In 1994, in the aftermath of civic events held to recognize the literary career of George Woodcock, B.C. BookWorld began working in partnership with the City of Vancouver (Mayor of Vancouver's office), the Vancouver Public Library and a non-profit society (Pacific BookWorld News Society, founded in 1988) to jointly sponsor and present an annual prize to a senior B.C. author whose enduring contribution to the literary arts spans several decades. Initial the corporate sponsor for this undertaking was BC Gas, later renamed Terasen. In 2007, the TERASEN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was renamed the GEORGE WOODCOCK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. This ongoing award annually honours an outstanding literary career in British Columbia.
Each year another commemorative plaque is installed in the Writers' Walk at the Vancouver Public Library on Georgia Street in Vancouver. The Mayor of Vancouver, or his representative, attends a presentation ceremony and issues a proclamation in honour of the recipient, who received a cash award. Winners are announced with press releases and full-page notices in B.C. BookWorld which reaches 100,000 readers per issue via more than 700 outlets throughout B.C.
The recipients of the annual LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for B.C. authors have been:
Eric Nicol (1995)
Jane Rule (1996)
Barry Broadfoot (1997)
Christie Harris (1998)
Phyllis Webb (1999)
Paul St. Pierre (2000)
Robert Harlow (2001)
Peter Trower (2002)
Audrey Thomas (2003).
P.K. Page (2004)
Alice Munro (2005)
Jack Hodgins (2006)
bill bissett (2007)
Information on all these writers can be found elsewhere on this website. Simply search for their names at the opening menu.
Winners are nominated by letters from the general public. A selection committee consists of the board of directors of Pacific BookWorld News Society. These presently include Paul Whitney (Director, Vancouver Public Library); Howard White (Publisher, Encyclopedia of British Columbia); Jean Barman, UBC Historian, author of The West Beyond the West: The History of British Columbia), Dr. Rowland Lorimer (Director, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing), Andreas Schroeder (author, former director, UBC Creative Writing), Don Stewart (bookseller), Lynn Copeland (Director, SFU Bennett Library), and Margaret Reynolds (Executive Director, Association of Book Publishers of B.C.). There is no discrimination with regards to genres of writing other than all recipients must be authors of books.
For more information about the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, contact 604-736-4011. To nominate a candidate for the award, send a brief letter or postcard to George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award c/o BC BookWorld, 3516 West 13th Avenue Vancouver B.C. V6R 2S3.
Photo at right: The Writers' Walk, Vancouver Public Library