Entertainment

CBC wins rights to Giller Prize gala

The Giller Prize ceremony, celebrating Canada's richest literary award for English fiction, is returning to CBC.

The Giller Prize ceremony, celebrating Canada's richest literary award for English fiction, is returning to CBC.

On Wednesday, Kirstine Stewart, CBC executive vice-president of English services, announced a five-year deal for an exclusive media partnership with Giller Prize founder Jack Rabinovitch.

CBC-TV will begin broadcasting the Giller Prize this November, with possible use of the program on CBC Radio, CBC specialty channels and CBC.ca.

Johanna Skibsrud won the Giller, which comes with a prize of $50,000, last November for her novel, The Sentimentalists.

The annual Giller gala celebrates all five finalists before announcing the winner.

The first Giller Prize in November 1994 was awarded in a ceremony broadcast by CBC, but since 2005, the awards have been broadcast by CTV.

Rabinovitch founded the prize in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who died cancer in 1993. The prize initially was $25,000, but Scotiabank's sponsorship begun in 2005 doubled the prize and added a $5,000 award for each finalist.

Rabinovitch called CBC "a natural fit" for the prize. "It's just a wonderful partnership; it's the right place at the right time," he told CBC News.

"I think given the background with Canada Reads and some of the other initiatives we put forward for Canadian authors, I think it really extends that part of what we do, with books and authors in Canada, so I think it's a great opportunity," Stewart said after the announcement at Toronto's Empire Club.

"And I think it's a lovely event and such a great prize and a prestigious prize and we're very honoured to be having it."

CBC's literary programs include the annual Canada Reads competition, the "Stranger Than Fiction" series on CBC Radio's Sunday Edition, The Next Chapter, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel and the CBC Book Club and other online content at CBC Books.

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