The Cornerstone Award is presented to a Canadian person or organization that is not predominantly a writer/group of writers and that demonstrates exemplary support of Canadian writers and the writing field in general.
The ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE Cornerstone Award for 2016 has been awarded to long-lived Canadian Literary Journal, Descant Magazine which operated from 1970 until March of 2015. Longtime Editor-in-Chief, Karen Mulhallen accepted this honour on the organization’s behalf.
The list of contributors to Descant includes numerous now-famous Canadian authors including Margaret Atwood, bill bissett, Anne Carson, Camilla Gibb, Barbara Gowdy, Dennis Lee, Anne Michaels, Michael Ondaatje, Al Purdy, Leon Rooke, Jane Urquhart and Jan Zwicky.
We are thrilled to congratulate our 2016 Cornerstone Award recipient Descant in this our final year.
The 2015 Cornerstone Award has been won by Shelagh Rogers and her longtime producer and friend, Jacqueline Kirk!
Shelagh has long been driven by great artists and great people. She…yes, she has a passion for collecting stories. She believes that sharing them enlarges our understanding of each other. She’s been called the ear of Canada…add brain and heart…and a very recognizable voice and you might even be able to guess. She’s been the voice of Morningside, Sounds Like Canada, This Morning and is currently host and producer of The Next Chapter. Shelagh also wishes to give props to the third musketeer in her crew – Erin Noel who is their “curator of sound.”
Listen to their acceptance message here: 2015 Acceptance Message.
Douglas Gibson’s illustrious career began with his first publishing job as a trainee editor with Doubleday Canada in 1968. Through Editorial Director at Macmillan, he scaled the publishing industry’s ladder in the next decade. A few years later, he was lured to McClelland & Stewart to start the first editorial imprint in Canada. In 1988, he became publisher, and by 2000, president & publisher.
Douglas worked with Canada’s pre-eminent writers over his career, including Alistair MacLeod, Stephen Leacock, W.O. Mitchell, Hugh MacLennan, Peter C. Newman, Robertson Davies, Mavis Gallant, Brian Mulroney, Morley Callaghan, Barry Broadfoot, Pierre Trudeau, and Peter Gzowski. His authors have won every major Canadian book prize and one, Alice Munro, even won the Nobel Prize.
Although retired, his imprint continues, and he still lovingly shepherds a handful of his authors through the publishing system.
He successfully published Stories about Storytellers several years ago and loves to regale audiences with his rich experience with the writing industry’s colourful history and characters.
The 2013 winner of the Cornerstone Award is Word on the Street, an organization sparked 24 years ago by discussions at the Promotions Committee of the Book & Periodical Council about celebrating Canadian authors, books and magazines as well as advocating for literacy. By March, that talk was incorporated as the Toronto Book & Magazine Fair, which then launched its inaugural event hereafter known as Word on the Street on Queen Street West on Sunday, Sept 30, 1990 with 30,000 ppl in attendance. The 16 founding organizations received overwhelming support from levels of government, publishing industry leaders and the local community and has since spread to Halifax, Ottawa, Kitchener, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Calgary and Vancouver. In 2012, drew almost 270,000 attending 440 programmed events with 650 authors, workshop presenters and arts performers; visiting 590 book and magazine exhibitors; and offering 10% of its exhibit space to literacy organizations. Word on the Street has received many awards over the years and we’d like to add our Cornerstone to that list.
Our 2012 Cornerstone Award winner, Jack Rabinovitch, is the epitome of our Cornerstone Awards criterion – a Canadian person or organization from outside the writing field who demonstrates exemplary support of Canadian writers and the writing arena in general.
Born, educated and raised in Montreal, he’s a McGill grad who soon found himself reporting and speech writing. He gained experience as a food retail & distribution executive and later became an independent builder and real estate developer. In his capacity as Executive VP at Trizec Corporation, responsible for planning, development, construction, leasing and finance, he was immersed in the cooperative effort it took to bring 6 million sq. ft. of commercial, retail and hotel space onstream and work with such Fortune 500 companies as Xerox, GM, Hilton International and Sheraton Corporation.
Aside from that, it is his founding (1994) of the Giller Prize in tribute to his late wife, Doris Giller, who was a former literary columnist at the Toronto Star, that has made him such a deserving recipient of the OWC Cornerstone Award for 2012.
The 2011 recipient of the Cornerstone Award (to someone outside the writing field who shows exemplary support of writers) is The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry.
The Griffin Trust was founded in April 2000 by Chairman Scott Griffin, along with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. In 2004, Carolyn Forché was named a Trustee and joined the list of internationally-acclaimed writers who sit on the board of the Griffin Trust. The Griffin Trust’s support for poetry focuses on the annual Griffin Poetry Prize. A Canadian prize is given to a living poet resident in Canada; an international prize is given to a living poet from any country in the world. The Griffin Poetry Prize is promoted through an evening of readings by the shortlisted poets, and by the marketing and advertising organized through the media, publishers and bookstores.
The 2010 recipient of the Cornerstone Award is none other than Matt Galloway!
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning. He has been working at CBC Radio for more than 10 years and has hosted almost a dozen different CBC Radio programs, including The Current, Sounds Like Canada, Metro Morning, The Roundup, The Arts Today, Global Village, Music and Company, and many others. From 2004-2010, Matt was the host of Here & Now, the drive-home program heard on CBC Radio One 99.1 FM in Toronto and across Southwestern Ontario.
Prior to joining the CBC, Matt studied English Literature at York University and wrote for the Toronto weekly newspaper NOW Magazine. And he lives in the west end of Toronto with his partner and their two daughters and is a member of the Boards of Directors for the Stop Community Food Centre and the Toronto Arts Council.