Monday Magazine‘s 10th annual M Awards were handed out on April 24 and—no big surprise—a number of Fine Arts faculty and alum were once again among the winners and shortlisted nominees! (Handed out annually to the movers and shakers in Victoria’s arts and cultural scene, these reader-voted awards were actually started back in 2002 by a pair of then-Monday editors with mighty UVic connections: Fine Arts communications honcho John Threlfall and Writing sessional instructor Alisa Gordaneer—both of whom are also UVic alumni.)
Congrats go out this year to Writing prof Lorna Crozier, whose Small Mechanics won “Favourite Book of Poetry”, as well as shortlisted nominees Carla Funk (whose Apologetic was up against Crozier in the poetry category) and Digital Media staffer Dan Hogg (for “Biggest Supporter of Local Film”).
No surprise that a number of alumni were among the winners, too, given our faculty’s ongoing presence in the local arts scene. Big-deal Writing grad Esi Edugyan‘s Half-Blood Blues swept the “Favourite Fiction Book” category (forget about the Giller or that still pending possible Orange Prize—Esi can retire happily now that she’s won an M!), and fellow Writing alum Jeremy Lutter was named “Favourite Filmmaker” (for his recent Victoria Film Festival award-winning Joanna Makes A Friend).
The Department of Theatre also figured prominently in the winner’s list, led by Ian Case, the just-appointed director of our own University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, who was named “Biggest Supporter of Local Theatre” (no doubt for his work with Intrepid Theatre, Victoria Shakespeare Society, William Head on Stage, and Giggling Iguana’s Craigdarroch Castle shows). Britt Small picked up “Favourite Director” in a co-win with Jacob Richmond for their Ride The Cyclone remount; Ride The Cyclone—which starred a number of Theatre alumni (Rielle Braid, Matthew Coulson, Kholby Wardell and Sarah Jane Pelzer)—also picked up “Favourite Overall Production”.
Theatre prof Brian Richmond was shortlisted in the “Favourite Director” category (which he lost to his son, Jacob) for his 2011 Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—the star of which, Meg Tilly, also picked up “Favourite Performer”. Former Theatre student Melissa Blank was also shortlisted in that same category, for her performance in Theatre Inconnu’s A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. (Inconnu is run by Theatre grad and sessional instructor Clayton Jevne.)
Finally, the Victoria Fringe Festival won the oddly named “Favourite Non-Music Event or Festival.” The local Fringe is run by Intrepid Theatre, which is itself run by Theatre grad and noted playwirght Janet Munsil (and, until last month, Ian Case). The Victoria Fringe is a regular showcase for Phoenix talent, graduates and students both, including the likes of Fringe gods TJ Dawe (undisputed king of the solo monologue) and Charles Ross (of One Man Star Wars / Lord of the Rings fame).
Winners receive a Phillip’s growler bottle, to be filled (and refilled) with their brew of choice; shortlisted nominees receive the warm, inner glow of a job well done and a hearty round of applause for their continued efforts to keep Victoria’s arts scene healthy and thriving!