Governor General’s Literary Awards

April 18, 2024

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Today, we are gathered on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people. With this land acknowledgement, we honour the first peoples of this land, who have been here, and who have told their stories, since time immemorial.

Today, we celebrate our storytellers … we celebrate our stories.

There is exceptional talent and creativity in our Canadian literary community. We are delighted to honour authors, artists and translators with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. After four long years, it is wonderful to welcome you back to Rideau Hall.

These awards recognize the outstanding literary works that have inspired and enriched us…

… that have taken readers on journeys of growth and discovery…

… that have contributed to the vibrant tapestry of Canadian books, art and translation, in both English and French.

Our stories come from across the country. They come from Indigenous communities and rural areas. They come from our sprawling and inclusive cities. They come from the Prairies, from Atlantic Canada, from the Arctic and everywhere in between.

Stories are everywhere. And they are as diverse as we are.

It’s important that we see ourselves in art—and there is artistry in storytelling. It can be life changing to find that one story that speaks to you, to your experience or culture or background. It validates you and what you have been through. We see ourselves in the books we honour today. We see that diversity expressed. And we feel included in Canada’s history.

Being a writer, an artist or a translator, is challenging. You are tenacious, resilient, patient and, of course, talented.

Thank you for the work, for all your words, and for your art. And thank you for being here today so that we can celebrate your accomplishments and everything you have contributed to Canadian literature.

Congratulations to all of you.

Thank you.