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The 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize – A Night of Celebrating the Best in Canadian Fiction

© 2015 Article by Aleka Allen, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, Toronto-based novelist, Andre Alexis, won this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel, Fifteen Dogs. As the grand prize winner, Mr. Alexis received $100,000 while $10,000 went to the four finalists: Samuel Archibald, Heather O’Neill, Rachel Cusk, and Anakana Schofield. As part of the award, the winner will also receive a two-week residency at the Leighton Artists’ Colony at The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. Founded by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife Doris Giller, the award recognizes the talents of Canadian fiction writers. This year, the five-member jury consisted of John Boyne, Cecil Foster, Alexander Macleod, Alison Pick, and Helen Oyeyemi.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel was the venue for this glamorous gala and dinner. While guests mingled with the nation’s literary royalty and socialites over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the celebrity presenters and finalists posed for pictures on the red carpet. A photo booth was stationed near the noted guests in attendance included previous Giller Prize winners Dr. Vincent Lam and Linden Macintyre, Hon. Bob Rae, Eleanor Watchel, and therapist and Toronto Star columnist Ellie Tescher.

The CBC broadcasted the televised portion of
the night, which was hosted by Canadian TV icon and author, Rick Mercer. Prior to the start of the show, Hon. Bob Rae stepped onto the stage at the show’s interim emcee where he praised Jack Rabinovitch for creating a legacy where writing and culture are celebrated. At the beginning of the show, Rick Mercer made the audience erupt with laughter with his witty jokes and humourous interviews with the five finalists at the Halifax Public Library.

The celebrity presenters provided stirring and insightful commentary for their respective authors’ works. Polaris prize and Academy award winning musician, Buffy Sainte-Marie, called Andre Alexis’ novel, “Fifteen Dogs”, a wise and poignant novel that revels in intense pleasures of philosophy. Television actor Torri Higginson, described Rachel Cusk’s novel, “Outline”, a luminous work of prose and praised Cusk for her painter’s eye and surgical precision in her writing. Other presenters included Guillaume Cote, (principal dancer the National Ballet of Canada) for “Arvida” by Samuel Archibald, Cameron Bailey (TIFF Artistic Director and 2015 Canada Reads champion) for “Martin John” by Anakana Schofield, and Measha Brueggergosman (Canadian soprano) for “Daydreams of Angels” by Heather O’Neill.

The room erupted into loud applause when Jack Rabinovitch and Scotiabank Group Head of Canadian Banking declared Andre Alexis and his novel as the winner of the 2015 Giller Prize.

Clearly shocked and blown away by the announcement, he thanked all of the wonderful people who have helped and inspired him in his acceptance speech. It is also worth noting that he was also named the recipient of the Rogers Writer’s Trust prize in Fiction ($25,000), a prestigious literary prize that recognizes exceptionally talented Canadian writers for the year’s best novel or short story collection. Congratulations to Andre Alexis and to the finalists of the 22nd Annual Scotiabank Giller Prize.

About the Scotiabank Giller Prize
The Scotiabank Giller Prize strives to highlight the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. Starting in 2014, the prize awarded $100,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists. To learn more about the Scotiabank Giller Prize, please visit the website

© 2015 Article by Aleka Allen, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents

Category: Arts
Start Date: 2015-11-10
End Date: 2015-11-10
Venue: Ritz Carlton Hotel

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