OAF News

Melanie Florence, Gabrielle Grimard and Heather T. Smith honoured with 2018 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

Toronto, June 20, 2018 – The 2018 winners of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were announced today at Toronto’s Sprucecourt Public School. The winners were selected by two juries of young readers from the school – a jury of grade 3 and 4 students selected the recipients of the Children’s Picture Book Award, and a jury of grade 8 students selected the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award. Each student read the books individually and then worked together with their group to reach consensus and decide on a winner. This process makes it a unique literary award in Canada.

Winner of the Children's Picture Book Award Category
  


Stolen Words

by Melanie Florence (Toronto, Ont.)
illustrations by Gabrielle Gimard (Montréal, Que.)
Second Story Press

Quotes

“This book tells a difficult story, but in a way that young people can understand,” said student jurors in grades 3 and 4. “It has a good balance of sad and happy parts, with beautiful illustrations that show the characters’ feelings. It reminds us that children can help adults and bring hope for the future.”

“It’s an incredible honour to win the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, a prize with so many notable past winners,” said author Melanie Florence. “It’s particularly humbling to have been selected by a jury of students from Sprucecourt Public School, from such a distinguished list of nominees. I’m grateful beyond words.”

“I want to thank Melanie Florence for writing such a beautiful story – it brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it,” said illustrator Gabrielle Grimard. “And thank you to the students of Sprucecourt Public School – this award has a special place in my heart because you are the ones for whom I create these illustrations.”

 

About the Author

  • Melanie Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage.  She has also written several young adult novels, including He Who Dreams and The Missing.
  • She is a first-time nominee and laureate of the Schwartz Children's Book Awards.


About the Illustrator

  • Gabrielle Grimard has been illustrating books for young readers since 2001, and has contributed to more than 50 books to date.
  • She is a first-time nominee and laureate of the Schwartz Children's Book Awards.


Winner of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

   


The Agony of Bun O'Keefe

by Heather Smith (Waterloo, Ont.)
Penguin Teen
 

Quotes 

Student jurors in grades 7 and 8 loved the book's personalities - as one juror declared, “Bun and Busker Boy are my favourite characters of all time!” Praising the protagonist as “one-of-a-kind,” the jurors also appreciated how close they felt to Bun, and how well they could feel all of her emotions. And as one student admitted, “I stayed up way too late because I couldn’t put this book down!”

“Simply put, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Awards are special,” said author Heather T. Smith. “Not only do they honour two remarkable women, they are juried by young people which makes it all the more meaningful. Having my book chosen by the readers themselves is an incredible honour – one that I won’t soon forget.”

 

About the Author 

  • Heather T. Smith's East Coast roots inspire much of her writing - including The Agony of Bun O'Keefe, her second novel for young adults.
  • She is a first-time nominee and laureate of the Schwartz Children’s Book Awards.

 

About the Awards 

  • Two awards of $6,000 each are presented annually to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature.
  • This year’s selection committee comprised Heather Kuiper (owner, Ella Minnow Children's Bookstore, Toronto), Ben Robinson (Children and Teen Librarian, Guelph Public Library) and Kristin Fowkes (teacher-librarian, Frontenac Public School, Burlington).

 

Learn More 

  • The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.
  • The Ontario Arts Foundation administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.
  • See the full details on the award and the list of previous laureates.

 

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Shoshana Wasser, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council
416-969-7434/1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | swasser@arts.on.ca

 

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
416-969-7413 | awalker@oafdn.ca

 

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2017-2018, the OAF paid $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships. 

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2016-2017, the  OAC funded 1,657 individual artists and 1,098 organizations in 212 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.8 million.

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Gillian Gallow Awarded the 2018 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design

Toronto, June 11, 2018 – Costume and set designer, Gillian Gallow is the 2018 recipient of the $20,000 Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design.  The award is given annually to professional costume designers in Ontario in mid-career to further enrich their careers through research and travel.


Indomeneus, Soulpepper 2017-2018, Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann (l to r) Kyra Harper, Michelle Monteith, Stuart Hughes, Jakob Ehman and Akosua Amo-Adem

Gillian Gallow is a Dora-Award winning set and costume designer based in Toronto. She is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Design program, and is a Betty Award, Sterling Award and Capital Critics Award nominee.

Gillian is currently designing costumes for the Canadian Opera Company’s Hadrian, Stratford’s Long Days Journey Into Night and set and costumes for Stage Kiss with the Shaw Festival.

Other design credits include Louis Riel (costumes, COC), An Octoroon (set/costumes, Shaw Festival), The Physicists and The Three Musketeers (costumes, Stratford Festival), Hirsch (set/costumes, Stratford Festival), King Lear and Stuff Happens (set & costumes, NAC), Idomeneus, The Testament of Mary and Incident at Vichy (costumes, Soulpepper), A Christmas Carol (set, RMTC), Million Dollar Quartet, Hand to God and Seminar (set & costumes, RMTC), The Road To Paradise and Night (set & costumes, Human Cargo), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (costumes, Theatre Calgary/RMTC), The Kite Runner (costumes, Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre), A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, Cinderella (costumes, The Grand Theatre).

Gillian was selected as the winner from an outstanding group of nominees. This year’s jury consisted of Robin Fisher, established set and costume designer, and 2015 Cooper laureate, Lindsay Dagger Junkin, emerging costume designer, and Alex Gilbert, educator and wardrobe supervisor. The jury was unanimous in their choice of Gillian Gallow as the 2018 laureate. They said, "We are very excited to name Gillian as the 2018 laureate. When talking about Gillian’s costume designs every statement we made included words like amazing, astounding, brilliant and dynamic. She takes time and care in the research for each project, delivering consistently thoughtful and strong work. Her renderings are exceptionally beautiful. Her characters are poignant."

Established through a generous gift under the will of Dr. Virginia Cooper, the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award is to be given "For the Love of Creation".  Dr. Cooper served as a director of the Tarragon Theatre, and was a charter member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and active in its activities.  She had a keen interest in the performing arts, particularly in costume design. 

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the award.  The Ontario Arts Council administers the nomination and selection process. Click here to see the full list of previous laureates.

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For more information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca

 

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) works with arts patrons to build long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid out over $3.2 million in endowment income and $375,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2016-2017, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,657 individual artists and 1,098 organizations in 212 communities across Ontario for a total of $50.8 million.

Inaugural Indigenous Voices Awards Winners Announced

Regina, May 30, 2018 - The Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) are thrilled to announce the winners in this year’s competition celebrating the very best in literary art by Indigenous writers. At a gala event in Regina, Saskatchewan (oskana kâ-asastêki, Treaty 4 Territory) on May 29th, the IVAs awarded $26,000 in prizes across multiple categories for published and unpublished writing in English, French, and Indigenous languages. The awards were adjudicated by a jury of renowned Indigenous writers and prominent figures from the Canadian literary world including Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau, Shelagh Rogers, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Gregory Scofield, Jean Sioui, and Richard Van Camp


Winners and Finalists

Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer
Aviaq Johnston, Those Who Run in the Sky (published by Inhabit Media http://inhabitmedia.com)

Finalists:
Carleigh Baker, Bad Endings (published by Anvil Press http://www.anvilpress.com)
Dawn Dumont, Glass Beads (published by Thistledown Press https://www.thistledownpress.com)
Joanne Robertson, The Water Walker (published by Second Story Press https://secondstorypress.ca )


Most Significant Work of Prose in French by an Emerging Indigenous Writer
J. D. Kurtness, De Vengeance (published by L’Instant Meme http://www.instantmeme.com/ebi-addins/im/Actualite.aspx)

Finalist:
Naomie Fontaine, Manikanetish (published by Memoire d’Encrier http://memoiredencrier.com)

Most Significant Work in an Alternative Format by an Emerging Indigenous Writer
Co-Winners: Mich Cota, Musical Selections, and Mika Lafond, Nipê Wânîn (published by Thistledown Press https://www.thistledownpress.com)

Finalists:
Keith Barker, This is How We Got Here (published by Playwrights Canada Press https://www.playwrightscanada.com)
Cliff Cardinal, Huff & Stitch (published by Playwrights Canada Press https://www.playwrightscanada.com)


Most Significant Work of Poetry in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer
Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World (published by Frontenac House https://www.frontenachouse.com)

Finalists:
Tenille K. Campbell, #IndianLovePoems (published by Signature Editions http://www.signature-editions.com)
Joshua Whitehead, Full-Metal Indigiqueer (published by Talon Books http://talonbooks.com
)

Unpublished Poetic Piece(s) by an Emerging Indigenous Writer in English
Smokii Sumac “#haikuaday and other poems”

Finalists:
David Agecoutay “Poetic Selections”
Brandi Bird “Two Poems”
Francine Merasty “Poetry of a Northern Rez Girl”


Unpublished Poetic Piece(s) by an Emerging Indigenous Writer in French
Marie-Andrée Gill “Uashteu


Unpublished Prose Piece by an Emerging Indigenous Writer 
Elaine McArthur “Queen Bee”

Finalist:
Treena Chambers “Hair Raizing”
Nazbah Tom “The Hand Trembler”
Amanda Peters “Pejipug (Winter Arrives)”


The IVAs were established in 2017 to nurture and support Indigenous literary art in its diversity and complexity. Begun as a crowd-funded campaign seeking to raise a few thousand dollars to support emerging Indigenous writers, the IVAs have raised over $125,000 to date from over 1,500 different donors.

The Indigenous Voices Awards Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation to fund the awards. To make a donation, please visit the Ontario Arts Foundation website.

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ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director,
Ontario Arts Foundation
416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2016-2017, the OAF paid over $3.2 million in endowment income and $375,000 in awards and scholarships.


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