BBOT member Hemlock Printers Creates Program in Honour of Dick Kouwenhoven

A generous gift to Simon Fraser University from the Kouwenhoven Family was announced on March 4th to honour the legacy of Hemlock Printers founder, Dick Kouwenhoven. The donation will establish the Dick Kouwenhoven Book Arts Studio at the SFU Burnaby campus’ WAC Bennett Library, as well as printer-in-residence program. The studio will be a centre for education and activities designed to inspire university and community members with the same enthusiasm for books, book-making and print culture that Kouwenhoven was known for.

Dick Kouwenhoven was a past Chair and Governor of the Burnaby Board of Trade, and a forward-thinking Burnaby business leader. “Dick was a visionary leader and a true entrepreneur who, throughout his career, was dedicated to the craft of print”, said Richard Kouwenhoven, son of Dick and president of Hemlock Printers Ltd. “He was passionate about the business and most of all its roots – typesetting and letterpress, where his career began. This gift from our family to the SFU Library will help achieve one of his greatest passions, sharing his love of print and the unique beauty that it conveys.”

The hands-on studio will house all the necessary equipment to print using traditional letterpress. The studio will foster multi-disciplinary collaborations with departments such as English, publishing and history, as well as The School for the Contemporary Arts.

“The SFU Library is delighted to create the Book Arts Studio in memory of Dick Kouwenhoven, and to carry on his passion for the craft of printing,”, says Gwen Bird, Dean of Libraries at SFU. “We are excited to build links to academic programs at SFU, and to explore synergies with the Media and Maker Commons that will be opening in the WAC Bennett Library in summer 2019.

The Dick Kouwenhoven Book Arts Studio is slated to open in 2021 and will be an engaging, interactive addition to the library and larger community.