(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

Rents range from $1,000 for a studio apartment up to almost $2,000 for a family townhouse at Emmaus Place, built as affordable housing. (Langley Advance Times files)
Rents out of reach at Langley affordable housing project, say would-be tenants

Rents for a studio apartment start at $1,000 a month

Belmont school in Langley reported one person tested positive for COVID-19 (Undated Google Maps image)
COVID-19 cases reported at Belmont Elementary and DW Poppy schools in Langley

Fraser Health says in both cases the affected individuals are self-isolating at home

Tamara Jansen in the House of Commons. (CPAC)
Jansen says Liberals dropped the ball on vaccines

The MP launched the attack during question period

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Most Read