Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in English Literary Arts
Hockey player, Olympian, soldier of fortune: these are just three of the careers a young Raymond Fraser considered before settling on his true calling: writing. "I felt it in my bones quite early, the desire to be a writer. At 14 I decided maybe it would be too dull. Thought I'd live an exciting life for a while, and then write when I was older." However by the time the Chatham boy turned 17, Fraser's mind was made up, and New Brunswick's cultural life is the richer for it.
In poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, Raymond Fraser possesses the rare talent of truth telling. Wielding his trademark dry wit, his keen ear for dialogue, and an ability to wring truth from every line, he is, as Farley Mowat has said, "the best literary voice to come belling out of the Maritimes in decades."
He has lived in Montreal, Paris, and Spain. Yet during that time his literary gaze remained fixed on his home province. Eventually, Fraser returned to New Brunswick and now lives in Fredericton. Notable for its sheer diversity, Raymond Fraser's career spans 50 years, and counting. The list includes eight books of fiction, seven collections of poetry, two biographies and a memoir.
Rino Morin Rossignol
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in French Literary Arts
Rino Morin Rossignol's educational background was in visual arts, but over the years he has worked in many different areas, as a non-fiction writer, poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, political strategist, translator and communications specialist. In all of these activities, Rino Morin Rossignol's work is guided by his love of the French language. A writer and an advocate for literature and language, he works energetically to encourage the use, quality, protection and promotion of the French language. He is also a fervent supporter of a strong Francophone identity in a world in which cultures are in constant evolution.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the promotion of the French language, he was honoured with the 125th anniversary medal of the Confederation of Canada in 1992 and the rank of Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pléiade, the Ordre de la Francophonie et du dialogue des cultures awarded by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie in 1998. Besides the unquestionable literary quality of his writing, one of Rino Morin Rossignol's fascinating qualities is his versatility. Over the last three decades, he has published works of theatre, four collections of poetry, a novel, and numerous essays. He is also a columnist with L'Acadie Nouvelle, the provincial French-language daily newspaper, and a much sought-after speaker.
Rino Morin Rossignol has been delicately honing his poetic practices for the past 35 years. He published his first poems in magazines, anthologies and textbooks. In 1988, his first collection of poetry, Les boas ne touchent pas aux lettres d'amour, was published by Éditions Perce-Neige, in Moncton. Two volumes of poetry followed: La rupture des gestes (Éditions d'Acadie, 1994) and L'éclat du silence, (Écrits des Forges, 1998).
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts
Roméo Savoie is one of Acadie's most important visual artists. As one of the first wave of contemporary Acadian artists, he has made a significant contribution to creating a richer and more dynamic cultural climate not only in New Brunswick but throughout the Atlantic region. So far, Romeo Savoie's artistic career has stretched over 45 years; during that time he has remained steadfastly committed to a highly personal exploration in his art, which is firmly rooted in contemporary art practices. Critics and art historians remind us that he is the first abstract painter in eastern Canada. A forerunner and mentor to several generations of younger artists, Savoie's groundbreaking work has been an inspiration to countless artists.
Trained first as an architect, Savoie realized during a trip to Europe in 1964 that he wanted to become a painter, and created his first watercolours in Spain. In 1970, he abandoned architecture and has since dedicated himself entirely to painting. This artist, well-known beyond the province's borders, is also one of Acadie's leading poets and has published six collections of poetry.
Essentially an action painter, Savoie transmits his great energy and specific symbolism to his artwork, using themes he has also elaborated in his literary work. His work seeks to delve more deeply into emotions, feelings, and existential themes. Experiencing one of Roméo Savoie's paintings is a journey into a universe of signs, words and forms that range from pure abstraction to figurative modes. Over the years, his creative approach has remained constant and consistent, and he has produced a unified body of work that never strays from a primordial attention to beauty. For this artist, the world is a site of wonder and wanderings.
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for High Achievement in Theatre
Marcel-Romain Thériault works in theatre, dividing his time and his professional activities among acting, directing, teaching and writing. For over 30 years, he has been taking part in numerous productions, first as an actor, then as a director, and more recently as a playwright. Audiences have watched him perform in approximately ten plays produced by the Théâtre populaire d'Acadie (TPA), where he also directed a number of productions. In 1989, he directed a play for Viola Léger's theatre company, and in 1994 he directed Louis Mailloux, a musical, during the first Acadian World Congress held in Moncton.
Passing his knowledge and skills on to future generations has been one of his ongoing commitments. He has been invited as a guest lecturer several times by the Theatre department at the Université de Moncton. His first play, Le filet — une tragédie maritime was met with enthusiastic success, receiving ovations not only in New Brunswick but also in Ontario and Quebec, confirming that Thériault is a major talent and that his writing has universal relevance. Marcel-Romain Thériault's second play, Disponibles en librairie, was also warmly received by New Brunswick audiences.
Marcel-Romain Thériault has now finished writing his newest play, La persistance du sable. There were play-readings of this work at the Festival à haute voix at Moncton's Théâtre l'Escaouette, at the Dramaturgies en dialogue at the Centre des auteurs dramatique and in Ottawa during the Zones théâtrales event.