Grad student wins creative, cross-cultural awards

Andréa Ledding, a student in the MFA in Writing Program through the Interdisciplinary Centre for Creativity and Culture (ICCC ), is the 2012 recipient of the Dick and Mary Edney Masters Scholarship for International Understanding through the Humanities & Fine Arts. The aim of this scholarship is to enrich the cultural life of Canada by promoting the study of other cultures. Ledding received the award for her multilingual creative thesis focusing on first contact in Canada. Ledding says she was thrilled to be a part of the inaugural class of the new MFA in Writing program. “It is wonderful that there is a scholarship the focuses on the fine arts and humanities,” she says. “It is through creativity that understanding, growth and connectivity take place. I am very grateful to the Edney family for this gift of sustenance for creative work. As a writer and freelancer and single parent, this reliable monthly income allows me some security to focus on my studies.”

Ledding's writing has appeared in Eagle Feather News, The Prairie Messenger, many Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) national and regional newspapers as well as several literary publications, including the anthology, Canada's Best Poetry of 2011 (Tightrope Press). She is the recipient of Anvil Press/subTerrain Magazine's Lush Triumphant Poetry Award for 2010, and two John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards—for poetry (2012) and for creative non-fiction (2011) for In the Pockets of Our Hearts, about the legacy of Batoche.

In November 2012, Ledding's play, Dominion, opened Toronto's 25th Annual Weesakeechak Festival. It was the first work to be presented in the new Aki Theatre. Ledding has received grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and The Canada Council for the Arts. The mother of seven children, she also volunteers with Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op and is on the board of SAWCI (Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writer's Circle, Inc.), which organizes the Anskohk Literary Festival.

~Betsy Rosenwald
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