Former Red River College Dean Dave Williamson got a surprise out of thin air last week — when he was honoured with a prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The medal was presented to Williamson by Winnipeg South Centre MP Joyce Bateman, at last week’s Thin Air Winnipeg International Festival.
The letter that Williamson received along with the medal reads: “You were nominated for this award for your outstanding contributions to the cultural and arts community of Winnipeg. Your passion and dedication to your craft is truly inspiring. In addition to your literary contributions as author and teacher, your work as the founder of the Creative Communications program and the Dean of Business & Applied Arts at Red River College must be recognized and commended.”
Williamson, who recently released a book detailing the history of RRC, was one of the featured writers on the Festival mainstage. He says Bateman had arranged with the Festival’s executive director to surprise him with the presentation.
“I was sitting there on the Festival stage after giving my reading and, as they announced the award presentation, I was wondering who was going to be the recipient,” says Williamson. “I was in total shock when they called my name. Once it more or less sank in, I was grateful that they presented the medal on that particular night, with many members of the writing community in attendance.”
Click here for more information on Changing People’s Lives: An Illustrated History of Red River College.