Organizers have released the short list of finalists for the 2011 Atlantic Book Awards, handed out on May 19 at …
Ready, set, goBy Trevor J. Adams | Nov 8, 2010
Fusion Halifax hosted its first Go Awards at the World Trade and Convention Centre on Saturday night. The young professionals’ networking organization introduced the new awards program to laud “movers, shakers and difference makers” in nine different award categories—humanitarian, innovation, newcomer, etc.
Mayor Peter Kelly and Premier Darrell Dexter both attended (to organizers’ delight) but the event was informal, with an excited and energetic young crowd. Comedian Pardis Parker hosted, with an acerbic tone that struck just the right note of informality. (A long aside on the much-used “sac”/”Sackville” wordplay had some people in hysterics, while others glanced awkwardly at their neighbours).
With the relaxed vibe, Go was a nice change from most interminable awards banquets. There were a few odd quirks, though. The awards were more than half an hour late starting, and then moved a breathless pace. Winners were hustled onto the stage for photos in rapid succession but didn’t have the change to speak, which seemed an anti-climax for them. Also, while there were long bios for the winners, we didn’t hear anything about why the other finalists made the cut. Since the Go Awards seem intended to celebrate the city’s unsung heroes, it would be helpful to tell attendees just why these people are special.
A few minor quibbles aside, it was a well-run event and an enjoyable evening. The passion and excitement in the room was contagious. Tickets sold out and the crowd represented a broad cross-section of the community. My favourite moment of the night came after HRM’s Andy Fillmore won the Urban Design Award (for his work on HRM by Design). I spoke with him just after he left the stage and he radiated delight. He was genuinely moved by the recognition. Developing HRM by Design was a tough job, done amongst constant public criticism. That’s the kind of work that will make our city great and too often, the people who do it are unnoticed. It was great to see Andy, and people like him, get a rare plaudit.