Sharon Butala

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Sharon Butala (born Sharon Annette LeBlanc, 1940 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan) [1] is a Canadian writer and novelist.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.



Butala was born in an outpost hospital in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. She was the second of five daughters [2] born to Amy Graham and Achille LeBlanc, who ran a sawmill near Garrick, Saskatchwan. [3] In 1946 her family moved to the French-Canadian town of St. Louis, Saskatchewan, and moved again when she was thirteen years old to the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. [4] She attended the University of Saskatchewan obtaining both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree. Between her third and fourth year of university she married for the first time. This marriage lasted 14 years, and her son, Sean Hoy, was born during this time. [4]

University of Saskatchewan university

The University of Saskatchewan is a Canadian public research university, founded on March 19, 1907, and located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. An "Act to establish and incorporate a University for the Province of Saskatchewan" was passed by the provincial legislature in 1907. It established the provincial university on March 19, 1907 "for the purpose of providing facilities for higher education in all its branches and enabling all persons without regard to race, creed or religion to take the fullest advantage". The University of Saskatchewan is the largest education institution in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s top research universities and is a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.

After graduating she taught English in Saskatchewan and British Columbia and also taught in a special program for the YMCA in Halifax, Nova Scotia. [5] In 1969 she returned to Saskatoon and worked in special education at Princess Alexandra School. [4] In 1972 she returned to the University of Saskatchewan to work on a post-graduate diploma in education and began teaching for the College of Education. [4]

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.071 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

Halifax, Nova Scotia Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, officially known as the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), is the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It had a population of 403,131 in 2016, with 316,701 in the urban area centred on Halifax Harbour. The regional municipality consists of four former municipalities that were amalgamated in 1996: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax County.

By 1975 she was divorced and working on her Master of Education degree with a budding academic career when she met Peter Butala. [6] She abandoned her degree, and they were married on May 21, 1976, after which she moved to his ranch near Eastend, Saskatchewan. [6] It was here that she began writing seriously, and this environment became the setting of much of her writing. [7] Her first book, Country of the Heart, was published in 1984 [5] and was shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award.

The First Novel Award, formerly the Books in Canada First Novel Award, is a Canadian literary award, co-presented by and The Walrus to the best first novel in English published the previous year by a citizen or resident of Canada. It has been awarded since 1976.

As head of the Eastend Arts Council she spearheaded the creation of the Wallace Stegner House Residence for Artists in which Wallace Stegner's childhood home was turned into a retreat for writers and artists. [8] She lived near Eastend until 14 months after Peter's death in 2007. [9] She now lives in Calgary, Alberta. [10]

Wallace Stegner American historian, writer, and environmentalist

Wallace Earle Stegner was an American novelist, short story writer, environmentalist, and historian, often called "The Dean of Western Writers". He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the U.S. National Book Award in 1977.

She was shortlisted for the Governor General's award twice, once for fiction for Queen of the Headaches, and once for nonfiction for The Perfection of the Morning. The Fall 2012 issue of Prairie Fire , entitled The Visionary Art of Sharon Butala [11] was dedicated to Butala and her work and influence. She and her husband, Peter Butala, were also involved in the creation of the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area. [9] [12] The Butala homestead is now the interpretive centre for this area of original and restored mixed grass prairie. [13]

Prairie Fire is an award-winning Canadian journal of innovative writing that is published quarterly by Prairie Fire Press, Inc. Prairie Fire is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is published quarterly. Each issue is a fresh, vibrant mix of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction by celebrated and emerging writers. Committed to its belief in the inherent value of the arts, Prairie Fire Press, Inc. engages and inspires its audience by providing a space for vital cultural exchange. Prairie Fire serves regional, national and international audiences by publishing exceptional literary writing and by collaborating in innovative arts projects and community outreach programs.

Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area

Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area is a 5300-hectare Conservation area located in Reno Municipality No. 51, Saskatchewan, Canada. The area gets its name from Old Man On His Back Plateau which is located in the boundaries of the conservation area. The interpretive centre is located in the Butala Homestead.





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  1. Encyclopedia Saskatachewania at the University of Regina
  2. Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature: Sharon Butala. Oxford University Press. 1997.
  3. McClane, Brian (October 27, 2004). "Sharon Butala to receive honorary degree". Nipawan Journal.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Hyde, Samarra (2001). perennialcanada Author Guides: Sharon Butala. HarperCollins. p. 4.
  5. 1 2 "Butala won't be stopped now". The Leader-Post . 3 May 1984. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  6. 1 2 Riess, Kelly-Anne (8 September 2007). "Peter Butala; cowboy conservationist". The Globe and Mail .
  7. Isle, Walter (Spring 1999). "History And Nature Representations Of The Great Plains In The Work Of Sharon Butala And Wallace Stegner". Great Plains Quarterly. 19 (2).
  8. "South West Quest for Saskatchewan Art & History". Archived from the original on 2011-09-13.
  9. 1 2 "Butala's memorial service set for today". Regina Leader-Post . August 13, 2007. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015.
  10. Hancock, Geoff (November 22, 2012). "An interview with Sharon Butala". Prairie Fire .
  11. The Visionary Art of Sharon Butala at Prairie Fire
  12. Foss, Krista (13 May 2002). "Preserving a piece of the Prairies: a Canadian author is glad she gave her Saskatchewan ranch over to conservation". The Globe and Mail .
  13. Old Man on His Back Ranch at the Nature Conservancy of Canada
  14. Honorary degree recipients,
  15. Sharon Butala Receives Literary Award at University of Saskatchewan