Thursday, June 12, 2008

Report on The Word Guild Awards Gala - Brent

We have a guest blogger today: Ann Brent, the Director of National Ministries for Empower Ministries, as well as a writer and Professional Member of The Word Guild. She attended The Word Guild Awards Gala last night and has agreed to share some thoughts.

Another exciting Awards Gala hosted by The Word Guild (TWG) is in the history books.

There is a certain electricity in the air at these events. This year it was held again at the World Vision centre in Mississauga, after a year away in Waterloo. The World Vision facility is perfect for this event and the atmosphere provides the ideal setting for what truly is a “gala.”

The event itself was well orchestrated and went off – apparently – without a hitch, beginning on time and moving smoothly throughout the evening. The emcee, Herbie Kuhn, the in-house voice of the Toronto Raptors, kept the evening moving at a regular tempo, providing the perfect balance of humour, sincerity and compassion in response to each award and recipient. At times, it was evident that he was deeply moved by the winner’s words and responded appropriately.

Special music was presented throughout the evening by Jacob Moon of Hamilton. From the response at his CD table following the event, many were moved by his incredible guitar playing and songs.

The winners were abundant and each was celebrated by an audience filled with TWG members, awards finalists, family members and friends. Full details will be available in a press release available at:

An impromptu comedy routine was injected into the evening when Drew Marshall, host of his self-named radio program heard on Joy 1250 AM, took the stage to accept an award on behalf of his friend, William Young, author of The Shack, who received the award for Best Contemporary Novel. The exchange between Drew, the author (reached via a poorly-connected cell phone) and Herbie, kept the audience in stitches for several minutes.

The Word Guild Partnership Award was presented to John Franklin, Executive Director of Imago, an umbrella arts organization which took The Word Guild under its wing from December of 2001 to Dec 31 of 2007, giving TWG a solid base by allowing it to give receipts for all donations and supervising the auditing of the books.

The final writing award of the evening was presented to Dr. David Dautremont of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, for his alternative historical novel, The Golden Conquest. His words of acceptance were particularly moving as he noted the recent passing of a friend and mentor who had encouraged him in his writing.

Connie Brummel Crook was the recipient of the Leslie K. Tarr award, presented at the end of the evening. Her books for children capture Canada’s history and history of faith. Her acceptance speech was very moving as she noted the importance in her life of the solid support of writers and editors who are Christian. This was the 20th anniversary of the first award presented to Leslie K. Tarr, and also marked the 20th anniversary of Connie’s first visit to the God Uses Ink writer’s conference, now named Write! Canada – which begins today in Guelph, Ontario.

The launch of Hot Apple Cider, the compilation book published by That’s Life! Communications, was celebrated as well. This collection of 30 short stories and poetry by 30 of our The Word Guild members was a project spearheaded by founder N.J. Lindquist. The book has been provided as a gift to all attendees of the Girls Night Out events across Canada. This was possible through the generosity of the authors featured in the book.

The Word Guild Awards Gala – a wonderful evening to celebrate the incredible body of writers and editors who are Christian in Canada! And after last night, it was clear that there is more and more to celebrate.

Ann Brent

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a lot of fun. Do you know how I could get a hold of Herbie Kuhn. I would really like to talk to him. Any help would be great. Thanks!

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