Hélène Harbec, Sébastien Bérubé and Alexis Bourque Honoured at Ceremony Marking the 20th Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie
Thursday, October 04, 2018
The Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie has celebrated its 20th anniversary in a fitting manner by awarded its Prix Quinquennal to Hélène Harbec of Moncton, Prix Annuel to Sébastien Bérubé of Edmundston and Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu to Alexis Bourque of Grande-Digue. In keeping with tradition, the awards ceremony was held earlier this evening as part of the opening night of the Salon du livre de la Péninsule acadienne, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Hélène Harbec is the first woman to receive the Prix Quinquennal, a lifetime achievement award. Ms. Harbec is no stranger to literary distinctions, having been recognized twice previously by the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie for the excellence of her writing with the Prix Annuel in 2002 for her collection Va, published by Les Éditions Perce-Neige, and in 2014 for L’enroulement des iris, published by Les Éditions du Noroît. In its citation, the awards jury noted “the very high quality of Ms. Harbec’s oeuvre and her outstanding contribution to Acadian literature.” She was presented a certificate, a bronze medal engraved with her name and a $5,000 cash award.
Sébastien Bérubé was the recipient of the Prix Annuel 2018 for his poetry collection Là où les chemins de terre finissent, published by Les Éditions Perce-Neige. The jury appreciated the refined style and lively pace of his writing, stating, “There is no doubt that Là où les chemins de terre finissent confirms the immense talent of this emerging Acadian artist whose work resonates with our shared humanity.” As recipient of the Prix Annuel, Mr. Bérubé was presented a certificate, a bronze medal engraved with his name and a $4,000 cash award.
Alexis Bourque was the excited recipient of the Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu for his collection of selected writings including stories, tales and monologues. The young teen impressed the jury with “his fresh style and imaginary worlds as well as his grasp of writing as an act of literary creation.” Alexis made no secret of his great admiration for the award’s namesake, the legendary Antonine Maillet, and has several years’ experience playing the role of Mouque, a storytelling character at Le Pays de la Sagouine, where he creates and delivers his own monologues. The young recipient was presented a certificate along with a $1,000 cash award.
Ms. Maillet was unable to attend the event but, as always, had prepared a message for the award finalists and recipients entitled “En quête d’une vie” (“Searching for a Life”) in which she reflected on the never-ending quest of writers seeking to write the story of their lives. “I am still seeking to write the story of my own life,” she stated. “I’ve been chasing this idea for my entire life. Long before I learned to write, even when all I knew about words was how they sounded and the most elemental ways in which they were put together, much less their meanings—apart from those representing the most basic necessities (…) I was creating my story, a story that would devour the firmament, hop over the horizon, slip into the very heart of the hours threading upon one another like a necklace circling the globe over and over. If I could just dig deep enough to unearth all of these hours, I would find the story of my entire life in one fell swoop.”
2019 literary competition
The 2019 competition is now open, and nominations for the Prix Annuel and Prix Volet Jeunesse Richelieu are being accepted. Additional information concerning the competition is available on the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie website at prixlitteraire.acadie.com.
About the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie
Founded in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of Acadia Life, the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie recognizes Acadians who, through the quality of their work in literature, contribute to the visibility and promotion of Acadia throughout the world. Since 1999, the Prix has awarded $118,000 to 42 Acadian authors in recognition of their work, thereby helping them pursue their passion for literary creation.
About UNI Financial Cooperation
Founded in 1936, UNI Financial Cooperation has $4 billion in assets and 1,000 employees. As the largest Acadian financial institution, it seeks on a daily basis to inspire, support, finance and insure the individual and collective heritage of New Brunswickers. UNI is the only financial institution fully dedicated to the province’s prosperity. For additional information, visit uni.ca.
Anne Godin, Coordinator, Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet–Acadie Vie
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Mario Griffin, Communications and Public Relations Advisor
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