(Pixabay.com)

(Pixabay.com)

5 writers to be feted at first virtual $100K Giller Prize ceremony

One of five writers will receive the $100,000 fiction prize at a virtual ceremony Monday

It’s typically the literary to-do of the season, but this year, the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala is going digital.

One of five writers will receive the $100,000 fiction prize at a virtual ceremony tonight.

The contenders include Winnipeg writer David Bergen, a former Giller winner who is marking his fifth nomination for the prize with the story collection, “Here The Dark,” published by Biblioasis.

Four-time nominee Shani Mootoo is shortlisted for her love-triangle novel “Polar Vortex,” published by Book*hug Press.

Also in the running are first-time finalists Gil Adamson of Toronto for the western-meets-mystery “Ridgerunner” (House of Anansi Press); Toronto-raised Souvankham Thammavongsa for the short-story collection “How To Pronounce Knife” (McClelland & Stewart); and British Columbia-raised, New York-based Emily St. John Mandel for her haunting story of white-collar crime, “The Glass Hotel” (HarperCollins Publishers).

The finalists would normally be feted at a swanky Toronto gala, but tonight, the winner is set to accept the award from the comfort of their own home.

Giller executive director Elana Rabinovitch says organizers spent months working to preserve the ceremony’s signature “sizzle” within the public health constraints of COVID-19.

Rabinovitch says the televised ceremony, which will be hosted by Canadian actor Eric McCormack, will feature a mix of pre-taped and live portions.

Jazz musician Diana Krall will perform as part of the socially distanced festivities, and a procession of celebrities will make home-recorded cameos in their red carpet attire.

Rabinovitch says she hopes to congratulate the winner in-person (and from a distance), but depending on where the writer lives, organizers may have to get “creative.”

“We have some alternate endings,” she said with a laugh. “You’ll have to watch on Monday to find out.”

Despite the logistical challenges, Rabinovitch says shifting the proceedings online has lowered the costs of the ceremony. In light of those savings, prize organizers are donating $25,000 each to the Indigenous Voices Awards and Diaspora Dialogues, an initiative to support diverse writers.

The event will air on CBC and its Gem streaming service at 9 p.m. tonight.

The finalists were chosen by jury members Mark Sakamoto, Eden Robinson, David Chariandy, Tom Rachman, and Claire Armitstead.

The long list of 14 titles announced in September had some big names who didn’t make the cut, including Thomas King, Emma Donoghue, and Lynn Coady.

A total of 118 works were submitted for this year’s prize, according to organizers.

Founded in 1994, the Giller awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Entertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

school
Rimbey Christian School building projects nearing completion

New gym, soccer field and skating rink will be open to community use as well

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. (File photo)
Wolf Creek and Wetaskiwin school boards ‘reasurred’ by letter from LaGrange

Boards urge the Alberta government to honour commitmens to Indigenous peoples

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Most Read