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Diane Pinch Wins George Ryga Award!


Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020 at 6:27pm

Diane Pinch’s non-fiction homage to the Sierra Club of BC, Passion and Persistence: Fifty Years of the Sierra Club in British Columbia, has won the 2020 George Ryga Award.

Since 2004, the annual Ryga Award has been presented to a BC writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year.

Replete with first-hand accounts, maps and photos, Passion and Persistence is a heartfelt and in-depth look at environmentalism in Western Canada through the years, from the perspective of one of the province’s most influential groups in operation.

Diane Pinch is a retired psychologist and long-time volunteer with Sierra Club BC who lives in Victoria, BC. She spent five years digging through archives and interviewing colourful and charismatic Sierra Club BC members to put together a faithful narration of the challenges and successes the club faced over the past fifty years.

“I am thrilled to win this award and honoured to follow in the footsteps of its amazing past winners. Its support means a lot to me,” writes Pinch, who is donating all royalties from the sales of Passion and Persistence to Sierra Club BC.

“Writing this book and providing a venue for many of Sierra Club BC’s prominent members to describe the club’s accomplishments has been gratifying. Sierra Club BC has always stepped up to confront the important environmental issues of the time—from wilderness protection and forest mismanagement to the current overarching issue of climate change. My hope is that the book enhances the documentation of modern BC history.”

Pinch’s greatest wish is that her book “…will show future generations of environmentalists that, with passion and persistence, victories are possible even against overwhelming odds. As well, it can serve as a toolkit of strategies and tactics useful for the protection of our planet from human excesses.”

The George Ryga Award comes with a $2,500 prize. Due to COVID-19 virus concerns, a public reception at the Vancouver Public Library to celebrate the award has been postponed until further notice.

Judges for the 2020 Ryga Award were author and poet Trevor Carolan, VPL librarian Jane Curry and BCBookWorld publisher Beverly Cramp. The award is sponsored by Yosef Wosk and Pacific BookWorld News Society.