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Celebrating The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country

Thursday, June 24, 2010, Provincial Archives of Alberta:

And what a celebration!

Arok Wolvengrey, Naomi McIlwraith, Patricia Demers, and Dorothy Thunder

Arok Wolvengrey, Naomi McIlwraith, Patricia Demers, and Dorothy Thunder

The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country cover image

The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country

This book has been a long time in the making and never would have made it without the talent and devotion of many people. A book that brings together several traditions, talents, and texts really wanted a launch celebration just as diverse.

Lonny Potts of Thundering Spirit Cultural Society leads us through  the smudge ceremony.

Lonny Potts of Thundering Spirit Cultural Society leads us through the smudge ceremony.

After a brief welcome, our Master of Ceremonies, Vice Provost Jonathan Schaeffer, wasted no time in ushering us outdoors for the smudge ceremony. Sadly, Elder Bob Cardinal could not make it. So with humility and a light heart, Lonny Potts of the Thundering Spirit Cultural Society adroitly led the smudge ceremony. Father Jim Holland from Sacred Heart Parish of the First Nations led a prayer before we headed back inside. The Thundering Spirit Cultural Society then performed a bracing Honour Song.

Thundering Spirit Cultural Society performs an Honour Song

Honour Song performed by Thundering Spirit Cultural Society--Dalton Potts, Leo Paskemin, Rocky Morin, Lonny Potts, and Cec Thunder

Dr. Schaeffer thanked Linda Tsang, Director of the Living Communities division of the Royal Alberta Museum, for allowing us to display Father Grouard’s press and Samantha Kelly at the Museum for clearing the path for all arrangements. He also thanked the Provincial Archives, the superb assistance of Jessica King, and the support at every turn of the Oblate Archivist, Diane Lamoureux.

Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Schaeffer

Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Schaeffer

Acting Dean of Native Studies Gurston Dacks

Acting Dean of Native Studies Gurston Dacks

He acknowledged Lewis Cardinal, Federal NDP Candidate for Edmonton Centre, and Arok Wolvengrey, Professor of Linguistics at the First Nations University in Regina. Professor Wolvengrey, co-author of the invaluable dictionary Cree: Words, supplied the foreword to the text. He also contributed expert and generous guidance for the translating team.

Arok Wolvengrey

Arok Wolvengrey

Dr. Schaeffer then congratulated The University of Alberta Press, under the direction of Linda Cameron, for championing this innovative study of the emergence of print culture and the bonds between the Cree people and the Oblate missionary project in Northern Alberta.

Dorothy Thunder

Dorothy Thunder

Naomi McIlwraith

Naomi McIlwraith

The translation of this text has been a collaborative effort, involving a Cree-language specialist from the Faculty of Native Studies, Dorothy Thunder, a poet who writes in both Cree and English, Naomi McIlwraith, and a professor of English, Patricia Demers. Dr. Schaeffer invited the contributors to say a few words.

Patricia Demers

Patricia Demers

Thanks were lavished on friends, family, and colleagues near and far. Special thanks was extended to designer Jason Dewinetz who laid out this rare trilingual text with facility and style.

The formal proceedings ended with a Closing Song by the Thundering Spirit Cultural Society and a prayer by Father Holland. We adjourned to the gallery to view Father Grouard’s press, buy books, have them signed, eat, drink, and visit.

Special thanks go to UAP author and Professor Emeritus, Douglas Barbour, for inventing the doug—a little almond cookie slathered in maple syrup butter. We had terrific fun salvaging this decadent “dip” from a disappointing batch of bannock. Thundering Spirit Cultural Society and our hosts from the archive even partook! Many dougs were enjoyed, even after their primogenitor headed for home.

The doug

Drummers from Thundering Spirit and friends enjoying a tasty doug.

Thanks too to Earle Waugh, who will bring display copies of The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country to Lac La Biche in time for their centennial celebrations July 2–4.

Sales Rep of the Year is our sales rep!

Congratulations to Rorie Bruce, who won Sales Representative of the Year at the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards 2010. Rorie is the sales rep for the Prairie Region with Kate Walker & Company, longtime reps for UAP. Over the years the whole team at KWS has been terrific. Rorie definitely earned this one. Keep up the awesome work!

CBA News Release of 2010 Libris Awards

Kate Walker & Company (KWS) website

Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) website

Stephen Scobie interview on CJSR

For those who enjoyed Stephen’s fascinating reading and the ensuing discussion at The Measure of Paris launch last week, you will be delighted to hear him go into greater depth on Paris and his “long poem of walking” in this interview with Tiffany Brown Olsen at CJSR Radio.

And for even more, you are encouraged to buy the book at your favourite book store or online.

iPod Touch Draw

This year, we offered an iPod Touch as our draw prize at Congress, held in Montreal. That got lots of attention (along with the candies we offered hungry conference-goers). It was a struggle to convince my colleagues that we had to do the draw and send this little beauty out to the winner, but in the end we decided it had to be done.

Lindsey had the lucky “touch,” and was delighted to hear the news. “Wow,” was her quick answer to my congratulatory email. To add to our delight, Lindsey is a graduate from the University of Alberta (Arts ’09). Way to go, Lindsey!

We had a wonderful time in Montreal—more on that in an upcoming post, with lots of pictures.

Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders Shortlisted for CAA Award

Congratulations to UAP author Sandra Rollings-Magnusson for being shortlisted for the 2010 CAA Literary Awards for her book, Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders.

Here is the complete media release from the CAA.


Canadian Authors Association Announces Literary Awards Shortlists

June 8, 2010 – The Canadian Authors Association is pleased to announce the Canadian Authors Association Literary Awards shortlist for 2010. The winners will be announced at the CAA Literary Awards banquet on Saturday, June 26, 2010, at the Harbour Towers Hotel in Victoria, BC during the association’s 2010 CanWrite! Conference.

The shortlisted authors will be invited to read from their work on Friday, June 25 at Harbour Towers. Open to the public, this free event – featuring acclaimed native author and storyteller Richard Wagamese as keynote speaker – promises to be one of the many highlights of this annual writers’ conference.

The 2010 CAA Literary Awards shortlists are as follows:

MOSAID Technologies, Inc. Award for Fiction

• Ian Weir for Daniel O’Thunder, published by Douglas & McIntyre
• Michael Crummy for Galore, published by Doubleday Canada
• Annabel Lyon for The Golden Mean, published by Random House Canada

Lela Common Award for Canadian History

• Jonathan F. Vance for A History of Canadian Culture, published by Oxford University Press
• Sandra Rollings-Magnusson for Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders: The Labour of Pioneer Children on the Canadian Prairies, published by University of Alberta Press
• Jason Schneider for Whispering Pines, published by ECW Press

Carol Bolt Award for Drama

• Joan MacLeod for Another Home Invasion, published by Talonbooks Ltd.
• Hannah Moscovitch for East of Berlin, published by Playwrights Canada Press
• Michael Nathanson for Talk, published by Playwrights Canada Press

CAA Award for Poetry

• Susan Musgrave for Obituary of Light: the Sangan River Meditations, published by Leaf Press
• Joan Crate for subUrban Legends, published by Freehand Books (an imprint of Broadview Press)
• Tom Dawe for Where Genesis Begins, published by Breakwater Books

BookLand Press Emerging Writer Award

• Chad Pelley for Away from Everywhere, a novel published by Breakwater Books
• Jesse Patrick Ferguson for Harmonic, a collection of poems published by Freehand Books
• Rachelle Delaney for The Ship of Lost Souls, a novel published by HarperCollins Publishing

Introduced in 1975, the CAA Literary Awards continue the association’s long tradition of honouring Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal. The above fifteen finalists were selected from approximately 300 nominations.

Sponsors for the CAA Literary Awards include MOSAID Technologies, Inc., the estate of Lela Florence Common, Playwrights Canada Press and Playwrights Guild of Canada, and BookLand Press.

Founded by Stephen Leacock and several other prominent Canadian writers in 1921, the Canadian Authors Association has continued to maintain a focus on “writers helping writers” since its inception. Some 25,000 writers have been members of the CAA in its 89-year history, including Bliss Carman, Nellie McClung, and Robert W. Service.

Media Contacts

Anita Purcell
Interim Executive Director
TF 866 216 6222
Cell 705 955 0716
E anita@canauthors.org

r.l. stephenson-read
Chair, Awards Committee
T 905 342 5570
E awards@canauthors.org

For tickets to the CAA Literary Awards Banquet or to register for the 2010 CanWrite! conference:

Jean Kay
T 604 943 9247
E JKay@canauthorsvancouver.org

Canadian Authors Association
74 Mississaga Street East, Orillia ON L3V 1V5 TF 866 216 6222 F 866 393 1401

The Measure of Paris, Edmonton Launch

DATE: Thursday, June 10
TIME: 7:30 PM
LOCATION: Audreys Books, 10702 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton
MORE: Come celebrate with Stephen Scobie–Governor General’s Award-winning poet, literary critic, and flâneur de flânerie–the launch of his incomparable memoir, The Measure of Paris. Book signing and Parisian refreshments to follow the reading. All are welcome.


The Measure of Paris Media Release


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