City of Victoria Book Prizes

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Victoria Book Prizes!

Esi Edugyan and Wendy Proverbs have won the 2022 Victoria Book Prizes. 

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize Winner

The $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize has been awarded to Esi Edugyan for Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling (House of Anansi Press). Now in its 19th year, this prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the categories of fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling, is an insightful exploration and moving meditation on identity, art and belonging from one of the most celebrated writers of the last decade. Out of the Sun offers new perspectives to challenge us, examining Black histories in art through the lens of visual art, literature, film and the author’s lived experience. In this groundbreaking, reflective and erudite book, Esi Edugyan illuminates the myriad varieties of Black experience in global culture and history.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Victoria, Esi Edugyan is also the author of Half-Blood Blues, Dreaming of Elsewhere and Washington Black, which won the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust and Man Booker Prizes. She has held fellowships in the US, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Spain and Belgium. 

City of Victoria Children's Book Prize Winner

 The $5,000 City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize has been awarded to Wendy Proverbs for Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children (Heritage House). Now in its 15th year, this prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author or illustrator for the best children’s book. 

Aggie and Mudgy is based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt. This novel for young readers traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school. When Maddy discovers an old photograph of two little girls in her grandmother’s belongings, she wants to know who they are. Nan reluctantly agrees to tell her the story, though she is unsure if Maddy is ready to hear it. The girls in the photo, Aggie and Mudgy, were taken from their families at a young age to attend residential school, where they endured years of isolation and abuse.

Wendy Proverbs is an emerging Indigenous author of Kaska Dena descent. She holds a BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Victoria. Like thousands of Indigenous people across Canada, as an infant she was caught in the sweeping scoop of Indigenous children taken from their birth families and was only reunited with biological family members as a young adult. She has acted as a community liaison with Indigenous communities and strives to help younger generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, learn more about their past. Aggie and Mudgy is her debut novel.

Awards Gala 

The winners were announced at an in-person gala emceed by CBC's Kathryn Marlow on Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. 

The finalists were selected by an independent jury, comprised of representatives from the local literary arts community, from among books published between April 2021 and March 2022.

Founded in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies. The City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize recognizes and celebrates exceptional children’s and youth literature in our community. The prize was established in 2008 by the late Mel Bolen of Bolen Books. Additional sponsors include the Union Club of British Columbia, Friesens Corporation, Munro’s Books, Russell Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, CBC Radio, Island Blue Print Co., the Greater Victoria Public Library, Magnolia Hotel & Spa and Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites.

The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes policy and criteria for the prizes, administers the competition and appoints the juries. 

To learn more about the Victoria Book Prize winners and finalists

Previous Winners

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize 
The City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is awarded to a local author for the best book of fiction, literary non-fiction or poetry published in the preceding year. Established in 2004, this prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies.

Previous winners include:
Briony Penn (with the late Cecil Paul), Following the Good River, The Life and Times of Wa’xaid, 2021
Lorna Crozier, The House the Spirit Builds, 2020
Kathy Page, Dear Evelyn, 2019
Bill Gaston, A Mariner's Guide to Self Sabotage, 2018
Yasuko Thanh, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, 2017
Pauline Holdstock, The Hunter and the Wild Girl, 2016
Julie Paul, The Pull of the Moon, 2015
M.A.C.(Marion) Farrant, The World Afloat, 2014
Stephen Reid, A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden, 2013
Madeline Sonik, Afflictions & Departures in 2012
Jack Hodgins, The Master of Happy Endings in 2011
Frances Backhouse, Children of the Klondike in 2010
Patrick Lane, Red Dog, Red Dog in 2009
Arleen Paré, Paper Trail in 2008
Bill Gaston, Gargoyles in 2007
Mark Zuehlke, Holding Juno in 2006
Terrence Young, After Goodlake's in 2005
Kevin Patterson, Country of Cold in 2004

City of Victoria Children's Book Prize
The City of Victoria Children's Book Prize recognizes and celebrates exceptional authors or illustrators of literature for children or youth. The prize was established in 2008 by the late Mel Bolen of Bolen Books and has been sponsored by the City of Victoria since 2020.

City of Victoria Children's Book Prize winners include: 
Leslie Gentile, Elvis, Me and the Lemonade Stand Summer, 2021
Mark Leiren-Yount, Orcas Everywhere: The Mystery and History of Killer Whales, 2020
Aidan Cassie, Sterling, Best Dog Ever, 2019
Monique Gray-Smith, Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, 2018
Margriet Ruurs, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, 2017
Dawn Green, In the Swish, 2016
Chris Tougas, Dojo Daycare, 2015
Daniel Loxton with Jim W.W. Smith, Pterosaur Trouble, 2014
Polly Horvath, One Year in Coal Harbour in 2013
Caitlyn Vernon, Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest in 2012
Kristi Bridgeman, Illustrator, Uirapurú (pronounced oor-a-pur-ú) in 2011
Sylvia Olsen, Counting on Hope in 2010
Penny Draper, Graveyard of the Sea in 2009
Chris Tougas, Mechanimals in 2008
Book Prize Contact:

Kim Gough, President
Victoria Book Prize Society