Organizers at the International Festival of Authors have named cartoonist and graphic novelist Seth the winner of the 2011 Harbourfront Festival Prize. The $10,000 prize honours an individual whose work has substantially contributed to the state of literature and books.
According to a press release issued by the Harbourfront Centre, the jury — John van Driel, vice-president of programming and operations at Classical 96.3FM; Denise Donlon, former executive director at CBC Radio; and Geoffrey Taylor, director at IFOA — selected Seth based on the “diversity and range of his illustrations and designs” throughout his career.
In the statement, Seth says a few decades ago he couldn’t have envisioned the acceptance of comics in the literary world, that “the idea of winning something like this was not within the realm of possibilities,” and so “it goes without saying that I am deeply honoured.” Past winners of the prize include Dionne Brand, Wayson Choy, Paul Quarrington, Jane Urquhart, and recent Q&Q cover profile Guy Vanderhaeghe.
Seth will receive the prize at an IFOA event in Toronto on Oct. 29.