The John Hunter-Duvar Award began in 1982 as an attempt by the West Prince Arts Council to recognize a West Prince resident who made a valuable contribution to the Arts in this area. This annual award was named after John Hunter-Duvar (1830-1899), the only Island poet to be included in The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse prior to the arrival of "The People's Poet", Milton Acorn, on the poetic scene.
John Hunter-Duvar wrote three books of poetry, a book on archeology and a book of satirical essays. His estate was called "Hernewood" and is now the site of the Mill River Resort, Park and Golf Course. Originally the W.P.A.C. discussed placing a monument in his memory, but later decided upon this award to perpetuate his name.
Some of the past winners include Gerald McNally of Brae, Clair O'Shea of Tignish, Verna Banks of Alberton, Claude Brisson of Mill River and B. Roy Dyment of Northam.