All our Wonder Unavenged, a collection of poetry by Cape Breton native Don Domanski, has won the $25,000 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. The Nova Scotia Masterworks Awards Foundation announced the winner at a reception this afternoon in Halifax at NSCAD University, Port Campus.
Jurors for the 2008 award were: Susan Gibson Garvey (Chair), Canning; Wendy Lill, Dartmouth; Gary Ewer, Halifax; Cory Bowles, Halifax; Marc Poirier, Pointe de l’Eglise; and Sylvia Hamilton, Grand Pre. In selecting All our Wonder Unavenged, the jury noted it “represents the mature accomplishment of a poet with a unique, finely honed voice. Cape Breton native Don Domanski speaks to a wholeness of being in poems that are intimate yet vast, specific yet breathtakingly universal. He finds the marvelous in the ordinary, transforming familiar places and sentiments into transcendent images that persist long after reading. Critics have called this Governor General’s Award-winning collection ‘a spiritual and metaphysical triumph’.”
Her Honour, the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, ONS, DHumL, was present to congratulate Mr. Domanski and said: “I am delighted to present Mr. Domanski with this year’s award. This is the first time the Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Arts Award has been presented to a work of poetry. With over 30 years of challenging and inspiring his readers, Mr. Domanski is truly deserving of this honour.”
Scotiabank, principal sponsor of the award since its inception, has now contributed more than $85,000 to support contemporary Nova Scotia art through this award. Although he was unable to be present, Peter Bessey, Senior Vice President Atlantic Region, noted : “Scotiabank believes that arts and cultural programs pull together community members in a positive way; by sharing the talents of diverse groups, by supporting the development of individual artists and by giving the public a greater appreciation of different cultural perspectives around them. We are proud to be involved in the 2008 award and to celebrate the richness of arts and culture.”
The four other finalists were The Colours of Citizen Arar, visual art by Garry Neill Kennedy; God’s Middle Name, a theatre production developed by Jennifer Overton, Scott Burke, Rejean Cournoyer, Denyse Karn, Michael Doherty and Bruce MacLennan; Tectonic Shift, a forged metal sculpture for musical performance crafted by John Little; and Within Sight of Shore, a musical composition by Scott Macmillan. The creators were each awarded $1500. The finalists can be viewed at www.nsmasterworks.ca.
The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Arts Award is multidisciplinary, open to all contemporary works of art with a strong connection to Nova Scotia, which have had their first public presentation within the previous five years. It is awarded annually, thanks to generous sponsorship from Scotiabank, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Craig Foundation and the Halifax Herald Ltd. Previous winners were Le Petit Cercle (2006), an outdoor children’s theatre in Cheticamp, and Breathing under Water (2007), a video installation involving projection, sound and sculpture.