1931-2008

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Nancy Barbara Fleming was born in 1931 to Barbara Ellen and Gordon McCullough Chisholm, and spent her childhood in West Toronto Junction. She studied commercial arts at Western Technical High School, and married Allan Robb Fleming in 1951. They lived in London, England from 1953 to 1955 and visited Europe while Allan studied graphic design and worked in advertising, and Nancy worked as an office manager for a nylon stocking manufacturer. They met Canadian poet Richard Outram and his eventual wife, artist Barbara Howard, while in London, and they remained lifelong friends. Upon their return to Canada, Allan set up a freelance business and became creative director of the typesetting firm, Cooper & Beatty. Nancy became a mother and for the next 20 years brought up her three children while being an executive wife as Allan moved through senior posts at MacLaren Advertising and the University of Toronto Press. Nancy administrated Allan's busy freelance consultancy, and handled the financial management of graphic design and corporate branding projects. When Allan and Nancy separated in 1976, Nancy found work as the Toronto office co-ordinator for John Roberts, Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Secretary of State. When Roberts was not returned in the 1979 election, she accepted the post of Executive Director for the Canadian Book and Periodical Development Council, which she held until her retirement in 1999. Her extensive work in publishing advocacy and lobbying, freedom of expression, and copyright policy, as well as her defence of Canadian content in books and magazines, were exemplary and passionate. She was instrumental in organizing the Freedom of Expression Committee and Freedom to Read Week, as well as the Canadian Children's Book Centre. She made important contributions to the infrastructure and support of publishing and bookselling in Canada. Her work with the Book and Periodical Council, the Canadian Copyright Institute and Give the Gift of Literacy helped underpin initiatives such as the national Freight Plan for book shipments and the royalty payments of the League of Poets, and contributed to the survival of independent publishers in Canada. Nancy Fleming was chief executive of the Book and Periodical Council from 1979 to 1999, and a laureate of the Canadian Library Association award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada. She died in Toronto on February 24, 2008.


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Fleming, Allan (1929-1977)

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VIAF ID: 143849918 (Personal)

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