Redeemer has been a supporter of the arts across Hamilton for many years. It has worked with the Hamilton Poetry Centre to bring a number of Canadian poets to campus, the Concert Choir performs, often with other ensembles such as the Hamilton Philharmonic orchestra, and it displays the work of several local and regional artists each year in the Art Gallery.
Continuing that involvement, Redeemer was front and centre at this year’s Short Works Prize for Writing (SWP). It sponsored the Redeemer University College Prizes for Writing, given to two emerging writers in the Unpublished Category, recognizing aspiring writers who have never been professionally published.
One prize was given to Peter Karuna, a professional artist working with photography, video, sculpture and installation art. His work has been exhibited across Canada, and internationally, and he has been teaching photography at the Dundas Valley School of Art for more than twenty years. Peter was presented the award for his piece titled Around the houses to bob, money and dust.
The other award was given to Elisha Stam, a passionate emerging writer who lives in Hamilton. Shewas honoured for her short story titled Vandermeer. She can be followed on Twitter @elisha_stam.
Redeemer alumni were also involved with the Awards. Richard Van Holst ’86 (who received the Short Works Prize for Fiction last year) was a juror for this year’s awards.
There was also an award winning alumnus. Brent van Staalduinen ’01 won the City of Hamilton Ward 1 Fiction Prize for his short story Mum 2 Mum. Brent also received an Honourable Mention in the Non-Fiction Category for a piece called “Finding Iraq.” Commenting on the awards, Brent said, “It’s been a pretty amazing couple of years, writing-wise.”
The Short Works Prize for Writing was founded in partnership by Bryan Prince Bookseller, Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine, and the Hamilton Public Library. The 2015 Awards Celebration took place on September 27 at the McMaster Innovation Park. Besides Redeemer, the SWP Awards were sponsored by McMaster University, Mohawk College, The Rotary Club of Hamilton AM, and the City of Hamilton Ward 1.