Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Honours for Laura Secord

Dundurn publisher Kirk Howard, Vice President Beth Bruder, me,
& the Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

It was one of those nice surprises to learn last August that my book, Laura Secord, Heroine of the War of 1812, was one of seven titles Dundurn Press sent to be considered for the 2013 Speaker's Book Award. I put it out of my mind, and I was pleasantly shocked to hear from the publisher himself in November that the book had been nominated. You can read about that on my blog post of November 9, 2013.

The Speaker's Book Award is an annual award "that recognizes works by Ontario authors reflecting the diverse culture and rich history of the province and its people."

This year the awards ceremony was held March 5th in the Legislative Building at Queen's Park, amid much pomp and ceremony. There was a briefing first, while the audience arrived, where the authors of the eleven shortlisted titles got to meet each other and the selection committee, and then we were introduced to the Speaker, the Honourable Dave Levac, a most personable man. 

Then we were led by uniformed guards past the seated audience to the chairs reserved at the front of the dais. The selection committee members introduced each author to the audience and each one in turn, accompanied by one of the guards, mounted the stairs to the dais where the Speaker presented us with our medals. Finally, the winner, Charlie Angus, was announced.

To have come this far, even to have our books chosen in the first place meant we were all winners. Afterwards, we were feted at a reception in the Speaker's apartment, a suite of rooms on the third floor set aside for such occasions.

It's hard to wind down after such an evening. Long after we'd taken the taxi back to our hotel and I'd unpinned my orchid corsage and hung up my medal, I basked in the fleeting fame. A lasting memory.

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