Ottawa, May 16, 1999—Jim Lyons of Toronto, Ontario, and Georgina Montgomery of Pender Island, BC, have tied as winners of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. Both were present to receive their awards at the National Press Club in Ottawa Saturday night, May 15, 1999.
The occasion was the 20th anniversary of the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC). The awards were presented at a dinner ceremony during the EAC conference, The Art of Editing (May 14-16).
This is the 16th Fairley Award, named for Tom Fairley, a distinguished editor and founding member of EAC who died in 1982. The award is made for an editor’s outstanding contribution to a work published in Canada in English or French during the previous year.
The winners could not have worked on texts that were more different. Lyons’ work is entitled Electronic Commerce and Canada’s Tax Administration: A Report to the Minister of National Revenue from the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Electronic Commerce (Ottawa: Revenue Canada). If the title sounds dull, the work certainly wasn’t. Lyons had to bring together material from 40 different authors and work them into a seamless text. The judges report, “The resulting 186-page report exhibits remarkable consistency in content, tone, perspective and quality.”
Montgomery, on the other hand, worked with a first-time author on his autobiography: The Life of a Children’s Troubadour (Vancouver: Homeland Press). The judges quote the editor, saying “she became ‘judge, jury, confidante, audience, watchdog, censor, devil’s advocate, coach, cheerleader and student of Armenian history, early childhood development and brain research’ — in short, a contemporary Maxwell Perkins.”
Both editors have a long list of publications to their credit. Lyons specializes in legal and academic publications in taxation, intellectual property, environmental law, economics and sociology. Montgomery has also worked in environment-related initiatives, editing Forest Practices Code for the BC government and manuscripts for the David Suzuki Foundation.
The three judges for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence 1998 were Susan Ioannou, Jane Broderick and Jacqueline Dionne. They received both the initial manuscripts and the final, published work as well as supporting material to document the editor’s work at each stage of the editing process.