March 24, 2003

Toronto, ON - Jack Rabinovitch, founder of The Giller Prize, is pleased to announce that jurist Rosalie Silberman Abella, scholar and academic David Staines and author Rudy Wiebe will comprise The 2003 Giller Prize jury.

Rosalie Abella was appointed to the Ontario Family Court Bench in 1976 at the age of 29, making her Canada's youngest (and first Jewish female) judge. In 1992, she was promoted to the Court of Appeal. Justice Abella chaired the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Ontario Law Reform Commission. She has been a member of numerous organizations, including the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and is a specially-elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. As sole commissioner of the 1984 Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, she created the concept of 'employment equity'. Justice Abella is a frequent lecturer in Canada and abroad, and has 18 honourary doctorates. A prodigious reader, Justice Abella has also written or co-edited four books and more than seventy articles. Justice Abella lives in Toronto with her husband Irving Abella.

David Staines has been the Dean of Arts at the University of Ottawa since 1996. Staines, along with the late Mordecai Richler, was a member of the original Giller Prize jury in 1994, the inaugural year of the Prize, and for the following two years. As one of the longest standing members of the Giller Prize Advisory Board, Staines was instrumental in setting up the Prize. He has been a Teaching Fellow and Associate Professor at Harvard University, an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London and a Five-College Professor at Amherst College, Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. Staines sits on numerous editorial and advisory boards including the Journal of Canadian Poetry, the New Canadian Library and Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching. Staines has lectured widely in North America on contemporary Canadian, romantic and medieval literature and is the author, editor and anthologist of more than 100 books, articles and reviews. David Staines currently lives in Ottawa.

Rudy Wiebe is an internationally-published writer whose studies in theology, creative writing and English took him to schools in Alberta, Manitoba, Iowa and Germany. He has written nine novels, is an essayist, anthologist and professor, and has lectured in 24 countries around the world. Wiebe was made an Officer of The Order of Canada in 2000. He has won the Governor-General's Award for Fiction twice: in 1973 for The Temptations of Big Bear and in 1994 for A Discovery of Strangers. In 1995, Wiebe was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame. His 1998 work Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman, which Wiebe wrote with Yvonne Johnson, won numerous accolades including the Viacom Canada Book Award. Wiebe has written two made-for-tv movie screenplays and last year had three other scripts optioned for films. He has been published in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Rudy Wiebe currently lives in Edmonton with his wife Tena.

This year, the shortlist is scheduled to be announced at a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, October 2. The winner will be announced at a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel on Tuesday, November 4, 2003.

The Giller Prize awards $25,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. The award was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. The Prize is now celebrating its tenth year.

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