April 3 2013


Montreal, April 3, 2013 –The Conseil des arts de Montréal is pleased to announce that children’s author and illustrator Diego Herrera, also known as Yayo, has been selected for the program Écrivains jeunesse en résidence à l’école offered in collaboration with the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) through its Une école montréalaise pour tous program.

This new residency, the only one of its kind in Quebec, was developed in order to allow children’s authors to come into direct contact with their audiences.

Over the course of his four-month residency,Yayo will lead writing workshops at École Maisonneuve in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuvedistrict, alongside elementary students in all grades. His writing will be inspired by real characters or legends – past and present – under the theme “Giants of Hochelaga.” The texts produced, accompanied by illustrations, will be displayed in the form of a “poetic circuit,” then bound together in a maquette-like book. The work will then be exhibited in various presentation venues throughout the neighbourhood and submitted to publishers. The residency is accompanied by a $10,000 bursary, with the Conseil des arts de Montréal and MELS each contributing $5,000. The residency also includes a cultural mediation project, based on the theme, “The Giants of Hochelaga,” which the writer will finish in May 2013.

Diego Herrera, also known by his pen-name Yayo, is a popular and highly acclaimed children’s author and illustrator. His texts and illustrations combine humour and poetry and carry us to magical places where imagination takes flight. Born in Columbia, he now lives in Montreal where he works for various publishers and publications in Canada, France, the United States, and Columbia. His editorial cartoons have also been published for many years in L’Actualité magazine, under the banner Le Monde de Yayo. For close to 20 years, he has led workshops in schools, libraries and at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has won awards in North America, Asia and Europe, notably the Grand Prize in The Golden Smile, in Belgrade, and The Charles Biddle Award, in Quebec. His book, Le chasseur d’arc-en-ciel, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 1998. In 2012, he won the Prix Lux for his illustrations in the book Night Sky Wheel Ride (À bord de la grande roue).