Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik win Toronto Book Award for Moving the Museum

Moving the Museum

Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik have been awarded the 2023 Toronto Book Award for their work Moving the Museum, published by Goose Lane Editions. The City of Toronto made the announcement last night at the North York Central Library in conjunction with program partner Toronto Public Library (TPL). This is the 49th year of the Toronto Book Awards. The annual awards offer $15,000 in total prize money with $10,000 awarded to the winner and each shortlisted finalist awarded $1,000.

The 2023 Toronto Book Awards volunteer jury described Nanibush and Uhlyarik’s book as “revelatory,” saying the book “kicks the colonial gaze to the curb, insisting instead that museums and galleries radically shift what they’ve been doing and offers page after page enacting the potential of Indigenous art to empower, inspire, and create community.”

Moving the Museum documents the reopening of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) with a renewed focus on the Indigenous art collection. The book reflects on the nation-to-nation treaty relationship that is the foundation of Canada, asking questions, discovering truths and leading conversations that address the weight of history and colonialism.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation at the southern tip of Georgian Bay. She is the inaugural curator of Indigenous Art and co-head of the Indigenous & Canadian Art Department at Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto. Nanibush’s retrospective exhibition “Robert Houle Red is Beautiful” is currently showing at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Georgiana Uhlyarik is the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art and co-lead of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art at the AGO.

Moving the Museum was chosen from a list of finalists that  included:
• Finding Edward by Sheila Murray (Cormorant)
• Wild Fires by Sophie Jai (The Borough Press)
• Clara at the Door with a Revolver by Carolyn Whitzman (On Point Press)
• Nomenclature by Dionne Brand (Penguin Random House)

TPL has created a reading list of the 2023 Toronto Book Awards shortlisted titles, available on the TPL website: https://account.torontopubliclibrary.ca/shared/toronto-book-awards-2023-shortlist/LVI4dm1IeFYFUDgadfY2r8QyNyPnOjLzvDvJhuL8bDB7cAuLQu.

The 2023 Toronto Book Awards Jury comprises writers, educators and other dedicated members of Toronto’s literary community including Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Jamila-Khanom Allidina, Steven W. Beattie, Sue Carter and Karen Lee.

This year, the Toronto Book Awards received 105 submissions. The jury noted the high quality of work and was delighted to have been able to include non-fiction, fiction and poetry among the shortlisted finalists.

More information about the awards is available at www.toronto.ca/book_awards and on Twitter at @Culture_TO and #tobookawards.


“Congratulations to Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik on winning the 2023 Toronto Book Award for their extraordinary contributions and editing of ‘Moving the Museum.’ I encourage everyone to read this beautifully illustrated book and then visit the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art at the AGO. I hope that Torontonians will add all of this year’s Toronto Book Awards nominated titles to their reading lists.”
– Vickery Bowles, City Librarian at Toronto Public Library

“Congratulations to Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik, recipients of the 2023 Toronto Book Award, for their impactful book Moving the Museum. Thank you to all of the finalists for their brilliant work, which continues to reflect the diversity of our city. I encourage every Torontonian to pick up one or more of this year’s titles from your local bookstore or borrow a copy from a Toronto Public Library branch. Every single one of them is well worth the read and teaches you something new about our city.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Vice-Chair, Economic and Community Development Committee

SOURCE City of Toronto

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