Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

One-Woman Play Scoops Kobzar Literary Award

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Jurors Joe Kertes and Frances Itani with Luba Goy and Andrey Tarasiuk Luba, Simply Luba (J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing Inc.)

The Kozbar Literary Award, celebrating excellence in writing on Ukrainian Canadian themes, was awarded last night (March 5) to playwright Diane Flacks in collaboration with Andrey Tarasiuk and Luba Goy for the play Luba, Simply Luba, which premiered at the Berkeley Street Theatre in 2012.

“The play presents poignant moments of Luba Goy's life, as an icon of comedy and Canadian entertainment. Ms. Goy’s views on Ukrainian and Canadian politics, her aspirations as a female Canadian actor, her views on motherhood, aging and meeting Viktor Yushchenko, president of an independent Ukraine, create a memorable and inspiring dramatic narrative,” says Andrij Hladyshevsky, president of the Shevchenko Foundation, which created the biennial award in 2003.

The jury, consisting of Canadian authors Joe Kertes, Frances Itani, Annabel Lyon and Olive Senior had a difficult task, in selecting from not only works of high literary merit, but multiple genres including literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays and musicals.

The final decision, according to juror Joe Kertes came down to a search for "something fresh, original, and well-written."

Flacks, for her part, is no stranger to the award limelight: she previously won an Emmy for her writing work on beloved comedy hit The Kids in the Hall. Goy is a household name in Canada for her long-running stint on CBC's Royal Canadian Air Farce. The third and final winner, Tarasiuk, also brings a long c.v. in stage and screen, having served eight seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival as artistic director and head of new play development. He also initiated and produced Toronto’s annual summer theatre highlight, the Dream in High Park. The three winners receive a $25,000 prize purse.

For more information about the Kobzar Literary Award, past winners and more, please visit the Kobzar Award website.

All photos: credit Andrew Lahodynskyj

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