2007 Pierre Berton short list announced


SOURCE FOR CANADA'S STORIES - WINNIPEG, June 27 /CNW/ - Canada's National History Society today released the short list of finalists for the 2007 Pierre Berton Award for achievement in popularizing Canadian History. The Pierre Berton Award was first established in 1994 and has grown to become the country's top honour to recognize exemplary efforts in popular media to bring Canada's storied past to life. Prior recipients include noted authors Peter C. Newman; Jacques Lacoursière; James Gray; Charlotte Gray; Jack Granatstein; Will Ferguson; and Ken McGoogan as well as Bob Johnstone's radio series "This Day in History"; The CRB Foundation/Historica's Heritage Minutes; and CBC's Canada: A People's History. Although the prize was always intended to recognize achievement in any media, throughout its 13-year history the award winners have come predominantly from the book community. For the first time this year, the short list is dominated by producers of other media. According to History Society president and CEO, Deborah Morrison, "Canadian history is no different from anything else in our information world. We've been following the shift from print to television to new media as an important source for how we learn about our history for quite some time. Pierre Berton was quite adept at straddling the multi-media of his day, so it seems fitting that the Award in his name would reflect that agility." "Each year the breadth of content, and the sophistication of the interaction people can have with history content on digital platforms astounds me. But all of it is still rooted in the narrative stories themselves - so print will matter for a long time yet. Our ever growing challenge is to choose one winner amongst an increasingly diverse range of exceptional efforts." said Ms. Morrison. This year's shortlist annotated with the selection committee's official citations includes two repeat nominees: Ted Barris "'Victory at Vimy' released earlier this year is the 15th book produced by the Toronto-born writer. Ted Barris stands alone for his ability to bring you to the frontlines of Canada's military past with Juno: Canadians at D-Day; and Days of Victory: Behind the Glory. Barris impressed us with the extensive range of history subjects he has written about over the years including Canadian Music, Prairie Steamboats, Curling, Rodeo Riding, and the Edmonton Oilers." CBC Digital Archives "One of the most comprehensive Canadian history collections freely available online, the CBC Digital archives features an extremely well-catalogued inventory of over 10,000 different multi-media entries and an integrated set of educational resources for classroom use. Knowing that younger people are increasingly looking to the Internet for their sources and information, this marks an incredible investment for future generations of Canadians." And three first time award hopefuls: Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History, "is an imaginative website that will intrigue a much wider audience than the secondary students for which it's principally designed. Canadianmysteries.ca provides an opportunity for anyone to experience how historical documents are used, interpreted and sometimes misinterpreted to create the history we think we know. The website will change people's perceptions of what historians really do and why it matters." Brian McKenna, "His most recent effort The Great War Project demonstrated that he has lost none of his edge for innovative uses of the television medium that captivate audiences. McKenna deserves this recognition for the sheer volume of quality productions he's realized. He's been at this for over 30 years - long before anyone else thought you could tell compelling Canadian history stories on television." Mark Zuehlke, "has produced some of the best-written popular histories about the Canadian experience in World War II. Thoroughly researched and well-crafted, Zuehlke's work is carving a reputation as one of this generation's preeminent military historians. In addition to several works about World War II including Juno Beach and Holding Juno, Zuehlke has written about the War of 1812, Canadian volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, as well as edited The Canadian Military Atlas." The 2007 Pierre Berton Award winner will be announced later this Fall. About the History Society Canada's National History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to the Pierre Berton Award, the Society is best known as publisher of The Beaver magazine and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids. The Society also coordinates the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History, which honours innovative classroom teachers, and the Hbc Local History Grants Program supporting community-based history initiatives.

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For further information: Canada's National History Society,
info@historysociety.ca, 1-800-816-6777 ext 22

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