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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
March 26, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation:

Poet Congratulated for Winning BMO Winterset Award

I rise in this Honourable House today to congratulate Don McKay, local poet, teacher, and editor. He has been named the winner of this year’s BMO Winterset Award for his collection of literary essays The Shell of the Tortoise.

In addition to this recent honour, Mr. McKay won the Governor General’s Award for Night Field in 1991 and Another Gravity in 2000. In June 2007, he won the Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip.

Mr. McKay’s fellow nominees for the BMO Winterset Award were Edward Riche for Easy to Like and Mark Callanan for Gift Horse. Mr. Riche is the award-winning author of Rare Birds, which was adapted into a major motion picture in 2001. And fellow poet Mark Callanan is the author of Scarecrow and Sea Legend, which was short-listed for the bpNichol Chapbook Poetry Award in 2010.

Mr. Speaker, the BMO Winterset Award was established by Richard Gwyn to encourage and promote excellence in writing by Newfoundland and Labrador authors. Mr. Gwyn created the award in memory of his late wife, the prize-winning author and local historian, Sandra Fraser Gwyn.

The Provincial Government remains committed to the growth of our literary sector. In Budget 2011, more than $338,000 in funding was committed through the Publishers’ Assistance Program and the Cultural Development Economic Program to support a variety of events and activities, including professional development opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to join me in congratulating Mr. McKay as well as all of the province’s remarkable writers and publishers for their dedication to the growth and promotion of the literary sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.

2012 02 26             1:45 p.m.

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