Friday, May 7, 2010

New Saskatchewan Literary Award

We have had an exciting development tin the literary world of Saskatchewan. On May 3 the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg announced the launching of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. This new literary award will recognize Saskatchewan writers who have written a substantial body of literary work. The award will be made annually and is for the sum of ten thousand dollars, which makes it the largest such award in any province in Canada.

Each ward recipient will also receive a signed limited edition copy of a watercolour by renowned Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles. Dorothy has gifted the original to the Guild.

Henry & Cheryl Kloppenburg are Saskatchewan folks, through and through. They are generous supporters of the arts, both nationally and provincially, and have supported writing and the SWG for almost 20 years through their gifts to the SWG’s Grain Magazine. Here they are, flanked by the Guild’s past-president, Bob Calder and me, next to the painting.

The great Canadian man of letters, the late Roberson Davies, admonished a cure-all of “massive daily doses of art, music and literature. On Saturday evening at his book launch Yann Martel was the latest of many authors to state that without reading one cannot be a writer. Both make the point that reading is a vital part of our culture, so this award is for those who have given us the chance to read and enjoy good writing.

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