Saturday, November 17, 2007

Margaret Atwood Versus The Four Seasons Hotel

So I briefly blogged about the Giller awards last week when an email showed up late that night to announce the winner. But today I found out that something else of interest happened at the awards as well.

I just happened to be reading a few book-related articles in recent issues of the Star online (I dont read the actual paper) and came across this small item about the Scotiabank Giller Book Awards given out last week. In the pink column on the right of the article is an interesting item written by Martin Knelman.


Literary couple bring own dinner

More than 400 A-list guests dined in style at last night's Giller Prize bash at the Four Seasons Hotel. The literary crowd feasted on tuna tartar and beef tenderloin.

But two of the most notable guests took a pass on that menu and instead brought their own dinner in a box.

Former Giller Prize winner Margaret Atwood and her husband, Graeme Gibson – author of The Bedside Book of Birds – quietly declined the food being passed.

The reason: They were protesting the Four Seasons' role in a massive resort development in Grenada that threatens an endangered species: the Grenada dove.

"Until there is a fair resolution of the dispute over the kind of resort being built in Grenada, we cannot accept food or drink from the Four Seasons," explained Gibson, who arrived at the event carrying what appeared to be a gym bag but in fact contained their meal.

And so Canada's most famous literary couple munched on home-made spinach and cucumber, and drank their own sake, while others at their table, including former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, ate beef and drank wine.

The proposed resort is being built on what used to be a government-protected sanctuary.

The Four Seasons claims the project is controlled by the government and a developer, not the hotel chain. Gibson doesn't buy that.

Four Seasons CEO Isadore Sharp sat at a nearby table.


Hey I had no idea that the Atwood-Gibson Group were environmentalists.

1 comment:

John Mutford said...

An interesting story indeed. They must have been between a rock and a hard place with that decision. If they didn't show up at all, it's likely people wouldn't have bought their excuse. The menu snub was a much wiser decision.