News Release - February 4, 1997
PREMIER TO HONOUR LITERARY AWARD RECIPIENTS
Premier Roy Romanow and his wife Eleanore are honouring four
Saskatchewan recipients of the Governor General's literary awards at a
testimonial dinner in Saskatoon on Feb. 6. The awards are the top
literary distinctions in Canada.
The recipients are:
Robert Calder, of Saskatoon: award for non-fiction in 1990 for
Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham.
Maggie Siggins, of Regina: award for non-fiction in 1992 for
Revenge of the Land.
Anne Szumigalski, of Saskatoon: award for poetry in 1995 for
Guy Vanderhaeghe, of Saskatoon: award for fiction in 1982 for Man
Descending and again in 1996 for The Englishman's Boy.
"Saskatchewan writers have acquired an international reputation in both
creative writing and non-fiction," Premier Romanow said. "The people
of our province can be proud of the excellence of our writers and the
national recognition they have deservedly received."
While for a number of years the provincial government has held a
recognition event for Saskatchewan recipients of national honours such
as the Order of Canada, this is the first event for winners of the
Governor General's Literary Awards.
For more information contact:
Chief of Protocol
Phone: (306) 787-3109
Note to editors:
Media are welcome to cover the Premier's remarks and presentations and
the response by Guy Vanderhaeghe at 7:30 p.m., in the Top of the Inn,
Sheraton Cavalier Hotel, 612 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon.
Backgrounder on Governor General's Literary Awards and Saskatchewan
recipients is attached.
Governor General's Literary Awards
The Governor General's Literary Awards were established in 1937 by Governor General Lord
Tweedsmuir, also known as John Buchan, author of The 39 Steps. The awards were administered
by the Canadian Authors Association until 1959, when the Canada Council assumed sponsorship.
There are now prizes for the best works in both English and French in seven categories: fiction,
non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (both text and illustration) and translation.
The prizes are presented by the Governor General at an annual ceremony in the fall alternating
between Toronto and Montreal. The winners receive $10,000 and a specially-bound edition of
their award-winning work.
Born in Moose Jaw and raised in Saskatoon, Dr. Calder is a member of the English department at
the University of Saskatchewan. He received the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in
1990 for his biography, Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham. His other works include
W. Somerset Maugham and the Quest for Freedom (1972) and Rider Pride: The Story of Canada's
Best-Loved Football Team (1994).
A former magazine writer, political columnist and television producer, Maggie Siggins moved to
Regina from Toronto in 1983, when she was Max Bell Professor of Journalism at the University of
Regina. She won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in 1992 for Revenge of the Land.
Other works include Brian and the Boys (1984), A Canadian Tragedy: JoAnn and Colin Thatcher
(1985) and Riel: A Life in Revolution (1994).
Born in England, Anne Szumigalski has lived in Saskatoon since 1956 and is one of the founders of
the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. She received the Governor General's Award for poetry in 1995
for Voice with paintings by Saskatoon artist Marie Elyse Saint George. Among her many books of
poetry are Dogstones (1986) and Rapture of the Deep (1991). She was invested as a member of
the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1989.
Born in Esterhazy, Mr. Vanderhaeghe teaches at St. Thomas More College at the University of
Saskatchewan. He is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award for fiction, in 1982 for
his short-story collection Man Descending and in 1996 for The Englishman's Boy. Among his other
works are the novels My Present Age (1984) and Homesick (1989) and a play I Had a Job I Liked.
Four former Saskatchewan residents have received Governor General's Literary Awards while living
in the province:
Lorna Crozier, born in Swift Current: Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1992 for Inventing
the Hawk. Ms. Crozier now lives in British Columbia.
John Newlove, born in Regina: Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1972 for The Cave and
Lies. Mr. Newlove now lives in Ottawa.
Fred Wah, born in Swift Current: Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1985 for Waiting for
Saskatchewan. Mr. Wah now lives in Calgary.
Diana Wieler, formerly resident in Saskatoon: Governor General's Award for Childrenþs Literature
(text) in 1989 for the novel Bad Boy. Ms. Wieler now lives in Winnipeg.
Saskatchewan-born author Rudy Wiebe, who lives in Alberta, has twice received the award for
fiction, in 1973 for The Temptation of Big Bear and in 1993 for A Discovery of Strangers.