Thursday, November 06, 2014

Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala: CBC's Rick Mercer replaces ousted Jian Ghomeshi as host of awards show

CBC's Rick Mercer

With the downward spiral of CBC's ousted Jian Ghomeshi, the on-air journalist's to-do list keeps getting shorter and shorter. So it was no surprise that soon after CBC gave Ghomeshi the heave-ho, the Scotiabank Giller Prize had second thoughts about having him host its annual literary gala -- to be broadcast on CBC Monday, November 10 (times vary). Replacing him will be CBC veteran TV host Rick Mercer. Here's what the Giller Prize had to say about the switch on its website : 

"As our broadcast partner, it is up to the CBC to select a Scotiabank Giller Prize gala host. We respect that decision, and that is the decision we communicated via social media yesterday (Sunday, October 26th) in response to inquiries. We all recognize fans and followers are feeling dismay and confusion. We thank those who have offered supportive words to the Giller Prize as we work to bring our occasion back to a focus on celebrating Canadian literature and our six authors shortlisted for this year’s prize. We will share our further updates and those of our partners as they become available."

Rick Mercer is best known for his political satire on the CBC shows This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report. Joining him will be six presenters who will introduce the authors and their books. They include:
  • The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis will be presented by Kim Coates
  • Tell by Frances Itani will be presented by Yannick Bisson
  • Us Conductors by Sean Michaels will be presented by David Usher
  • The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O’Neill will be presented by Jessica ParĂ©
  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews will be presented by Naomi Klein
  • The Ever After of Ashwin Rao by Padma Viswanathan will be presented by Deepa Mehta
JUNO-nominated classical pianist Jan Lisiecki, a 19-year-old, will perform during the gala. 

The Scotiabank Giller Prize highlights the best in Canadian fiction each year. Beginning in 2014, the prize will award $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the five finalists. The award is named in honor of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband, Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch.
Jian Ghomeshi will be a no-show at the black-tie gala at the Ritz-Carlton.


Watch the Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala live online! Monday, November 10, CBC Books