Depending on what kind of mood he was in and whether he was trying to dry out, Bob Edwards would have loved the award named after him. It goes to troublemakers of the highest order (and in the best way) and features not only an awards gala with a 1912-inspired dinner and drinks, but a scotch tasting too.
This year’s award goes to Mary Walsh (hey, look on the other side of the paper, there’s even an interview with her!), who joins a long list of irascible muckrakers who have been honoured with this intoxicating title.
Past winners include Gwynne Dyer, Lawrence Hill, George Strombolopolollipop (or something like that), Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, John Raulston Saul, Catherine Ford, Pierre Berton, Mordecai Richler, Rick Mercer and even Preston Manning.
Started in 1974 by Alberta Theatre Projects, the award has been gifted to the Calgary Public Library Foundation in honour of the library’s 100th anniversary. The foundation isn’t taking its newfound responsibility sitting down. Naturally it’s continuing with the gala and scotch tasting, but it’s also building a website where more Calgarians can learn about Bob, read about past winners of the award and showcase the work of the foundation.
All the proceeds from the event on November 8 will go to support the Building Readers for Life program at city libraries, which focuses on early literacy skills for children. You can drink scotch and think of the children (well, okay, maybe not think of them, but you can help them by drinking scotch!).
Ironically, the scotch tasting takes place in the Canadian Pacific Railway Pavilion adjacent to the Palliser (Bob relentlessly attacked the CPR during his time). The event will set you back $100 and runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The award gala takes place in the Crystal Ballroom of the Palliser and will set you back $375 (it’s for a good cause, people). The reception starts at 6 p.m. followed by the meal and an after-dinner scotch tasting with a Scotch Master.