OAF News

Nicole Testa, Annie Boulanger and Kelley Armstrong honoured with 2020 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

Toronto, July 8, 2020 – The 2020 winners of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were announced today by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF). 

The winners were selected by two juries of young readers from Canada's National Ballet School.  A jury of grade 6 students selected the recipients of the Children’s Picture Book Award, and a jury of grade 8 students selected the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.

Each student juror read the books individually and then worked with their group to reach consensus and choose a winner - this year, via videoconference. This teamwork-based process reinforces leadership and decision-making skills for the students.

Winner of the Children's Picture Book Award Category
  


Lili Macaroni

by Nicole Testa (Rimouski, Que.)
illustrations by Annie Boulanger (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.)
Pajama Press


About the Book

Lili Macaroni loves being exactly who she is – that is, until she starts kindergarten, where her classmates tease her about her appearance. With her parents’ help, Lili creates a polka-dotted butterfly to wear as a symbol of her own resilience. And when she explains the meaning of the butterfly to her classmates, Lili discovers she has begun a powerful conversation. Lili Macaroni provides an accessible exploration of self-esteem and the power of talking about emotions.

Quotes
"Everyone can relate to this story at some point in their lives," said the student jury.  "If you have ever been bullied this story will give you comfort."  They also appreciated that Lili's solution to her challenge was "simple and beautiful".

"I'm very touched by this award," said author Nicole Testa.  "From my neck of the woods (Ste-Blandine de Rimouski), I'm delighted to see how much Canadian kids like Lili Macaroni and her spotted butterfly.  My thanks to the jury from the National Ballet School in Toronto!"



"This award is truly special, because it's chosen by the audience we wish to reach in the first place - children themselves," said illustrator Annie Boulanger.  "I'm also very proud, knowing the high quality and sensitivity of all the books that have previously received this unique award."



Winner of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

   


A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
 

by Kelley Armstrong (Aylmer, Ont.)
Puffin Canada
 


About the Book

Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. Then tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it.

Quotes

"Who wouldn't want to read a story about a princess with a sword, in a land full of monsters?" said the student jury.  "On her quest, Rowan shows us that her true strength in not in her sword, but in her kindness and respect for all creatures great and small."

"For a children's author, there is no contest as satisfying as those judged by kids themselves," said Kelley Armstrong.  "I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted that this year's panel enjoyed A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying."  


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. The awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.
  • 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.
  • See the full details on the award and the 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 2019-2020, the OAF paid $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 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.


Shortlists for the 2020 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced

Toronto, June 23, 2020 – The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) are pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2020 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.  The Schwartz Awards are the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

The 2020 winners are being chosen by two student juries from Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto, who will debate and come to a consensus by video conference.  The winners will be announced in July 2020.

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 features several books combining scientific inquiry and artistic exploration.  Other themes include the importance of family and staying true to oneself. The Young Adult / Middle Reader shortlist features stories of young people transformed into leaders, transported through music - and sometimes, just having fun.  

 

CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK AWARD CATEGORY


Fairy Science
by Ashley Spires
(Delta, B.C.)
Tundra Books

In My Anaana's Amautik
by Nadia Sammurtok
(Iqaluit, Nunavut)
illustrations by Lenny Lishchenko (Toronto, Ont.)
Inhabit Media Inc.

Lili Macaroni
by Nicole Testa
(Rimouski, Que.)
Illustrations by Annie Boulanger (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.)
Pajama Press

My Forest is Green
by Darren Lebeuf 
(Edmonton, Alta.)
illustrations by Ashley Barron
(Toronto, Ont.)
Kids Can Press

The Pencil
by Susan Avingaq (Igloolik, Nunavut)
and Maren Vsetula (Guelph, Ont.)
illustrations by Charlene Chua (Hamilton, Ont.)
Inhabit Media Inc.


YOUNG ADULT / MIDDLE READER
AWARD CATEGORY

 

Broken Strings
by
 Eric Walters (Guelph, Ont.) and
Kathy Kacer (Toronto, Ont.)
Puffin Canada

 

Camp Average
by Craig Battle 
(Toronto, Ont.)
Owlkids Books


Operatic
by Kyo Maclear (Toronto, Ont.)
illustrations by Byron Eggenschwiler
(Calgary, Alta.)
Groundwood Books



A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying 
by Kelley Armstrong
(Aylmer, Ont.)
Puffin Canada


Stand on the Sky
by Erin Bow 
(Kitchener, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.


 

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 Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto.  Five students in grades 6  will select the recipient(s) of the Children's Picture Book Award. Five students in grades 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.


QUOTES

"In these unfamiliar times, books offer a powerful way to transcend physical and social distance and reconnect with the world around us – particularly for young readers. My heartfelt congratulations go to all of the nominated authors and illustrators, as well as this year’s student jurors, the first ever to select the Schwartz Awards laureates virtually!"
Carolyn Vesely, CEO, OAC

“Literature has always held a prominent place in enriching our lives. This is all the more apparent during moments of crisis, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to this year’s nominated authors and illustrators and for the student jurors coming together this year under different circumstances to choose the winning books. It is heartening to see that even in the most troubled times, we can still appreciate the tremendous value of a good book.”
Alan Walker, Executive Director, OAF

 

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 Carmen Condotta (teacher-librarian, Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board, Mississauga), Nora Elliott-Coutts (Head of Children's Services, North Bay Public Library, North Bay), and Stephanie Minett (co-owner, The Bookshelf Bookstore, Guelph).

  Click here to see the full list.

 

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MEDIA INQUIRIES
Shoshana Wasser, Senior Communications Coordinator, OAC

swasser@arts.on.ca

 

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director, OAF

awalker@oafdn.ca

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2019-2020, the OAF paid over $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 55 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, the  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.

Recipients announced for the third annual Indigenous Voices Awards

June 21, 2020: Jesse Thistle, Arielle Twist, Michelle Sylliboy, and Elaine McArthur were among this year’s Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) recipients announced during an online gala hosted by past IVAs recipient Smokii Sumac. Including this year’s combined prize money of $30,000 (CAD), the IVAs have awarded a total of $70,000 over the past three years to Indigenous writers for published and unpublished writing in a variety of genres and in English, French, and Indigenous languages. A recording of the gala is available now on the IVAs social channels.

Awards have been offered in at least seven different categories each year, in efforts to transcend the individualism of prize culture and to encourage community building. All finalists are invited to participate in mentorship initiatives, designed to cultivate relationships among emerging and established Indigenous writers and to provide practical career and creative support. 

The third annual Indigenous Voices Awards were administered by the Indigenous Literary Studies Association, a scholarly body based in lands claimed by Canada that focuses on the teaching and study of Indigenous peoples’ literatures. 

IVAs finalists this year were recognized in eight distinct categories, reflecting the diversity and complexity of Indigenous literary art.  

PUBLISHED PROSE IN FRENCH
2020 Recipient: Naomi Fontaine, Shuni — Ce que tu dois savoir, Julie (Mémoire d’encrier)
2020 Nominee: J.D. Kurtness, Aquariums (L’instant même) 

PUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH   
2020 Recipient: Jesse Thistle, From the Ashes (Simon & Schuster)
2020 Nominees: Helen Knott, In My Own Moccasins (University of Regina Press); Kaitlyn Purcell, ʔbédayine (Metatron Press) 

PUBLISHED POETRY IN FRENCH
2020 Recipients:
Maya Cousineau-Mollen, Bréviaire du matricule 082 (Éditions Hannenorak)
Marie-Andrée Gill, Chauffer le dehors (La peuplade) 

PUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipients:
• Michelle Sylliboy, Kiskajeyi—I am Ready (Rebel Mountain)
• Arielle Twist, Disintegrate/Dissociate (Arsenal Pulp Press)

2020 Nominees: Brandi Bird, I Am Still Too Much (Rahila’s Ghost Press); Francine Cunningham, On/Me (Caitlin Press) 

WORKS IN AN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE
2020 Recipients:
Rene Meshake, Injichaag: My Soul in Story (University of Manitoba Press)
• Cole Pauls, Dakwäkãda Warriors (Conundrum)
 

UNPUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipient: Cody Caetano, Excerpts from “Half-Bads in White Regalia”
2020 Nominees: Treena Chambers, “Forest Fires and Falling Stars”; Steven Hall, “Gatzi Naka” 

UNPUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipient: Keely Shirt, “Two Little Foxes, Buttertown Beach, I Will Never be Happier” 
2020 Nominees: David Agecoutay, “Willow A Quartet”; Corri Daniels, “A Memory of Mary”
 

WORKS IN AN ALTERNATIVE FORMAT
2020 Recipient: Elaine McArthur, Elizabeth Dances Pow-wow (Independently published)
2020 Nominee: Phyllis Webstad, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt (Medicine Wheel Education)
 


This year’s IVAs jurors are acclaimed and award-winning writers themselves: Jordan Abel; Jeannette Armstrong; Joanne Arnott; Francis Langevin; Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley; Pierrot Ross-Tremblay; and Richard Van Camp
 

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association acknowledges IVAs support from: Penguin Random House Canada; Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA); Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF); Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival; Pamela Dillon; Sylvia Moreno-Garcia; Robin Parker; and the countless supporters who have donated to the IVAs crowd-sourced fund over the past three years. Further donations are always welcome and deeply appreciated: please visit indigenousvoicesawards.org for more information.  

Connect and Share: 
Twitter @IndigenousVAs
Facebook @IndigenousVoicesAwards
Instagram @IndigenousVoicesAwards

https://indigenousvoicesawards.org/   

Read Indigenous! Check out the published works of IVAs nominees and recipients: indigenousvoicesawards.org/read-indigenous 


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MEDIA INQUIRIES
Katie Saunoris, publicist, katiesaunoris@gmail.com 
Deanna Reder, IVAs Co-Chair, dhr@sfu.ca 

 

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

416-969-7413 | awalker@oafdn.ca

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