© Nigel Armstrong - The Guardian
Harry Baglole, left, receives congratulations from Paul Robinson, board member of the Atlantic Book Award Society. Baglole is the inaugural recipient of the Pioneer Award at this year’s Atlantic and PEI Book Awards gala held in Charlottetown Wednesday. Baglole was the creator of Ragweed Press and is an accomplished author, says the society.
Harry Baglole of Bonshaw is this year's recipient of the first ever Pioneer Award from the Atlantic Book Awards Society.
It was presented Wednesday at the combined Atlantic Book Awards - P.E.I. Book Awards gala at the P.E.I. Convention Centre.
Also receiving an award was Acorn Pressfor Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island by Jesse Francis and A.J.B. Johnston. It received the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s best Atlantic-published book award.
The award description says that it goes to a publisher whose book possesses the best balance of content, presentation, quality of design and production, as well as contributing the most to an understanding of Atlantic Canada.
The first prize of $5,000 (sponsored by Friesens) is shared between the winning publishing firm ($4,000) and the book’s authors ($1,000).
Later during the gala, the same book also received the PEI book award for non-fiction.
The P.E.I. book award for poetry was presented to The TWIG Collective – A Gathering of Twigs edited by P. Susan Buchanan and Margot Maddison-MacFadyen, published by TWiG Publications.
Riptides: New Island Fiction, edited by Richard Lemm, published by Acorn Press is this year's winner of the P.E.I. book award for fiction.
Baglole's award honours his role in "establishing one of the Island's first publishing houses, Ragweed Press, in 1973, and his leadership in the development of the Institute of Island Studies, and of its publishing arm, Island Studies Press," said his citation.
The award "honours people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and who have, through extraordinary innovation, risk-taking, self-sacrifice, and/or creativity, provided opportunity or inspiration (or both) for those sharing Atlantic Canadian stories through writing and publishing," said the society.
"Baglole, an author in his own right, has also given great encouragement and support to many others in the Island literary community, including Laurie Brinklow, noted Island poet and founder of Acorn Press," the citation says.
"In recent years, Baglole has been particularly active in honouring the legacy of the Island's foremost man of letters, through his work with the Sir Andrew Macphail Foundation."
The Atlantic Book Awards Society is a registered non-profit organization "with the mandate to promote and acknowledge excellence in Atlantic Canadian writing and book publishing through an annual awards ceremony and related events," the organization says.
This is the first time the Atlantic Book Awards gala has been hosted in Prince Edward Island, and the first time that it and the P.E.I. Book Awards were presented in a joint ceremony. More information about the society can be found online at www.atlanticbookawards.ca