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George Ryga Award Winners

2018 Winner

Travis Lupick, a journalist who has lived on the Downtown Eastside for years, won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness for Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction (Arsenal Pulp Press). The book documents how a coterie of courageous Vancouverites helped destitute drug users get basic housing, clean needles, and a supervised injection site, the latter a first in North America. Lupick has written for the Georgia Straight, Toronto Star and Al Jazeera. Shortlisted for this year’s award were: Gary Geddes for Medicine Unbundled: A Journey through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care (Heritage House); David Suzuki and Ian Hanington for Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do (Greystone).

2017 Winner

Wade Davis: Wade Davis Photographs (D&M)

Shortlist: Stephen Collis: My Blockadia (Talonbooks); Eric Jamieson: The Native Voice: The Story of How Maisie Hurley and Canada’s First Aboriginal Newspaper Changed a Nation (Caitlin)

Andrew MacLeod

Andrew MacLeod

2016 Winner

Andrew MacLeod: A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour 2015).

Shortlist: David Boyd: The Optimistic Environmentalist: Progressing Toward a Greener Future (ECW); Larry Gambone: No Regrets (Edmonton: Black Cat Books); Chris and Josh Hergesheimer: The Flour Peddler (Caitlin); Carrie Saxifrage: The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift (New Society); David Suzuki: Letters to My Grandchildren (Greystone).

2015 Winner

Shelley Wright: Our Ice is Vanishing / Sikuvat Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change (McGill-Queen’s)

Shortlist: Michael Buckley: Meltdown in Tibet: China’s Reckless Destruction of Ecosystems from the Highlands of Tibet to the Deltas of Asia; Ann Rogers and John Hill: Unmanned: Drone Warfare and Global Security

Bev Sellars

Bev Sellars

2014 Winner

Bev Sellars: They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School (Talonbooks).

Shortlist: Adrienne Fitzpatrick: The Earth Remembers Everything; Gillian Wigmore: Dirt of Ages

2013 Winner

Joel Bakan: Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children

Shortlist: Michael Christie: The Beggar’s Garden; Howard White: A Hard Man to Beat: The Story of Bill White, Labour Leader, Historian, Shipyard Worker, Raconteur

2012 Winner

The Ryga Prize was not presented in 2012

Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese

2011 Winner

Richard Wagamese: One Story One Song

Shortlist: Gabor Gasztonyi: A Room in the City: Photographs of Gabor Gasztonyi; Sylvia Olsen: Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater; Benjamin Perrin: Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking; John Vaillant: The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

2010 Winner

Larry Campbell, Neil Boyd and Lori Culbert: A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future

Shortlist: Elizabeth Bachinsky: God of Missed Connections; Kevin Loring: Where the Blood Mixes

2009 Winner

Steven Galloway: The Cellist of Sarajevo

Shortlist: Brian Dedora: A Slice of Voice at the Edge of Hearing; JoAnn Dionne: Little Emperors: A Year with the Future of China; Manjit Virk: Reena: A Father’s Story

Leila Nadir

Leila Nadir

2008 Winner

Leilah Nadir: The Orange Trees of Baghdad

Shortlist: Gary Geddes: Falsework; Ernest Hekkanen: Of a Fire Beyond the Hills

2007 Winner

Harold Rhenisch: The Wolves at Evelyn

Shortlist: Daniel Francis: Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver’s Sex Trade; Lynne Van Luven: Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids

2006 Winner

Leslie Robertson and Dara Culhane: In Plain Sight: Reflections on Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver

Shortlist: Jean Barman: Stanley Park’s Secret: The Forgotten Families of Whoi Whoi, Kanaka Ranch, and Brockton Point; Michael Kluckner: Vanishing British Columbia

2005 Winner

Robert Hunter: The Greenpeace to Amchitka: An Environmental Odyssey

Shortlist: Stephen Hume and Alexandra Morton: A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming; Roy Miki: Redress: Inside the Japanese Canadian Call for Justice

Maggie Devries

Maggie Devries

2004 Winner

Maggie De Vries: Missing Sarah

Shortlist: Marie Clements: Burning Vision; Matt Hern: Field Day: Getting Society Out of School; Patricia E. Roy: The Oriental Question: Consolidating a White Man’s Province, 1914-41