Victoria Celebrates Local Writers, Chris Tougas & Arleen Paré

Chris Tougas won the inaugural Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize at a gala event this evening at the Union Club of Victoria. Mel Bolen presented Chris with a cheque for $5,000 for Mechanimals (Orca Book Publishers) which he wrote and illustrated. Mechanimals tells the story of an old farmer who loses all of his animals to a tornado.

Arleen Paré won the fifth annual City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for Paper Trail (NeWest Press). Acting Mayor Dean Fortin and Brian Butler presented Arleen with her cheque for $5000. Paper Trail is the story, written in prose and poetry, of Frances who finds her peace of mind unravelling as she becomes overwhelmed by the destructive bureaucratic nature of her work.

Paper Trail was also nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize for Poetry.

John Gould emceed an evening full of fun and surprises.The winners and the short listed nominees (Polly Horvath, Kit Pearson, Mark Zeuhlke and JoAnn Dionne) were feted at a pre-gala reception and treated to a night at the Magnolia Hotel and Spa.

Jurors for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize were Jessica Walker, Munro’s Books Buyer; Neil McAllister, Branch Head of the Oak Bay Library and Kathryn Bridge, British Columbia Archivist at RBCM.

Jurors for the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize were Megan Scott, owner of Ivy's Bookshop; Victor Bosson, illustrator and digital painter and Abby Ranger, Assistant Editor, Scholastic Inc.

Mary Virtue, President of the Victoria Book Prize Society, was thrilled with the standing-room-only crowd. She is already fielding questions regarding next year’s event. ..watch for it!