First Nation Communities Read 2016-2017 Announces – Winner of the PMC Aboriginal Literature Award

The winner of the PMC Aboriginal Literature Award is: Spirit Bear. Illustrated by Michael Arnott. Written by Jennifer Harrington.
Toronto, June 20, 2016 – First Nation Communities Read (FNCR) and Periodical Marketers of Canada (PMC) are pleased to announce that:
  • Spirit Bear, illustrated by Michael Arnott and written by Jennifer Harrington is the selected title of First Nations Communities Read 2016-2017 and the recipient of this year’s PMC Aboriginal Literature Award. Spirit Bear is published by Eco Books 4 Kids.

The Aboriginal Literature Award, inspired by the goals of the FNCR program, recognizes the work of the creators of outstanding Aboriginal literature and supports the objectives of PMC’s Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters (FACL). The annual award of $5,000 is provided through a FACL funding commitment. Tom Worsley, representing PMC, with FNCR jurors on hand, presented the award to Michael Arnott at 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 23, at the National Aboriginal Day celebrations held at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario.
A jury of librarians from First Nation public libraries in Ontario, with coordination support from Southern Ontario Library Service, selected Spirit Bear from more than 24 titles submitted by Canadian publishers. An announcement of five short-list contenders preceded the selection decision. In arriving at its selection decision, the jury agreed that the book is an important one that tells a story of friendship, perseverance, bravery, and trust. The reader follows Anuk, a white bear cub (spirit bear) who has swept away from home and must make his way back to his mother. Spirit Bear is full of lovely full-colour illustrations by artist Michael Arnott that introduce children to 22 animals from the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, many of whom are endangered.
First Nation Communities Read is the Ontario First Nation public library community’s contribution to the popular reading movement. Launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, it promotes a community-based approach to reading,FNCR:
  • encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
  • increases awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing;
  • promotes the publication, sharing, and understanding of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences;
  • increases awareness and sales of the titles it honours.
Southern Ontario Library Service is mandated to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport by:
  • increasing cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers in order to      promote the provision of library service to the public;
  • assisting public library boards by providing them with services and programs that reflect their needs, including consultation, training, and development.
For more information about First Nation Communities Read and Southern Ontario Library Service, contact:
Nancy Cooper
First Nations Consultant
Southern Ontario Library Service
Telephone: 416-961-1669, Ext. 5194
Periodical Marketers of Canada is the national association of magazine and book wholesalers serving 35,000 retail newsstands. Periodical Marketers of Canada was established under federal charter in 1942 for the purpose of furthering the wholesale periodical distribution industry and contributing to the encouragement of reading in Canada. Current members of the association are: Monahan Agency, Vernon, BC; Metro News, Toronto, ON; TNG, Burlington, ON.
PMC’s ongoing activities include funding of a nonprofit charitable foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters, which makes contributions to individuals and agencies engaged in the encouragement of literacy and reading in Canada.
For more information about Periodical Marketers of Canada, contact:
Barry Francis
Periodical Marketers of Canada

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