Winners Announced for 25th Anniversary Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards

September 19, 2023 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FREDERICTON, NB – The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick is proud to name the winners of the 2023 Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Literacy Awards. The awards will be presented on Tuesday, October 3rd in Fredericton at Old Government House. The reception with refreshments will begin at 6:00 pm, with the ceremony starting at 7:00.

2023 is the 25th anniversary of the awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of literacy and lifelong learning. In 1998, Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell established the awards during her term as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor. Since 2007, the Literacy Coalition has continued to present these awards annually.

“We are very pleased to name Marshall Button as a winner of the Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy,” says LCNB President, Brent Melanson. Beloved comedian, actor, playwriter, director and founder of Moncton’s Hub Cap Comedy Festival, Marshall is best known for his character Lucien, reaching audiences in NB, North America and even Afghanistan.

He has generously contributed to countless community events, organizations and causes, including as MC and Poet Laureate for the NB PGI Peter Gzowski Invitational) Literacy Dinners. In recognition of his artistic and theatrical achievements, Marshall has received an honorary degree from St Thomas University in 2007 and was invested into the Order of New Brunswick.

Lily Van Beek is our second winner int the category of Outstanding Individual Contribution to Literacy. Lily founded Student Stories NB, while attending Saint John High School. The online news outlet became a platform where students could publish their news stories and works of fiction, including important pieces about climate change, the impact of social media on youth, and schools. In its first four months, the platform saw nearly 6,000 views.

Patsy McKinney is the recipient of the Outstanding Effort in Indigenous Literacy award. As Executive Director of Under One Sky Headstart, she has been a leader in supporting early childhood development for Indigenous children. She is a member of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and the UNB Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre Council of Elders and is on the board of the National Association of Friendship Centers. She received the Renaissance College Trailblazer Award in 2023.

The Business Corporate Initiative award goes to Westminster Books owner, Janet North. Westminster Books has been a bedrock of the Fredericton reading community for over 44 years, and Janet North has been at the centre of that operation, hosting events for local and visiting authors and putting books into the hands of readers of all ages and experiences. Upon retiring, she has ensured that the local independent bookstore experience will continue in Fredericton and beyond.

The Fredericton Public Library (FPL) is the recipient of the Community Literacy Program award. Under the leadership of Julia Stewart, the FPL has implemented initiatives to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, including the community fridge program, which supplies snacks, milk, and water to patrons for free. This project is just one of the ways the library is innovating to better serve its community.

We have two winners in the 2023 Published Author category winners.

Dave Lawrence is a radio host on Rewind 93.1, and the author of Noah Bear: A Day in the Life of a Young Bear with Autism and The Ongoing Adventures of Noah Bear. Both are based on personal experiences of his son, Noah, who has autism. The books offer children a fun and accessible way to better understand their peers with autism. Proceeds from his books are donated to Autism Connections Fredericton.

Peter Clark is a writer, chronicler, and self-publisher of NB folklore and stories. Five of his nine books have achieved Canadian Bestseller status. Clark has helped raise countless lifelong readers by donating his books to schools, libraries, and charities. He is a recipient of the City of Fredericton’s Unsung Hero Award and was elected to the Atlantic Salmon Wall of Fame.

The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick provides leadership to advance literacy, lifelong learning, and essential skills for all citizens through partnerships and collaboration with government, educational institutions, business, labour, community organizations and individuals.


For more information contact Lynda Homer, LCNB Executive Director:
Phone: 506-457-1227