York students take prizes for francophone writing

(Left to right: Lélia Young, Mirella Circosta and Claire Martin)

Members and students of the Departments of French Studies, Faculty of Arts and Glendon, the Toronto Society of Writers (La Société des écrivain-e-s de Toronto, La SET) and the Association of Franco-Ontarian Authors ( L’AAOF) recently celebrated francophone writing at an important literary event, at The Esplanade in Toronto, organized by French Prof. Lelia Young, Faculty of Arts.

At the event, the Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize was awarded to York University students who participated in a short-story writing contest, and well-known writers were given recognition. The Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize was established by Young in homage to the writer who founded La Chasse-Galerie in Toronto (1968-1980), organized Toronto francophone writers in 1984 and served as the coordinator of the literacy centre, Alpha-Toronto, from 1988 to 1996.

In addition, as part of the event l’AAOF organized  “Diverse Voices of the franco-Ontarian Book” (“Voix diverses du livre franco-ontarien”).

Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize winners were:

  • First Prize: Mirella Circosta, Glendon College
  • Second Prize: Karine Bellavance, Faculty of Arts
  • Third Prize: Erin Robinson, Faculty of Arts

The first prize was $150 from the Society of Writers of Toronto (La SET). The second and third prizes were $50 each. Winners were also given award certificates, books, the magazine Virages, which publishes short stories, and the literary journal Langage et créativité. Circosta’s short story will be published in Virages; and the short stories of Bellavance and Robinson will be published in Language et créativité (Fall 2003).

This event had been publicized on the radio and in the written press. The first prize winner of the Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize, Mirella Circosta, was mentionned on the TFO programme Panorama (la chronique Les Gens qui bougent), and Radio-Canada announced the names of the three winners.

Quebec novelist Claire Martin, the SET’s guest of honour, read her short story entitled, “Combien j’ai douce souvenance”. Her visit was organized by Young and sponsored by the Canada Council, with support from the Office of Quebec, the Association of Franco-Ontarian Writers and Virages magazine.

Martin is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, Companion of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Governor General’s Prize and and the Prize of the Government of Quebec for La Joue droite, which is the first volume of Dans un gant de fer (Montreal: Le Cercle du livre de France). Her more recent works are Toute la vie, a collection of short stories (Quebec City: L’Instant même, 1999), the novel L’Amour impuni (Quebec City: L’Instant même, 2000) and the novel La Brigande (Quebec City: L’Instant même, 2001).