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Anne DeGrace appointed as Nelson's 2011 cultural ambassador

By Joy Barrett, cultural development officer

The Cultural Development Commission (CDC), on behalf of the City of Nelson, announced Anne DeGrace’s appointment as Nelson’s 2011 Cultural Ambassador.

Co-sponsored by Otter Books and Packrat Annie’s, the award comes with a $500 cash prize.

"We already know Anne is a terrific ambassador for Nelson," said City councilor and CDC board member Donna Macdonald. "Naming her as our Cultural Ambassador for 2011 really just formalizes that, and shows our great admiration and appreciation for her and her work."

A long-time resident and community leader, DeGrace is also a librarian, publisher, artist and nationally-recognised novelist. Treading Water, Wind Tails, and her latest novel, Sounding Line have won both popular and critical acclaim.

She has produced two stunning photographic books on Nelson, co-edited and produced Seasonings, a cookbook fundraising venture for the Nelson Municipal Library and the Kootenay Co-op, and is also a regular columnist for the Kootenay Express.

She is currently working on a short story collection with a potential release date of fall 2011. In addition to traveling both nationally and internationally to promote her work, she plans to begin a new novel this spring.

"To be able to represent Nelson's cultural community is a real honour. It's also an honour to follow an artist such as Angelika Werth as cultural ambassador," said DeGrace.

"And of course, living where we do, we're in good company. It's inspiring. Because Cultural Ambassador is a lifetime honour, over time we'll 
have more and more ambassadors spreading the word. That's good for 
Nelson's artists, and good for Nelson."

DeGrace takes over the position as Cultural Ambassador from fibre artist Angelika Werth, who represented the Nelson Arts community in her travels throughout Canada and France.

The CDC established this honour two years ago in recognition of local individual artists, groups or collectives who have achieved a high standard of excellence in their artistic discipline and who are active not only in Nelson’s cultural community but extend their talents to other communities and countries.

The Cultural Ambassador is expected to represent and promote the City of Nelson on their travels, increasing the visibility and cultural reputation of Nelson. In return, the Cultural Ambassador can use their official designation in their own promotional materials, programs and fundraising.