News Releases - 2004
The Canada Council for the Arts announces the winners of the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Awards (children’s literature)
Ottawa, November 15, 2004 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the four winners of the 2004 Governor General’s Literary Awards for children’s literature (English and French, text and illustration).
For English-language books, the winner in the text category is Kenneth Oppel of Toronto for Airborn and the illustration winner is Stéphane Jorisch of Montreal for Jabberwocky.
For French-language books, the winner in the text category is Nicole Leroux of Montreal for L’Hiver de Léo Polatouche and the illustration winner is Janice Nadeau of Montreal for Nul Poisson où aller.
This is Stéphane Jorisch’s third Governor General’s Literary Award in the children’s literature – illustration category; he previously won the award in 1993 and 1999. It is the first Governor General’s Literary Award for Kenneth Oppel, Nicole Leroux and Janice Nadeau.
The four children’s literature laureates were presented with their awards today by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, at a special ceremony at Rideau Hall attended by children from across the National Capital Region.
>> Winner's book covers
The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Each laureate receives a cheque for $15,000 and a specially-crafted copy of the winning book bound by master bookbinder Pierre Ouvrard. The Governor General will also present certificates to the publishers of the winning books, and the Canada Council will provide each publisher with a $3,000 grant to support promotional activities for the winning book.
“It’s important for children to find a book that they can have a unique and private connection with, just as they do with a special friend,” said the Governor General. “The book becomes a child’s secret garden or undercover adventure. This year’s prize-winning books encourage such marvellous friendships to grow.”
“In a world dominated by television, video games and the Internet, children’s authors and illustrators have an extraordinary challenge: to create books that stimulate the senses, the emotions and the imaginations of our young people and instil in them a lifelong love of reading,” said Canada Council Director John Hobday. “With their creative and imaginative stories and illustrations, this year’s children’s literature winners have met, if not exceeded, that challenge.”
“As principal sponsor of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, BMO Financial Group recognizes the important contribution made by children’s authors and illustrators to Canadian literature and the literacy of our young people,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group and Deputy Chairman, BMO Nesbitt Burns. “We congratulate the winners, whose words and pictures are an inspiration to young and old alike.”
The jury citations for each of the winning books are listed below. Biographical information and downloadable images are posted on the Canada Council’s web site at www.canadacouncil.ca.
Children’s Literature – Text
Kenneth Oppel, Toronto, for Airborn
(HarperCollins Canada; distributed by the publisher)
Masterfully crafted and set in a highly creative world, this outstanding novel is a feat of powerful imagination. From cover to cover, the reader is in the hands of a superb writer.
Nicole Leroux, Montreal, for L’Hiver de Léo Polatouche
(Les Éditions du Boréal; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia)
A deliciously touching story for readers of all ages. Full of images and fantasy, the story of Léo illustrates perceptively that everyone has value, no matter what his limits may be. This book is distinguished by the complexity of its universe, the scope of its themes and the lasting impression it leaves with the reader.
Children’s Literature – Illustration
Stéphane Jorisch, Montreal, for Jabberwocky, text by Lewis Carroll
(Kids Can Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
Stéphane Jorisch’s arresting art brilliantly interprets Lewis Carroll’s fantastical poem. The anti-war imagery is evocative of Orwell and Picasso and is alarmingly relevant to a contemporary audience. Following the tradition of illustrative art, Jorisch extends this familiar text to create a haunting, surreal vision.
Janice Nadeau, Montreal, for Nul poisson où aller, text by Marie-Francine Hébert
(Les éditions Les 400 coups; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia) (ISBN 2-89540-117-9)
With Nul poisson où aller, we are pulled into a bad dream – the human drama of war. With a perfectly mastered technique that is full of freedom, the artist expresses the opacity of the heart, sentiments and secrets. In this gloomy, grey atmosphere, splashes of light in vibrant colours or a little red dress remind us that hope, as well as violence, lives in the heart of Man.
The winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards are chosen by independent juries in each category (seven English and seven French), appointed by the Canada Council. The juries, which meet separately, consider all eligible books published between 1 September 2003 and 30 September 2004 for English-language books and between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2004 for French-language books. This year, a total of 533 titles – 258 English-language books and 275 French-language books – were submitted in the children’s literature categories. The names of the jurors in these categories are as follows:
Children’s Literature – Text: David Bouchard (Victoria), Joan Clark (St. John’s), Perry Nodelman (Winnipeg)
Children’s Literature – Illustration: Brian Deines (Toronto), Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON), Judith Saltman (Vancouver)
Children’s Literature – Text: Françoise Enguehard (St. John’s), Francine Pelletier (Lévis, QC), Jean-Michel Schembré (Quebec City)
Children’s Literature – Illustration: Frédéric Back (Montreal), Édith Bourget (Saint-Jacques, NB), Annouchka Gravel Galouchko (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC)
Announcement of laureates: other categories
The winners of the awards in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry and translation (English and French) will be announced at a news conference at Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington St., Ottawa) on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. The winners will be available for in-person and telephone interviews immediately following the news conference. The awards for the winners of those categories will be presented by the Governor General at Rideau Hall at 6 p.m. the same day. A reception and dinner in honour of the laureates will be held that evening (by invitation only).
Media representatives wishing to cover the ceremony at Rideau Hall should contact Marilyne Guèvremont at the Rideau Hall Press Office at (613) 998-7280.
The names, biographies and downloadable photos of the winners will be posted on the Canada Council web site at www.canadacouncil.ca at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 16.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Peter Milliken, will recognize the laureates in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Nov. 17, immediately following Question Period.
Reading at Library and Archives Canada
For the 13th consecutive year, Library and Archives Canada will invite all the winners to read from their works on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. For information about the reading or to purchase tickets contact Library and Archives Canada at (613) 992-9988.
The Canada Council for the Arts thanks BMO Financial Group for its generous contribution to the Governor General’s Literary Awards for the 18th consecutive year. BMO’s participation has made it possible for the Council to promote the Awards more extensively, thus increasing sales and public awareness of the winners and their works. The Fairmont Château Laurier is the official hotel of the Governor General’s Literary Awards.
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Tous les documents du Conseil des arts du Canada sont disponibles en français et en anglais.
Interviews with authors:
Ontario (outside Ottawa), Atlantic Provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Territories
Rideau Hall Press Office: