Well that was exciting! It's not every night that one is invited over to the Queen's place for dinner! Government House is the perfect venue for the BC Book Prize Gala dinner - and the Queen's representative in British Columbia (the Honorable Iona Campanolo, PM, CM, OBC) a gracious host for the evening's festivities. Many members of the BC literati were present and the room was electric with anticipation (and hunger pangs) as the awards were presented by the likes of Ted Harrison, Pamela Porter, and Carla Funk. William Deverell was a fine Master of Ceremonies and Patrick Lane a worthy recipient of the Lietenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.
It was positively nerve-wracking to be sitting at the Sono Nis table while the nominees were read out for the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award. Yetsa's Sweater was nominated (Yetsa, Joan Larson, and Sylvia Olsen were all on hand...) but alas, had the misfortune of being pitted against David Suzuki's autobiography (the winner). Katherine Gordon's Made to Measure was nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. I have never seen a smile so huge as the one that lit up Katherine's face when her name was read out as the winner! What a thrill to be part of it all!
While it is unusual to be wined and dined in a hall with light fixtures like this one,
the strangest moment must have been when we all had to stand and raise our glasses to the Queen herself. Reminded me of my days in elementary school when we all had to sing God Save the Queen on a regular basis.
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! (here's a link to the complete list)