A newly established writer-in-residence program at the University of Winnipeg will create exciting opportunities for students in the Department of English and writers across Canada. Beginning in Fall 2021, the Jake MacDonald Writer’s Fund will annually host a writer-in-residence at UWinnipeg — benefitting students on campus and our surrounding community as well as writers across Canada.
Created this past September with an initial gift of $100,000 from Canadian entrepreneur and pollster Dr. Angus Reid, the new fund honours late Manitoba author Jake MacDonald, who passed away in January.
“Jake was an avid outdoorsman and an excellent writer who drew inspiration from the landscapes he treasured,” said Reid. “I am proud to help the University honour Jake’s memory as we move forward with this residency.”
Writers selected for the residency will work with students and faculty members at UWinnipeg and the community at large, by offering editorial and creative feedback on essays and other texts while also receiving dedicated time to develop their own creative projects.
“Manitoba has always been rich in talented writers, but also in generous donors who recognize the cultural importance of supporting authors at The University of Winnipeg,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. “In addition to his creative writing, Jake MacDonald was known for his outstanding skill as an editor, so it is fitting that he should be remembered by a residency highlighting writing, editing, and the mentoring of our students.”
To support the Jake MacDonald Writer’s fund, donations can be directed to the University of Winnipeg Foundation online or by phone at 204.786.9995.
Jake MacDonald was an award-winning author, a short story writer and a journalist. His memoir, Houseboat Chronicles, received critical acclaim and won several awards including the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, the Rogers Non-Fiction Award, and the Manitoba Book of the Year Award. In 2019, his first play The Cottage debuted at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and shortly afterwards won the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making a Mark Award. He also wrote several film scripts, and hundreds of articles for publications such as the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, the New York Times, Saturday Night, and Canadian Geographic, among others. Alongside his many career accomplishments, Jake will be remembered for his masterful storytelling and his avid love and appreciation for nature and the outdoors.