For immediate release

(Vancouver) — Vancouver resident Kate Bond has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Daryl Duke Prize, an award created to support up-and-coming Canadian film and television writers, for Trapline, her first screenplay.  The prize comes with a $25,000 award.

Trapline, set in the remote Yukon wilderness, is the story of 17-year-old Scarlett Laurie’s decision to take over her deceased grandfather’s abandoned trapline.  Midway through her first trapping season, Scarlett’s solitary contentment is shattered by the arrival of her recently-paroled foster brother, Mike Ayling, the trapline’s legal owner.  For a time the two attempt to work the trapline in partnership, but as their attempts at reconciliation fail, their rival claims escalate into a bitter and increasingly violent struggle over a lost birthright.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to be recognized for this work, as well as very surprised.  It’s my first attempt at a screenplay,” Kate said.  “I’m especially happy that the jury liked my protagonist, a self-reliant woman and northerner.  I’m deeply grateful to the Daryl Duke Foundation for this opportunity to take the story further.”

Kate, 34, was born and raised in Vancouver.  While studying English at the University of British Columbia, she took on various summer jobs in northern B.C. and Yukon, including tree planting and historical tour guiding.  After graduating, Kate worked for several years as a wildfire lookout near Lesser Slave Lake in northern Alberta before deciding to study law.  Kate has worked as a judge’s clerk at the B.C. Court of Appeal and later as a litigator at the federal Department of Justice.  She left litigation in 2015 to focus on writing and currently works part-time as a research lawyer.

Kate wrote Trapline over the course of eight weeks in the winter of 2015, while still working as a litigator.  With a toddler at home, a partner working night shifts, and days spent in a downtown office, she wrote most of the first draft while commuting to and from work on Vancouver’s #20 bus, which runs up Commercial Drive and along Hastings Street on its way downtown.  When she could find a seat on the bus, she had twenty-five minutes each way to write her story and, she says, help ease her longing for her solitary lookout cabin in the northern woods.

The Daryl Duke Foundation announced the launch of the Daryl Duke Prize in 2016, to honour the memory of the late Daryl Duke, a distinguished Emmy Award-winning Canadian film and television creator from Vancouver who worked all over the world creating film and television magic. Among his creations was the series Thorn Birds.

“Daryl dedicated his life to storytelling and building a Canada with its own integrity, sovereignty and culture. We created this Prize to cherish his memory and to further his mission,” said Anne-Marie Dekker, who is a director of the Foundation and Daryl’s widow.

The Prize, in the amount of $25,000, recognizes excellence in a screenplay for an unproduced long-form dramatic film telling a fictional story. The Prize is intended to allow the winner time and support with which to complete a new draft of the intended work, a copy of which is to be submitted subsequently to the jury.

The Daryl Duke Prize jury is chaired by RH Thomson, one of Canada’s leading actors who has performed extensively on stage, television and film for more than three decades. Colin Browne, professor emeritus in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and Patricia Gruben, associate professor of film in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, round out the jury.

The jury selected Trapline through a blind process from among one hundred entries submitted by the September 30, 2016 deadline.

Information about the 2018 Daryl Duke Prize will soon be posted at


For information:
Jim Thompson