OAF News

Kids Celebrate Winners of the 30th Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

Toronto, May 9, 2006 -  Students from Toronto's Lord Dufferin Junior and Senior Public School joined the Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, at Queen's Park for the presentation of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.

The event marked the 30th anniversary of the awards.  Every year, student juries from a selected Ontario school present these national awards in two categories: children's picture book, which is split between the author and illustrator, and the young adult/middle reader category.

In an unusual coincidence, the two recipients from 2000 are this year's winners.  Montreal author/illustrator Marie-Louise Gay took home the $5,000 prize in the picture book category for Caramba (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press).  Kenneth Oppel, a Toronto writer, won the $5,000 prize in the young adult/middle reader category for Skybreaker (HarperCollins Canada).

The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario spoke to the kids about literacy, one of the issues that is important to him.  Author Kenneth Oppel was on hand to receive his award and meet the kids who picked his book from the shortlist.  

Five students in grade 3 and 4 chose Caramba as the best picture book because of its ìeyecatching illustrationsî and the story that made them ìwant to read it again and again.î  Five students in grades 7 and 8 chose Skybreaker as the best young adult/middle reader, saying that it had ìlots of surprises; a good ending and plotî and that they ìstayed up late to read itî.

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards recognize Canadian writers and illustrators who demonstrate excellence in children's literature.  They were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, their family renamed the awards to honour both sisters. The first award went to Mordecai Richler for Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang in 1976.

The administration of these awards is shared annually by the Ontario Arts Council, which selects the school and the juries, the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ruth Schwartz Foundation and the Canadian Booksellers Association, whose members select the short list of books.

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For more information, please contact:

Ann Boyd, Associate Director, Ontario Arts Foundation, 416-969-7411 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7411 or email aboyd@arts.on.ca

Daphnée Nostrome, Communications Assistant, Ontario Arts Council, 416-969-7446 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7446 or email dnostrome@arts.on.ca

2006 Shortlist for Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Childrenís Book Awards

Toronto, April 12, 2006 ó The short list of authors and illustrators nominated for the 2006 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards was announced today. (See list.) These national awards ó one for a children's picture book and one for a young adult/middle reader book ó recognize writers and illustrators from across Canada who demonstrate artistic excellence in children's literature.

Two juries of schoolchildren from Lord Dufferin Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto, Ontario, will review the books and announce the winners on May 9, 2006 at a special 2 p.m. reception at Queen's Park hosted by The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

The young adult/middle reader book category is judged by students in grades 7 and 8. The winning author will receive a $5,000 prize. Students in grades 3 and 4 will award the $5,000 children's picture book prize, which is split between the author and illustrator.

The Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award was established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, the late Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family decided to rename it the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards to honour Sylvia. Sylvia was a well-known photographer in Toronto from the 1940s to the early 1960s who had a great love of children.

The administration of these awards is shared annually by the Ontario Arts Council, which selects the school and the juries, the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ruth Schwartz Foundation and the Canadian Booksellers Association, whose members select the short list of books.

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Short List for the 2006
Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

Picture Books

  • Caramba
    written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
    Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press
  • Forever: The Annual Hockey Classic
    written by Roy MacGregor, illustrated by Brian Deines
    Red Deer Press Inc.
  • Gretzky's Game
    written by Mike Leonetti, illustrated by Greg Banning
    Raincoast Books
  • The Nutcracker
    written by Karen Kain, illustrated by Rajka Kupesic
    Tundra Books
  • Shi-shi-etko
    written by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Kim LaFave
    Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press

Young Adult/Middle Reader Books

  • Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last
    by Susan Juby
    HarperCollins Canada
  • The Crazy Man
    by Pamela Porter
    Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press
  • The Gravesavers
    by Sheree Fitch
    Doubleday Canada
  • Skybreaker
    by Kenneth Oppel
    HarperCollins Canada
  • Swimming in the Monsoon Sea
    by Shyam Selvadurai
    Tundra Books

For more information, please contact:

Ann Boyd, Associate Director, Ontario Arts Foundation, 416-969-7411 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7411 or email aboyd@arts.on.ca
Daphnée Nostrome, Communications Assistant, Ontario Arts Council, 416-969-7446 or toll-free in Ontario at 1-800-387-0058 ext.7446 or email dnostrome@arts.on.ca

Winners of Christina and Louis Quilico Awards Announced

Toronto, January 24, 2006 - The recipients of the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards were announced at a competition held in Toronto at the Heliconian Club on Sunday, January 22, 2006.

Four young opera singers received awards:

First prize:                         Sonja Gustafson, soprano     $2,000

Second prize:                   Philip Carmichael, baritone   $1,000

Third prize:                        Lawrence J. Wiliford, tenor   $   750

Encouragement award:    Justin Welsh, bartione         $   500

The awards recognize excellence in performance and potential.  The winners were chosen by jurors Philip Boswell, Artistic Administrator, Canadian Opera Company, Carrol Anne Curry, Managing Director, Dean Artists Management, Stuart Hamilton, Vocal coach, Pianist, CBC Radio Personality and John Hess, Co-Artistic Director, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre.

The awards are financed from the Christina and Louis Quilico Fund, established by Christina Petrowska Quilico at the Ontario Arts foundation to honour her late husband, renowned baritone, Louis Quilico.  During his 45 years on the world stage, Quilico shared performing credits with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Joan Sutherland and Renata Tebaldi.  He was best known as the hunchbacked jester Rigoletto, a part he played 510 times in his career.  Quilico was also instrumental in furthering the careers of many young singers through his teaching and master classes.  The awards were set up to recognize outstanding young singers, pianists, and composers for voice.

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Christina and Louis Quilico Awards.  Established in 1991 as a public charitable foundation, the Foundation holds over 270 endowments totalling more than $43 million and pays out over $2 million annually in support of the arts.

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For information, please contact:
Janet Stubbs
Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413
jstubbs@arts.on.ca 

 

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