Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts

October 16, 2006 11:00 ET

The Canada Council for the Arts Announces Finalists for the 2006 Governor General's Literary Awards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 16, 2006) - The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the names of the finalists for the 2006 Governor General's Literary Awards, in English and in French, in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (text and illustration) and translation.

A total of 68 books have been nominated for this year's awards; 36 of the shortlisted writers, translators and illustrators are finalists for the first time. There was one multiple finalist: Dominique Fortier received two nominations for English-to-French translation. And one French-language children's book, Je suis fou de Vava, was nominated in both the text and illustration categories.

The names of the finalists and the titles of their works are listed below, together with the juries' citations for each work. The names of the members of the 14 juries (seven English and seven French) are listed at the conclusion of this release.

The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General's Literary Awards, worth $15,000 each. Each winner will also receive a specially-bound copy of the winning book. The publisher of each winning book will receive $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists will each receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the awards to more than $300,000.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. at simultaneous news conferences in Toronto and Montreal.

BMO Financial Group has been the sponsor of the Governor General's Literary Awards since 1988. BMO's generous contribution has allowed, among other things, the production of material aimed at promoting the finalists and winners.

"Since 1988, BMO Financial Group has supported Canada's literary excellence through our sponsorship of the Governor General's Literary Awards," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group and Deputy Chairman, BMO Nesbitt Burns. "We are proud to join the Canada Council in congratulating all the finalists, celebrating their important contribution to Canadian writing, illustration and translation, and promoting their works in bookstores, schools, libraries and events across the country."

Downloadable images of the shortlisted books, together with jury citations and additional information about the 2006 GG's are available on the Canada Council web site at

English-language finalists


Peter Behrens, Brooklin, Maine (formerly of Montreal), for The Law of Dreams (House of Anansi Press)

Trevor Cole, Hamilton (ON), for The Fearsome Particles (McClelland & Stewart)

Bill Gaston, Victoria, for Gargoyles (House of Anansi Press)

Paul Glennon, Richmond (ON), for The Dodecahedron, or A Frame for Frames (The Porcupine's Quill)

Rawi Hage, Montreal, for De Niro's Game (House of Anansi Press)


Ken Babstock, Toronto, for Airstream Land Yacht (House of Anansi Press)

Elizabeth Bachinsky, Maple Ridge (BC), for Home of Sudden Service (Nightwood Editions)

Dionne Brand, Toronto, for Inventory (McClelland & Stewart)

John Pass, Madeira Park (BC), for Stumbling in the Bloom (Oolichan Books)

Sharon Thesen, Lake Country (BC), for The Good Bacteria (House of Anansi Press)


Morwyn Brebner, Toronto, for The Optimists (Scirocco Drama, an imprint of J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing)

Lisa Codrington, Toronto, for Cast Iron (Playwrights Canada Press)

Daniel MacIvor, Halifax, for I Still Love You (Playwrights Canada Press)

Jason Sherman, Toronto, for Adapt or Die: Plays New and Used (Playwrights Canada Press)

Drew Hayden Taylor, Toronto, for In a World Created by a Drunken God (Talonbooks)


Afua Cooper, Toronto, for The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal (HarperCollins Publishers)

Ross King, Woodstock, Oxon, UK (formerly of Saskatchewan), for The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism (Bond Street Books, an imprint of Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Susanne Reber, Richmond Hill (ON), and Robert Renaud, Ottawa, for Starlight Tour: The Last, Lonely Night of Neil Stonechild (Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada)

Michael Strangelove, Ottawa, for The Empire of Mind: Digital Piracy and the Anti-Capitalist Movement (University of Toronto Press)

Christine Wiesenthal, Edmonton, for The Half-Lives of Pat Lowther (University of Toronto Press)

Children's Literature - Text

Andre Alexis, Toronto, for Ingrid and the Wolf (Tundra Books)

William Gilkerson, Mahone Bay (NS), for Pirate's Passage, illustrated by the author (Trumpeter Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Shambhala Publications)

Glen Huser, Edmonton, for Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press)

Teresa Toten, Toronto, for Me and the Blondes (Puffin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Group (Canada))

Budge Wilson, Halifax, for Friendships (Puffin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Group (Canada))

Children's Literature - Illustration

Eugenie Fernandes, Peterborough (ON), for Earth Magic, text by Dionne Brand (KCP Poetry, an imprint of Kids Can Press)

Annouchka Gravel Galouchko & Stephan Daigle, Vaudreuil-Dorion (QC), for The Birdman, text by Veronika Martenova Charles (Tundra Books)

Joe Morse, Toronto, for Casey at the Bat, text by Ernest L. Thayer (KCP Poetry, an imprint of Kids Can Press)

Maxwell Newhouse, Cultus Lake (BC), for Let's Go for a Ride, text by Maxwell Newhouse (Tundra Books)

Leo Yerxa, Ottawa, for Ancient Thunder, text by Leo Yerxa (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press)

Translation (French to English)

Sheila Fischman, Montreal, for The Bicycle Eater (Talonbooks) English translation of Le Mangeur de bicyclette, by Larry Tremblay (Lemeac Editeur)

Linda Gaboriau, Montreal, for Bonbons Assortis / Assorted Candies (Talonbooks) English translation of Bonbons assortis, by Michel Tremblay (Lemeac Editeur / Actes Sud)

Hugh Hazelton, Montreal, for Vetiver (Signature Editions) English translation of Vetiver, by Joel Des Rosiers (Les editions Triptyque)

Lazer Lederhendler, Montreal, for The Immaculate Conception (House of Anansi Press) English translation of L'Immaculee Conception, by Gaetan Soucy (Les Editions du Boreal)

Fred A. Reed, Montreal (with Yakov M. Rabkin), for A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism (Fernwood Publishing) English translation of Au nom de la Torah : une histoire de l'opposition juive au sionisme, by Yakov M. Rabkin (Les Presses de l'Universite Laval)

French-language finalists


Michael Delisle, Montreal, for Le sort de Fille (Lemeac Editeur)

Louis Hamelin, Rouyn-Noranda (QC), for Sauvages (Les Editions du Boreal)

Andree Laberge, Quebec City, for La riviere du loup (XYZ editeur)

Jocelyne Saucier, Rouyn-Noranda (QC), for Jeanne sur les routes (XYZ editeur)

Pierre Yergeau, Maskinonge (QC), for La Cite des Vents (Les editions de L'instant meme)


Paul Belanger, Montreal, for Origine des meridiens (Editions du Noroit)

Jacques Brault, Cowansville (QC), for L'artisan (Editions du Noroit)

Louise Cotnoir, Weedon (QC), for Les iles (Editions du Noroit)

Helene Dorion, Saint-Hippolyte (QC), for Ravir: les lieux (Editions de la Difference)

Benoit Jutras, Montreal, for L'Etang noir (Editions Les Herbes rouges)


Olivier Choiniere, Montreal, for Venise-en-Quebec (Dramaturges Editeurs)

Jean Marc Dalpe, Montreal, for Aout : un repas a la campagne (Editions Prise de parole)

Evelyne de la Cheneliere, Montreal, for Desordre public (Editions Fides)

Reynald Robinson, Montreal, for Blue Bayou, la maison de l'etalon (Dramaturges Editeurs)


Marie-Francoise Guedon, Chelsea (QC), for Le reve et la foret : histoires de chamanes nabesna (Les Presses de l'Universite Laval)

Thierry Hentsch (deceased), for Le temps aboli : l'Occident et ses grands recits (Les Presses de l'Universite de Montreal)

Michael La Chance, Saguenay (QC), for Paroxysmes : la parole hyperbolique (VLB editeur, a division of Ville-Marie Litterature)

Catherine Mavrikakis, Montreal, for Condamner a mort : les meurtres et la loi a l'ecran (Les Presses de l'Universite de Montreal)

Pierre Ouellet, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), for A force de voir : histoire de regards (Editions du Noroit)

Children's Literature - Text

Edith Bourget, Saint-Jacques (NB), for Les saisons d'Henri, illustrations by Genevieve Cote (Soulieres editeur)

Dany Laferriere, Montreal, for Je suis fou de Vava, illustrations by Frederic Normandin (Les Editions de la Bagnole)

Fernande D. Lamy, Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc (QC), for Cauchemar aveugle (Editions Vents d'Ouest)

Francoise Lepage, Ottawa, for Poupeska, illustrations by Gilles Lacombe (Les Editions L'Interligne)

Daniel Mativat, Laval (QC), for Nuits rouges (Editions Pierre Tisseyre)

Children's Literature - Illustration

Steve Adams, Montreal, for Le tresor de Jacob, text by Lucie Papineau (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Les editions Heritage)

Marie Lafrance, Montreal, for Le petit chien de laine, text by Lionel Daunais (songs) (La montagne secrete)

Lino (Alain Lebrun), Montreal, for Les cendres de maman, text by Lolita Sechan (Les editions Les 400 coups)

Frederic Normandin, Sherbrooke (QC), for Je suis fou de Vava, text by Dany Laferriere (Les Editions de la Bagnole)

Roge (Roger Girard), Montreal, for Le gros monstre qui aimait trop lire, text by Lili Chartrand (Dominique et compagnie, a division of Les editions Heritage)

Translation (English to French)

Dominique Fortier, Montreal, for Parlez-vous boro : voyage aux pays des langues menacees (Les Editions du Boreal) French translation of Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley (Random House of Canada)

Dominique Fortier, Montreal, for L'Arbre : une vie (Les Editions du Boreal) French translation of Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady (Greystone Books / Douglas & McIntyre)

Daniel Poliquin, Ottawa (in collaboration with Pan Bouyoucas), for L'homme qui voulait boire la mer (Les editions Les Allusifs) French translation of The Man Who Wanted to Drink Up the Sea by PPan Bouyouca (Cormorant Books)

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagne, Montreal, for L'Odyssee de Penelope (Les Editions du Boreal) French translation of The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Canongate Books)

Sophie Voillot, Montreal, for Un jardin de papier (Editions Alto/Editions Nota Bene) French translation of Salamander by Thomas Wharton (McClelland & Stewart)

The juries

The finalists of the Governor General's Literary Awards are chosen by independent juries (seven English and seven French categories) appointed by the Canada Council. The juries, which meet separately, consider all eligible books published between September 1, 2005 and September 30, 2006 for English-language books and between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006 for French-language books. This year, a total of 1,465 titles, 840 in the English-language categories and 625 in the French-language categories, were submitted.

English-language juries

Fiction: Shani Mootoo (Toronto), Donna Morrissey (Halifax), Leon Rooke (Toronto)

Poetry: Cyril Dabydeen (Ottawa), Mary Di Michele (Montreal), Evelyn Lau (Vancouver)

Drama: Lise Ann Johnson (Ottawa), Jenny Munday (Guysborough, NS), John Murrell (Calgary)

Nonfiction: Allan Levine (Winnipeg), Lee Maracle (Toronto), Fred A. Reed (Montreal)

Children's Literature - Text: Brian Doyle (Chelsea, QC), Susan Juby (Nanaimo, BC), Carol McDougall (Halifax)

Children's Literature - Illustration: Pamela J. Masi (Cardston, AB), Susan Tooke (Halifax),

Ange Zhang (Scarborough, ON)

Translation: Edward Baxter (Stratford, ON), Lorin Card (Kelowna, BC), Maureen Ranson (Calgary)

French-language juries

Fiction: Aristote Kavungu (Whitby, ON), Carole David (Montreal), Elise Turcotte (Montreal)

Poetry: Margaret Michele Cook (Ottawa), Renaud Longchamps (Saint-Ephrem-de-Beauce, QC),

Jean Royer (Montreal)

Drama: Rene Cormier (Caraquet, NB), Rene-Daniel Dubois (Montreal), Carole Frechette (Montreal)

Nonfiction: Marie Bernard-Meunier (Montreal), Hugues Corriveau (Weedon, QC),

Melchior Mbonimpa (Sudbury, ON)

Children's Literature - Text: Louis-Dominique Lavigne (Montreal), Milagros Ortiz-Brulot (Abbotsford, BC), Denise Paquette (Moncton)
Children's Literature - Illustration: Stephane Jorisch (Saint-Lambert, QC), Darcia Labrosse (Ottawa), Francine Sarrasin (Calixa-Lavallee, QC)

Translation: Patricia Godbout (Sherbrooke, QC), Nesida Loyer (Calgary), Raymond Mopoho (Halifax)

Reading at the International Festival of Authors - Monday, October 23, 8 p.m.

The English-language fiction finalists will read from their shortlisted books as part of the International Festival of Authors at the Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. For more information about the reading, contact Lindsey Love, IFOA publicist, at 416-973-4147 or

Salon du livre de Montreal - Thursday, November 16 to Monday, November 20

The finalists' books will be highlighted at the Canada Council booth at the Salon du livre de Montreal, Place Bonaventure.

Tuesday, November 21, 10 a.m. - Announcement of winners

The winners will be announced at simultaneous news conferences in Toronto and Montreal on Tuesday, November 21 at 10 a.m.

The Toronto news conference will take place at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. The winners of each category will be announced by Robert Sirman, director of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the English-language winners will each make a short statement.

The Montreal news conference will take place at La Grande Bibliotheque de Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, 475 de Maisonneuve Blvd. E. The winners of each category will be announced by Canada Council board member Laurent Lapierre, and the French-language winners will each make a short statement.

The winners will be available for in-person and telephone interviews immediately following the announcements.

The names, biographies and downloadable images of the winners and their books will be posted on the Canada Council's web site, as of 11 a.m. on November 21.

Wednesday, December 13, 6 p.m. - Awards presentation at Rideau Hall

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2006 Awards. The awards presentation will be followed by a reception and dinner (by invitation only). Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Lucie Brosseau at the Rideau Hall press office, 613-998-0287 or

Thursday, December 14, 7 p.m. - Public reading by all Award winners

The winners of the 2006 Awards (all categories) will read from their winning books in the Library and Archives Canada Auditorium (395 Wellington St., Ottawa). Copies of the winning books will be on sale, and the winners will be available to sign their books at intermission and immediately following the reading. For information about the reading, contact Library and Archives Canada, 613-996-5115.

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