City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

Congratulations to the 2019 Victoria Book Prize Winners!

On October 9, 2019, at the 16th annual Victoria Book Prize Gala, Mayor Lisa Helps and co-sponsor Brian Butler presented Kathy Page with the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, and Alyssa Polinsky President of the Victoria Book Prize Society presented Aidan Cassie with the $5,000 Victoria Children’s Book Prize.

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize Finalists

In its 16th year, the $5,000 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The five finalists were: 
  • Robert Amos (non-fiction)
    E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island (TouchWood Editions)

  • Lorna Crozier (poetry)
    God of Shadows (McClelland & Stewart)

  • Esi Edugyan (fiction)
    Washington Black (Patrick Crean Editions)

  • Darrel J. McLeod (biography)
    Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre)

  • Kathy Page (fiction)
    Dear Evelyn (Biblioasis)

Victoria Children's Book Prize

Marking its 12th year, the $5,000 Victoria Children’s Book Prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author or illustrator for the best children’s book published in the preceding year. The three finalists were:

  • Aidan Cassie - Sterling, Best Dog Ever (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

  • Jenny Manzer - My Life as a Diamond (Orca Book Publishers)

  • Kit Pearson & Katherine Farris - The Magic Boat (Orca Book Publishers)
 Thank you to all who submitted entries to the 2019 Victoria Book Prizes.

Awards Gala

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Union Club of British Columbia, 805 Gordon Street
Hosted by CBC Radio's Gregor Craigie, this entertaining evening included readings from shortlisted authors, dessert and the awarding of the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Victoria Children's Book Prize. Cash bar and books available for sale.

Victoria Book Prize Society

The Victoria Book Prize Society is a non-profit organization that establishes the policy and criteria for the two prizes, appoints the juries, and administers the competitions. Two independent juries comprised of representatives from the local literary arts community are appointed by the Society to review and assess the submissions. For more information, click here.

How to Apply

Submission Deadline: Closed on Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Literature in the appropriate genres must have been published between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

 Submissions were to include the following:

  • A submission form - completed and signed.
  • FIVE copies of the book. (One copy will be part of a display at Victoria City Hall.)
  • Entry fee. $25 per entry, payable by cheque to: Victoria Book Prize Society

NOTE: Finalists were required to provide SEVEN additional copies for promotional purposes.

Submission(s) and payment were to be delivered to:
The Victoria Book Prize Society
c/o Jeff Moore
207 Beach Drive
Victoria, BC V8S 2L9


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. This year marks a change for the children’s book prize. The prize is awarded to an author or illustrator of children’s or youth literature and was established in 2008 by the late Mel Bolen of Bolen Books. In 2019, the prize will be awarded as the Victoria Children’s Book Prize, while the Society secures a new sponsor for the award in 2020.

The Victoria Book Prize Society would like to thank and acknowledge the following organizations for their support: City of Victoria, Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies, the Union Club of British Columbia, the Magnolia Hotel and Spa, Chateau Victoria, the Inn at Laurel Point, Friesens Corporation, CBC Radio, Island Blue Print Co. and the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Previous Winners

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize winners include:
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
Bolen Books Children's Book Prize winners include: 
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

Contact Us

Alyssa Polinsky
Victoria Book Prize Society