Imagining Winnipeg was nominated for four awards at Manitoba Book Awards, held April 28 at the West End Cultural Centre.
2013 is the 25th anniversary of the awards, which awards thirteen prizes in a variety of categories.
Here are share the judges’ comments for the four categories in which Imagining Winnipeg was nominated.
Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award – WINNER
“Foote’s images of our city are clear and very well reproduced. The carefully selected photographs replicate the sensibility of a magnificently curated art-show.” – Brian Mlazgar, Natalie Olsen, Paul Tetrault.
The Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award is presented to a Manitoba publisher, designer and illustrator for the book deemed to have the best use of illustrations, including drawings, paintings, photographs, and other artwork. Entries are judged on artistic merit, innovation of form, quality of production values and appropriateness to the intended market.
Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award – NOMINEE
“Winnipeg’s rich history would be lost without photographers like L.B. Foote, whose book gives evidence that this city is more than just concrete and steel. University of Manitoba history professor Esyllt W. Jones dove head first into over 2,500 photographs at the Manitoba Archives and brought together 150 images that capture the way Foote saw Winnipeg. They highlight the people, places, and events that shaped the city into becoming a prairie metropolis. History has a way of being forgotten, but books like Imagining Winnipeg give it a new life.” – Rick Brignall, Helen Norrie, Krista Strang.
The Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award was created to honour books written in English or French that contribute to the appreciation and understanding of life in Winnipeg. The award is sponsored by the City of Winnipeg.
Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher – NOMINEE
“No need to imagine Winnipeg with these fascinating and beautiful black-and-white photos! Esyllt W. Jones’ collection of L.B. Foote’s photography brings the boom years of Winnipeg to life, capturing subjects from all walks of life and covering major events in Manitoba and Canada’s history. The book’s design lets the photographs speak for themselves, with large glossy images that seem vivid without colour. Uncovering lost Foote images and sharing through social media brought this photographer to a wider audience, which he well deserves.” – Stephanie Furrow, Amber Goldie, David Lawrence.
Sponsored by Friesen, the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher is presented to the best book published, in either English or French, for the trade, bookstore, educational, specialty, academic or scholarly market.
McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award – NOMINEE
“Imagining Winnipeg offers us a way of re-imagining not only Winnipeg the history of Canada in the first half of the twentieth century. Beautifully curated by Esyllt W. Jones, this collection presents the work of photographer L.B. Foote in all its mastery and idiosyncrasy. The eclectic subjects of the photographs – the social and political pressures of the 1930s, strikes and union issues, Native life and its representation, diverse cultural identity and relations – brings many aspects of Canadian history back into conversation in new ways. Jones’ insightful introduction establishes the cultural and aesthetic context for Foote’s photographs and asks us ‘to risk a move into unknown territory, beyond the firm ground of well-trod historical narratives,’ so as to look at the history presented within these pages, as well as – by extension – our own time period, in a new light.” – Jake MacDonald, Susan Musgrave, Johanna Skibsrud.
The McNally Robinson Book of the Year is the book judged as the best written in English by a Manitoba author.