(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

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those aged 40 or older

There are more than 70 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca, including 26 offering walk-in appointments

A child writes in their school notebook during a home schooling session in Cremona, Alta., Monday, March 23, 2020, amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of students in Calgary will shift to online learning as of today in a bid to curb rising COVID-19 infection rates in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Online classes begin for some Alberta students amid rising COVID-19 cases

Alberta currently has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country

More than 200 specially engraved bibles lined tables awaiting the 2021 graduates to come and pick them up on April 16.
PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake grads honoured with personalized bible and gift

Bibles for Grads organized a drive-thru event for graduates in lieu of the usual larger celebration

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta joins Ontario in lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in this country

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Most Read