BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council

Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council

October 21, 2010 13:41 ET

BMO to Sponsor Atlantic Canada's Richest Literary Prize

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2010) - Reg Winsor, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC) announced today that BMO Financial Group has partnered with the NLAC and the Sandra Fraser Gwyn Foundation to sponsor the Winterset Award. The award will now be called the BMO Winterset Award.

As a result of this partnership, the award, which celebrates excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing, will be Atlantic Canada's richest literary prize and one of the richest regional awards in Canada. The top prize will increase from $5,000 to $10,000; and the two finalist prizes will increase from $1,000 to $2,000.

The award commemorates Sandra Fraser Gwyn, the St. John's-born social historian, and prize-winning author who was a passionate promoter of Newfoundland and Labrador arts. It is named after the historic house on Winter Avenue in St. John's where she grew up. Author and journalist Richard Gwyn founded the prize in 2000 to honour the memory of his late wife.

"BMO's decision is of vital importance to both the award itself and to the writers of this province," said Gwyn. "As a partner, BMO will help ensure the BMO Winterset Award can continue to do, more effectively than ever before, exactly what it exists to do: encourage and celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador writers and writing."

The Winterset Award will be presented at a ceremony at Government House in March 2011. Three finalists will be announced in advance of the presentation.

"BMO Financial Group is extremely proud to support this celebration of creativity and excellence and the writers who give Newfoundland and Labrador a voice and identity recognized throughout Canada and abroad," said Jim Fallon, Vice President, Newfoundland and Labrador District, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Literature has the power to transform, inspire and enrich our lives, and my BMO colleagues and I in Newfoundland and Labrador strongly believe that a strong and vibrant cultural life is an essential component of a dynamic and prosperous province," added Mr. Fallon.

The Winterset Award is administered by the NLAC. Books in any genre, written by Newfoundland and Labrador authors (either native-born or resident) are eligible. Works are submitted by publishers from across the country.

The NLAC is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Winterset Award. Literary works in any genre, written by native-born Newfoundlanders and Labradorians or residents of the province, are eligible for consideration. Works must have been published in 2010, submissions must be made by a publisher by December 31, 2010, and must include at least five copies of each submitted work. Submissions should be made c/o Reg Winsor, Executive Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, 1 Springdale Street, P.O. Box 98, St. John's, NL, A1C 5H5.

BMO Bank of Montreal opened its first branch in Newfoundland in 1895 and now operates 23 branches and 2 agencies in the province, while providing financial support to leading education, health-care, cultural and not-for-profit institutions. BMO Nesbitt Burns has two branches in Newfoundland & Labrador and BMO Harris Private Banking serves customers from its St. John's location.

The NLAC is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (non-voting). The NLAC receives an annual grant from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    BMO Financial Group:
    Ron Monet
    Director, Corporate Communications
    (514) 877-1873
    Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council:
    Janet McDonald, Communications Officer
    (709) 726-2212
    1 (866) 726-2212 (Toll free NL only)