A Colourful Event: "We Are Colourful Friends" Book Launch
A Colourful Event: "We Are Colourful Friends" Book Launch

Article by Stephanie Delfina, assistant editor for OnRichmondhill.com

April 8th, I had the opportunity of attending the book launch for We Are Colourful Friends by Josephine Vaccaro-Chang. It was held at Covernotes, a quaint coffee shop at Yonge St. and Centre St. There were free desserts and coffee for everyone.

Josephine signed everyone’s book and gave a little speech. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to The Ontario Lyme Alliance, an organization that mediates discussions between citizens and the government about Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a cause Josephine has been involved with since 2011.

In 2011, Josephine co-produced a show called “One Night With You,” which raised funds for the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation. It featured Stacey Whitton as Marilyn Monroe, Kevin Mills as Elvis and Lance Lapinski as Jerry Lee Lewis. After this, Josephine began a support group for Lyme disease sufferers and their caregivers called The Richmond Hill Lyme Support Group.

The Richmond Hill Lyme Support Group held monthly support meetings for over two years. Then, Josephine and some members of The Richmond Hill Lyme Support Group formed a second group called The Ontario Lyme Alliance. The Richmond Hill Lyme Support Group changed its name to the York North Lyme Support Group last year.

We Are Colourful Friends is a book about many different animals that realize they can be friends, despite being different colours and having different interests. The illustrations, drawn by Josephine, were inspired by the artist Eric Carle. They are collages, meaning pieces of construction paper were cut and pasted on top of each other to form the images.

I asked several people why they came to the book launch, and this is what they had to say:

Kent Ng, realtor: “Josephine is my friend.”

Sandra Greene, marketing consultant: “I came out to support my friend of many years.”

Kelly Burns, accountant: “I came out to support Josephine and to get a book for my children and my nephew.”

Karen McNeil, hair stylist: “I came to get a book signed for my son.”

Marina Grigoryan, music teacher: “I came out, because Josephine is my friend. It’s interesting to know how friends interact, [which is what her book is about].”

Marlene Gardiner, Arbonne independent consultant: “I came out to support my friend.”

When asked why she did a book launch, Josephine said: “I wanted to share my book with the community and all my colourful friends.” Josephine explains the book is about cultural diversity and how we can all be friends, despite being of different ethnicities. There was also a book that showed Josephine’s original artwork – images of animals – compared to how it turned out after being manipulated in Photoshop. Just some of the animals in Josephine’s book are: a frog, a fish, a butterfly, a starfish, an owl and a flamingo.

The book was only $10, $2 less than its regular price. Along with signing the book, Josephine put a message inside each and every book. The message instructed people to email her with their favourite animal.

I enjoyed going to the book launch. I met a lot of nice people. It was nice to see Josephine and share in her success. I am truly happy for her.