Scirocco Drama Winner of Kobzar Literary Award

Presented for the play Luba, Simply Luba to Diane Flacks, playwright, in collaboration with Andrey Tarasiuk and Luba Goy by the Shevchenko Foundation


At a ceremony at the Palais Royale on March 5, 2014, the $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award was presented by the Shevchenko Foundation to Diane Flacks, playwright, in collaboration with Andrey Tarasiuk and Luba Goy for the play Luba, Simply Luba (Scirocco Drama, J. Gordon Shillngford Publishing Inc, 2013) first staged at the Berkeley Street Theatre in the spring of 2012.

“The play presents poignant moments of Luba Goy’s life, as an icon of comedy and Canadian entertainment.  Ms. Goy’s views on Ukrainian and Canadian politics, her aspirations as a female Canadian actor, her views on motherhood, aging and meeting Viktor Yushchenko, president of an independent Ukraine, create a memorable and inspiring dramatic narrative,” says Andrij Hladyshevsky, president of the Shevchenko Foundation.

The Shevchenko Foundation created the biennial award in 2003 to celebrate outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts on a Ukrainian Canadian theme in one of several genres: literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, plays, screenplays and musicals. The other 2014 nominees included Erin Moure for The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi, 2012); Michael Mucz for Baba’s Kitchen Memories (University of Alberta Press, 2012); Barbara Sapergia for Blood and Salt (Coteau Books, 2012) and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for Making Bombs For Hitler (Scholastic Canada Ltd., 2012). Each shortlisted author received $1000.00.

The adjudication panel of esteemed Canadian authors Joe Kertes, Frances Itani, Annabel Lyon and Olive Senior made their selection with criteria for best development of a Canadian Ukrainian theme with literary merit. It was a difficult decision—as Itani observed, “All of the nominated books met the criteria.”

For Senior, the vibrancy of Flacks’ words stood out: “It was so alive, and I loved the combination of the contemporary and the past, and the way those were woven together into a narrative. It was striking all the way through.”

As Joe Kertes put it, “We were looking for something that was original, something that would last. We wanted it to outlast a generation and be read in 50 years.  So it had to be something fresh, original, and well-written, and that’s what [Luba, Simply Luba] was.”

About the Winners:

Diane Flacks is a writer/performer in theatre, TV, radio and fiction. She won an Emmy award for writing for the Canadian TV series The Kids in the Hall and is a regular contributor to CBC Radio. Her book Bear With Me: What They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy and New Motherhood was published by McClelland & Stewart.


Andrey Tarasiuk is acting Producer of Pleiades Theatre in Toronto, and previously spent 8 seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival as artistic director and head of new play development. He initiated and produced Toronto’s Dream in High Park, and he received the Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Award and the Tyrone Guthrie Award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.


Luba Goy is an actor and comedienne best known as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, and previously appeared on stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. During her time with the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Goy received the Gemini Humanitarian Award, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, two honorary Doctorates, 15 ACTRA Awards, a Juno, a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and the Women in Film and Television Award.


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