The Griffin Award Winners

2011: Evaleen Jaager Roy

Evaleen Jaager Roy is Principal of Jaager Roy Advisory Inc, a firm advising CEOs and executives on strategy and leadership. Her clients include some of the most successful organizations in technology, gaming, architecture, medical research and the  environment.  

For a decade, Evaleen served as Vice President of Human Resources for  Electronic Arts, the world’s largest interactive entertainment company, leading the function in Canada, across Europe and then for a global division. Prior to this, she held Director roles in the energy and auto sectors in the US and Canada. Currently in her fifth year as Chair of the Board at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, she is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Jack Austin Centre for Asia Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU). In 2009 she was recognized as an Outstanding Alumni by SFU and in 2011 was a Vancouver Influential Business Woman Award recipient. She was presented with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and was named a Trudeau Foundation Mentor in 2013.  In 2014 she was appointed to the Board of the Banff Centre – the world’s largest  arts and creativity incubator.

Evaleen is past Chair of the Board at SFU, the first alumnus to hold this role and a past board member of the YWCA Vancouver. She holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an Honors BBA from Simon Fraser.  She published her first book Four Chefs One Garden in 2010, which won the Griffin Prize at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference and is now busy working on her first novel.   


2010: Victor Lethbridge

Victor LethbridgeThe 2010 recipient of the Griffin Award is Victor Lethbridge of Rolling Hills, Alberta. He is a young man who meets the award criteria in many ways. He has made a commitment to encouraging, motivating, and creating hope for a greater future among Aboriginal youth. He is a touring author, musician, and motivational speaker, annually visiting and speaking to over 100,000 disadvantaged youth in over forty aboriginal communities in western Canada, openly addressing topics such as bullying, suicide, violence, and drug abuse. His presentations and workshops include writing sessions and film schools, where youth are given opportunities to develop their own skills in these areas.

This year he is including his newly published children’s book, Little Chief and Mighty Gopher: The Pemmican Frenzy, in his workshops and presentations. The story addresses the issues of bullying and self-esteem building, which are of course relevant to youth of all cultures. The book, just released in September, has already won the Moonbeam Bronze Medal for "Best First Book", an international Award based in the US.

2009: Evelyn Hannon

Evelyn Hannon is a success story in anyone's book. Hannon, a 69-year-old Toronto grandmother, has been an elementary-school teacher, a camp director and an adult-recreation coordinator at a seniors' centre. She founded, which now has 67,000 subscribers in over 100 countries and millions of regular visitors.

Hannon has been featured in People, Time, the Guardian in the U.K, the New York Times, and has been interviewed on Good Morning America, Good Morning Australia, Canada AM, Vicky Gabereau and a host of affiliate television stations. She has seen in lights on Times Square, and writes Aging Disgracefully, a regular column for

Evelyn Hannon and has connected, encouraged, and assisted women travellers around the world through the craft of writing.

2008: Pandora's Collective [Bonnie Nish & Sita Carboni]

Pandora's Collective, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is dedicated to promoting literacy and self-expression in the community. With the ambitious mandate of 'Promoting the Arts That Inspire the World to Take Notice of Itself', the collective was founded in June 2002 by poets Bonnie Nish and Sita Carboni and is now a Registered Charity. Striving to provide a safe and inspiring environment for writers of all ages they promote the literary arts as a healthy tool for self-expression and act as a valuable resource for writers and readers in Greater Vancouver. They hope to motivate individuals into embracing literacy while at the same time help them to build their sense of community and self-esteem.

2007: Barry Swanton

If it hadn’t been for Cloverdale writer, Barry Swanton, the ManDak League might have remained one of baseball’s best-kept secrets.


In the 1950’s ex-major league Negro ball players - nicknamed The Mandak League - continued playing and entertaining fans in Manitoba and North Dakota. Dusty prairie ball diamonds became the focus on summer Saturdays when the whole town would turn up to cheer on some of the best Manitoba-, North Dakota–, and Minnesota-born players ever to grace major and minor leagues.


One Manitoba kid never forgot those players, the games he watched, the players he met, or his belief in the ManDak League’s unique place in Canadian baseball history.


Based on memories, newspaper clippings, years of research, and a passion for baseball and writing, Barry Swanton - retired postal worker and baseball coach - recorded the careers of Willie Wells, Leon Day, Ray Dandridge, S atchel Paige and other baseball greats of the era on paper - and into print for posterity. The little prairie kid grew up to hit a homerun for Canadian history.


Barry Swanton is a member of the 
Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). In 2006 he was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.

2006: No winner

The Griffin Award was not presented in 2006.

2005: Jas Cheema

The 2005 Griffin Award was presented to Jas Cheema.

Jas Cheema

Jas Cheema

2004: No winner

The Griffin Award was not presented in 2004.

2003: Ed Griffin

The 2003 Griffin Award was presented to Ed Griffin after whom the award was named.

Ed Griffin was the founder of the Surrey International Writers' Conference. He was the conference coordinator for the first eight years, and remained a Board member for another two years after that.

He has published poetry, plays, short stories and a newspaper column, and most recently two novels: Prisoners of the Williwaw and Beyond the Vows (Trafford Publishing).

He is a dedicated creative writing teacher and ESL teacher, very active in his writing community. Ed also runs an innovative creativing writing program at Matsqui Prison. Over the years he has helped hundreds -- if not thousands -- of writers improve their writing skills and thereby enrich their lives.

Ed Griffin: writer, teacher, mentor, visionary, and friend. His website is

Bonnie Deren and Ed Griffin

Ed Griffin (right) and Bonnie Deren