Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council
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Joel Thomas Hynes wins the 2017 BMO Winterset Award


March 22, 2018 (St. John's, NL) – Joel Thomas Hynes is the winner of the 2017 BMO Winterset Award for his book We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night. The award, which celebrates excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing, was presented today at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s.

The two other finalists were Bridget Canning for The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jayne (Breakwater Books, St. John’s, NL) and Wayne Johnston for First Snow, Last Light (Alfred A. Knopf Canada; imprint of Penguin Random House Ltd., Toronto, ON).

The BMO Winterset Award is composed of a partnership between the BMO Financial Group and those involved from the start - ArtsNL and the project’s founder, writer Richard Gwyn, OC. The prize awarded to the annual winner is $12,500, while the finalists each receive $3,000. It is one of Atlantic Canada’s richest literary prizes.

We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night (Harper Perennial; imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Toronto, ON) was one of 31 works by Newfoundland and Labrador authors (either native-born or resident) that were submitted by publishers from across the country. Books in any genre, published in 2016 were eligible. The jury consisted of Donna Morrissey, Chad Pelley, and Paul Rowe.

The BMO Winterset Award honours the memory of Sandra Fraser Gwyn, St. John’s-born social historian, prize-winning author, who did so much to promote a national awareness of the arts of this province. Her husband, journalist and author Richard Gwyn, OC, established the award in 2000. It is named after the historic house on Winter Avenue in St. John’s where Sandra grew up.

Joel Thomas Hyneswon his first Governor General’s Literary Award in 2017 with We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night, the development of which was supported by an ArtsNL Professional Project Grants Program grant in 2013. The title was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and it was one of four titles selected for #NLReads by the provincial public libraries. He’s published numerous books and plays, including the novels Down to the Dirt (2004) which was a finalist for the 2004 BMO Winterset Award, Right Away Monday (2007), and Straight Razor Days (2012). His screen adaptation of his novella Say Nothing Saw Wood (2013) was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards and won numerous awards on the festival circuit. The new comedy series Little Dog created by Joel and featuring him in the lead role, premiered this winter on CBC. Joel divides his time between Toronto and St. John’s, NL.

The BMO Winterset Award is managed by ArtsNL.

Media Contact:
Joshua Jamieson
Communications Officer, ArtsNL
Phone: (709) 726-2212 ext. 203
Mobile: (709) 746-6531
Toll free: 1 (866) 726-2212 (NL only)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (now known as ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual grant of $1.9 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.