The Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award is presented annually by the Association of Book Publishers of BC to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the book publishing industry in the province.
This award recognizes the importance of the many individuals who comprise the book industry; their energy and creativity are essential to the continued creation and dissemination of books that tell our stories.
The award is made in the name of Gray Campbell who, with his wife Eleanor Campbell, pioneered regional publishing with Gray’s Publishing, which he established in 1962. “Few realize we got into this caper,” Gray said, “by trying to help a blind war veteran, several Natives and a few, shy, remote talents who felt they would never be able to storm the gates of the older, eastern houses.”
Gray’s went on to publish many significant books and good stories including M. Wylie Blanchet’s The Curve of Time, a much beloved BC classic, George Clutesi’s fables of the Tse-Shant People, Son of Raven, Son of Deer, and Wildflowers of British Columbia by Lewis J. Clark, which remains the definitive guide to BC’s flora.
Gray Campbell demonstrated that books by our writers about our people, resources, history and literature are culturally important and economically viable. He paved the way for the many fine publishers operating in British Columbia today.
In June of 2000, the BC book industry was deeply saddened to learn of Gray Campbell’s death, very soon after the first Campbell Award was presented to Alan Twigg.