OAF News

Colleen Nelson, Wab Kinew and Joe Morse honoured with 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

Toronto, June 14, 2019 – The 2019 winners of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were announced today at Scarborough’s Eastview Public School - a school with a large Indigenous community, offering Ojibwa language instruction and other indigenous programming.

The winners were selected by two juries of young readers from the school – a jury of grade 3 and 4 students selected the recipients of the Children’s Picture Book Award, and a jury of grade 7 and 8 students selected the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.

Each student read the books individually and then worked together with their group to reach consensus and decide on a winner. This process makes it a unique literary award in Canada.

Winner of the Children's Picture Book Award Category
  


Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes

by Wab Kinew (Winnipeg, Man.)
illustrations by Joe Morse (Oakville, Ont.)
Tundra Books


About the Book

Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the U.S. and Canada, some well-known and some not-so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: “We are people who matter, yes, it’s true; now let's show the world what people who matter can do.”

What Students Said

  • “This was my favourite book because it showed be how to be positive and how to be a hero.”
  • “I liked that the first part of the book is a poem, and that the second part has information about the heroes’ lives.”
  • “The illustrations are beautiful. The artist made all the people in the story look like heroes!”
  • “I loved the message of the book.”

 

About the Author

Wab Kinew is a musician and former journalist who is now leader of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba. He was previously Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Affairs at the University of Winnipeg, and is the author of the award-winning memoir The Reason You Walk.



About the Illustrator

Artist Joe Morse is known for his portraits of celebrities and sports stars. The recipient of more than 200 international awards, he has been commissioned by organizations from Universal Pictures to the New York Times. He is also the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Illustration program at Sheridan College.



Winner of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

   


Sadia

by Colleen Nelson (Winnipeg, Man.)
Dundurn Press
 


About the Book

Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is passionate about one thing: basketball. When tryouts for an elite team are announced, Sadia jumps at the opportunity. Her talent speaks for itself. Her head scarf, on the other hand, is a problem; especially when a discriminatory rule means she has to choose between removing her hijab and not playing. Sadias parents, friends and her teammates all have different opinions about what she should do. But it is Sadia who has to find the courage to stand up for herself and fight for what is right on and off the court.

What Students Said 

  • “I really liked how the author took us inside of Sadia’s head. We learned by listening to the way Sadia thought through her challenges.”
  • “This book had a lot to teach us like the value of fighting back versus hanging back.”
  • “It does a good job showing how people are judged by their looks. Every character does it, even Sadia.”
  • “The storyline about Amira, a character who escaped from war, helped me learn what it would be like to be in that situation.”
  • “I liked the message that ‘education is important … if you want to change the world."

 

About the Author 

Colleen Nelson is a teacher and an award-winning Young Adult author whose previous novels include Blood Brothers and Finding Hope.  

About the Awards 

  • The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.
  • Two awards of $6,000 each are presented annually to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature.
  • The Ontario Arts Foundation administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.
  • See the full details on the award and the list of previous laureates.

 

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Shoshana Wasser, Senior Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council
416-969-7434/1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | swasser@arts.on.ca

 

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
416-969-7413 | awalker@oafdn.ca

 

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2018-2019, the OAF paid $4.35 million in endowment income and $315,000 in awards and scholarships. 

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2018-2019, OAC invested $61.1 million in 228 communities across Ontario through 2,252 grants to individual artists and 1,424 grants to organizations.

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.


Bass baritone Gerald Finley awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award

Toronto, May 22, 2019 -  One of Canada’s leading singers and dramatic interpreters of his generation, bass baritone Gerald Finley, is the recipient of the $30,000 Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of classical singing, and was presented last evening at a special event in conjunction with the Canadian Opera Company’s Otello where Mr. Finley performed the role of Iago.

About Gerald Finley
Gerald Finley began singing as a chorister in Ottawa, Canada, and completed his musical studies in the UK at the Royal College of Music, King’s College, Cambridge, and the National Opera Studio. He has garnered great international acclaim and has sung all the major baritone roles of Mozart. His Don Giovanni has been seen in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Tel Aviv, Glyndebourne and Budapest, and recently at the festivals of Salzburg and Munich. As Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, his appearances include the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival (2007, 2009), Paris, Amsterdam, with further appearances at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Vienna's Staatsoper and Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper.

In recent years, acclaimed appearances have included returning to Toronto as Verdi's Falstaff, at Chicago Lyric Opera as Wolfram (Tannhäuser), at the Met as Nick Shadow, in the title role of Rossini's Guillaume Tell at Covent Garden, the Met and in Munich and as Hans Sachs at the Opera de Paris and Glyndebourne in two celebrated productions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

His work in contemporary opera and orchestra in concert is equally prestigious. In recent seasons, he has premiered new works written for him including Peter Lieberson's Songs of Love and Sorrow with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, "True Fire" by Kaija Saariaho at the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel, and he premiered and recorded a new orchestral work "Rubáiyát" by the late Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara with the Helsinki Philharmonic and John Storgårds.

Finley was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in July 2014, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2017.

Jury Comments
The jury was unanimous in their praise of Finely, stating “Gerald Finley has a superlative voice that continues to develop as his career grows. The sheer breadth and range of the work he tackles is awe-inspiring. He performs all over the world with high-calibre conductors and musicians and does so as a strong ambassador for Canada.”

Gerald Finley was selected by a jury comprising Adrianne Pieczonka, soprano (Toronto, ON), Roman Borys, cellist and founding member of Gryphon Trio (Ottawa, ON), and Esther Chung pianist, singer and educator (Surrey, BC).


About the Award
The Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation by the late Norman Walford, former Executive Director of the Ontario Arts Council, and the late Paul de Hueck, former CBC television production manager.  The award recognizes in alternating years a classical or jazz keyboard artist, an art photographer, and a classical pianist.  The winner is chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by the Ontario Arts Council. 

Previous award winners in the field of classical singing include Adrianne Pieczonka (2014) and Judith Forst (2003). See the full list of previous recipients.

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For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413
awalker@oafdn.ca

 Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2017-2018 the OAF paid over $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2017-2018 the Ontario Arts Council invested $58.7 million in 231 communities across Ontario through 2,294 grants to individual artists and 1,474 grants to organizations.

 Ce document existe également en français.

 

Shortlists for the 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced

Toronto, May 7, 2019 – The shortlists for the 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards were announced today. The Schwartz Awards are the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

The 2019 winners will be decided by two student juries from Scarborough's Eastview Public School - a school with a large Indigenous community, offering Ojibwa language instruction and other Indigenous programming.  The winners will be announced during a school assembly in une 2019.

ABOUT THIS YEAR'S SHORTLIST
This year's shortlist features Canadian authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds working in a variety of literary and artistic styles.   The Children's Picture Book category includes books about exploring one's own history and culture, and how this can build confidence and self-esteem.  The  Young Adult / Middle Reader shortlist features stories of young people learning how to preserve through adversity and loss with courage, strength and determination. 
 

 

CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK AWARD CATEGORY


Africville
by Shauntay Grant
(Halifax, N.S.)
illustrations by Eva Campbell (Victoria, B.C.)
Groundwood Books

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
by Wab Kinew
(Winnipeg, Man.)
illustrations by Joe Morse(Oakville, Ont.)
Tundra Bookss

Island in the Salish Sea
by Sheryl McFarlane
(Victoria, B.C.)
Illustrations by Leslie Redhead (Burley, Idaho)
Orca Book Publisherss

Mustafa
by Marie-Louise Gay
(Montréal, Que.)
Groundwood Books

The Origin of Day and Night
by Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt (Baker Lake, Nunavut)
illustrations by Lenny Lishchenko (Toronto, Ont.)
Inhabit Media


YOUNG ADULT / MIDDLE READER
AWARD CATEGORY

 

Fire Song
by Adam Garnet Jones
(Toronto, Ont.)
Annick Press

 

No Fixed Address
by Susin Nielsen
(Vancouver, B.C.)
Tundra Books


Planet Grief
by Monique Polak (Montréal, Que.)
Orca Book Publishers



Sadia
by Colleen Nelson
(Winnipeg, Man.)
Dundurn Press


Very Rich
by Polly Horvath
(Victoria, B.C.)
Puffin Canada


 

ABOUT THE RUTH AND SYLVIA SCHWARTZ CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARDS
The two awards, of $6,000 each
are presented annually to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children's literature. The winners are selected by two juries of young readers, which this year are students at Eastview Public School in Scarborough.  Five students in grades 3 and 4 will select the recipient(s) of the Children's Picture Book Award. Five students in grades 7 and 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.


QUOTES

"Authors and illustrators always tell us what an honour it is to be nominated for the Schwartz Awards, knowing that the winners will be selected by their most important audience - young readers themselves.  My congratulations to all of this year's nominees and to the student jurors who will work collaboatively to choose this year's winning books."
Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO, Ontario Arts Council

“This remarkable award encourages young people to read and discuss the work of Canadian authors and illustrators.  What a wonderful way to encourage critical thinking while recognizing the talented pool of Canadian authors and illustrators this country has to offer.”
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

 

LEARN MORE
The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters. The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.

The nomination committee that chose this year's shortlist consisted of Dorothy Ferreira (teacher-librarian, Toronot District School Board, Toronto), Feather Maracle (CEO / Director of Library Services, Six Nations Public Library, Ohsweken), and Charlotte Stein (co-owner, Parry Sound Books, Parry Sound).

  Click here to see the full list.

 

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MEDIA INQUIRIES
Shoshana Wasser, Senior Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council

416-969-7434 /1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | swasser@arts.on.ca

 

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | awalker@oafdn.ca

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2017-2018, the OAF paid over $3.35 million in endowment income and $260,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 50 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2017-2018, the  OAC invested $58.7 million in 231 communities across Ontario through 2,294 grants to individual artists and 1,474 grants to organizations.

 Ce document existe ègalement en français.

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