Scotiabank Giller Prize creator Jack Rabinovitch to be remembered at funeral

The life of the late Jack Rabinovitch, creator of the lucrative and prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, will be celebrated at a funeral in Toronto.

The service for the beloved businessman and literary prize creator is set to take place this morning at the Beth Tzedec Congregation synagogue.

Rabinovitch died Sunday at the age of 87 as a result of a “catastrophic fall” at his home last week.

The Montreal-born, Toronto-based Rabinovitch tackled several careers throughout his life, including journalism, food retail and real estate. But it was the celebrated Giller Prize that made him a recognizable face across Canada and internationally.

The award was established in 1994, a year after the death of Rabinovitch’s wife, literary journalist Doris Giller. Rabinovitch wanted to create a literary honour as a tribute to Giller while also recognizing excellence in Canadian fiction — in long format or short stories.

The Giller Prize initially endowed a cash prize of $25,000, which was the largest purse for literature in the country. In 2005, the award teamed up with Scotiabank. The award and the prize grew to what is now $100,000 for the winner and $10,000 for each of the finalists, and is billed as the richest fiction prize in Canada.

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