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Sep 11: Buffalo Jump-Wins 2000 Vancity Book Prize

Buffalo Jump: A Woman's Travels Wins 2000 Vancity Book Prize

Vancouver, September 11, 2000 - Buffalo Jump: A Woman's Travels by B.C. author Rita Moir - a book about Moir's journey of rediscovery across Canada to the places and people of her past - is the winner of the 2000 Vancity Book Prize. The prize is presented annually to the best B.C.-authored book pertaining to women's issues.

Published by Coteau Books in 1999, Buffalo Jump chronicles Moir's travels - both with her mother, and alone - from her home in Winlaw, B.C. to Manitoba and the Maritimes and back. Moir's travels draw her to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta, which becomes a vital place for her.

"Buffalo Jump is a celebration of the mother-daughter relationship and the place of daughters in the dynamics of a family. Moir celebrates the strength of women's relationships and explores her own history and roots in this country," said Reva Dexter, vice-chair of Vancity's Board of Directors and a book prize judge. "I'd like to congratulate Rita for being chosen for this year's prize."

"The sense of place in this book was moving and evocative," said Mary Collins, chair of Vancouver Public Library Board and also a book prize judge. "In this book, Rita Moir has richly combined the beauty of the Canadian landscape with a sense of spirituality and history that is remarkable. We'd like to thank Rita for sharing her experience with us, as readers."

The $4,000 Vancity Book Prize was founded in 1992 and is co-sponsored by Vancity Credit Union, the Vancouver Public Library, the B.C. Ministry of Women's Equality, and B.C. Bookworld. Winners receive a $3,000 prize from Vancity, along with a $1,000 donation to a women's organization of the author's choice from the Ministry of Women's Equality. Moir's donation will go to the Images Ad Hoc Singers.

"I applaud the organizers of the Vancity Book Prize for their initiative in recognizing the contribution of writers on women's issues," said B.C. Minister of Women's Equality Joan Smallwood. "The government of B.C. places a high priority on advancing the social and economic equality of women in this province, towards a society where women's contributions are fully recognized and valued. Rita Moir's award-winning book helps to build awareness about women's issues and is a tremendous contribution towards this goal."

Honourable mentions for the Vancity Book Prize went to two finalists - Sexual Abuse by Health Professionals (UTP), by Susan Penfold, and Gilean Douglas: Writing Nature - Finding Home (Sono Nis) by Andrea Lebovitz and Gillian Milton.

The judges for the 2000 Vancity Book Prize were: Reva Dexter, Mary Collins, and Carol Dale and Louise Hager, owners of Vancouver's Women in Print Bookstore.

Rita Moir was born in Minneapolis and has lived all over Canada, including Brandon, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Sudbury, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Freeport, Nova Scotia. Her first book, Survival Gear (1994) was short listed for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and the City of Dartmouth Book Award. Her article, Leave Taking, was a 1989 award winner in the event creative non-fiction contest and appeared in the 1996 Norton Anthology and in Best Canadian Essays.

The prize will be awarded to Moir at a presentation ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 24, at the Word on the Street Festival, Main Stage, Library Square, Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver. Hilarie McMurray, deputy minister of women's equality, and Reva Dexter, vice-chair of Vancity's Board of Directors will award the prize. The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $6.4 billion in assets, 262,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility.