Wanda Nanibush, Georgiana Uhlyarik, win 2023 Toronto Book Award for ‘Moving the Museum’

Winners of 2023 Toronto Book Award. Image credit: @cityoftoronto

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Toronto/CMEDIA: The 2023 Toronto Book Award (TBA), on the 49th year of TBA — has been conferred on Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik for their work Moving the Museum, published by Goose Lane Editions, the City of Toronto announced last night at the North York Central Library in conjunction with program partner Toronto Public Library (TPL), said a news release.

Offering $15,000 in total prize money with $10,000, the annual Toronto Book Award is given to the winner and each shortlisted finalist awarded $1,000.

Nanibush and Uhlyarik’s book is described as “revelatory” by The 2023 TBA volunteer jury “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.”

Documenting the reopening of the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Moving the Museum emphasizes a renewed focus on the Indigenous art collection. and reflects on the nation-to-nation treaty relationship in search for truth and leading conversations to address history and colonialism.

An Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation at the southern tip of Georgian Bay, Wanda Nanibush is the inaugural curator of Indigenous Art and co-head of the Indigenous & Canadian Art Department at Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto.

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

“Congratulations to Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik…for their extraordinary contributions and editing of ‘Moving the Museum.’ I encourage everyone to read this…book and then visit the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art at the AGO.” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian at Toronto Public Library.

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. is currently showcasing Nanibush’s retrospective exhibition “Robert Houle Red is Beautiful

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)

A reading list of the 2023 Toronto Book Awards shortlisted titles created by TPLis available on the TPL website.

Jury of the 2023 Toronto Book Awards 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.

The TBSA received 105 submissions this year. After considering the high quality of work, the jury included non-fiction, fiction and poetry among the shortlisted finalists.