Aidan Cassie and Kathy Page Win 2019 Victoria Book Prizes

Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC – Tonight at the 16th annual Victoria Book Prize Gala, Kathy Page was awarded the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for Dear Evelyn (Biblioasis), and Aidan Cassie was awarded the Victoria Children’s Book Prize for Sterling, Best Dog Ever (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

“Congratulations to Kathy and Aidan on winning the 2019 Victoria Book Prizes,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “The talent of our local authors continues to inspire me and is a testimony to how the literary arts enriches our lives and the community.”

Mayor Helps and co-sponsor Brian Butler presented Kathy Page with the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, and Alyssa Polinsky, president of the Victoria Book Prize Society, presented Aidan Cassie with the $5,000 Victoria Children’s Book Prize.

Dear Evelyn explores how two very different people come together to shape and reshape each other over a lifetime. Born between the wars on a working-class London street, Harry Miles wins a scholarship and a chance to escape his station but discovers instead that poetry is what offers him real direction. Twisting and startling, harrowing and deeply tender, this is a compelling and unconventional love story that will leave its mark on any reader who has ever loved.

Kathy Page’s works include Frankie Styne and the Silver Man and Alphabet, which was a Governor General’s Award finalist in 2005; and The Story of My Face, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2002. Two of her books, Paradise & Elsewhere (2014) and The Two of Us (2016), were nominated for the Giller Prize. Born in the UK, Kathy Page moved to the west coast of Canada with her family in 2001 and now divides her time between writing and teaching at Vancouver Island University.

Sterling, Best Dog Ever is about a dog who has always wanted a home but no home has ever wanted him. When Sterling sees a sign advertising “free shipping to homes around the world,” he is determined to become the most terrific fork ever! For what home doesn’t need flatware? Sterling is delivered on time and undamaged to the Gilbert family’s front door. He is not, however, what they ordered but he may be exactly what they need. This is a humorous, heart-tugging picture book about finding a family who wants you just as you are.

Aidan Cassie is an author-illustrator who grew up on Canada’s west coast. At Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the Edinburgh College of Art, she studied animation and earned her Media Arts degree. While spending a year in Provence, she finished her debut picture book, Sterling, Best Dog Ever. Now that she’s not gallivanting around medieval villages, running through lavender fields and eating fine cheeses, Cassie is making more fun books. Released in July 2019, her second book, Little Juniper Makes It Big, is about a feisty raccoon who feels too small for everything. Aidan Cassie lives with her family on Salt Spring Island, BC.

The awards gala was held at the Union Club of British Columbia and was hosted by CBC Radio’s Gregor Craigie.

“It was an amazing evening celebrating both returning and first-time nominees,” said Victoria Book Prize president Alyssa Polinsky. “We couldn’t do this without the support of our generous sponsors, an engaged community of readers and all the talented writers and illustrators who call this beautiful place home.”

Established in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies. Additional sponsors include Munro’s Books, Greater Victoria Public Library, Island Blue Print, Chateau Victoria, Magnolia Hotel and Spa, Inn at Laurel Point, Friesens Corporation, CBC Radio, Ivy’s Bookshop, Russell Books and Tanner’s Books.

The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes the policy and criteria for the prizes, appoints the juries and administers the competitions.

For more information, visit www.victoria.ca or www.victoriabookprizes.ca.

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For More Information:
Andrea Walker Collins
Arts, Culture and Events Liaison
Arts, Culture & Events Office
250.361.0308
awalkercollins@victoria.ca
culture@victoria.ca

Alyssa Polinsky
President
Victoria Book Prize Society
250.893.1311
victoriabookprizes@shaw.ca