Canadians recognized for efforts to promote and popularize nation's history

Governor General's History Awards Celebrates 20 Years

WINNIPEG, Oct. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Teachers and community groups are among those who will be honoured next month for their exemplary efforts to promote Canadian history and make our past relevant. The Governor General's History Awards will be presented in Ottawa on November 28, marking the 20th year of celebrating the excellence of Canada's top "history makers."

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present awards to winners in five categories:

  • Excellence in Teaching – recognizes six exemplary teachers or teams of teachers who are leaders in the classroom;
  • Scholarly Research: The Sir John A. Macdonald Prize – for the best new academic Canadian history book;
  • Excellence in Museums: History Alive! – honours institutions that demonstrate excellence in presentation, preservation and interpretation;
  • Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award – for exceptional achievement in books, film, television and new media;
  • Excellence in Community Programming – recognizes unique local and community history projects.

"The individuals and institutions receiving the Governor General's History Award recognize that examining our history helps us understand how we became the people and nation we are today," says Janet Walker, President and CEO of Canada's History, which administers the awards. "Through their efforts, we can learn from mistakes of the past, be inspired by yesterday's leaders, and recognize precedents to contemporary problems. In short, the history they bring alive helps us see ourselves in a broader context."

This year's award winners include the woman who led the campaign to have Canadian women depicted on bank notes; two teachers in Niagara Falls who helped their students critically assess Canada's decisions relating to indigenous peoples; and a historic site in Montreal.

A complete list of winners is attached. Learn more at

About the Governor General's History Awards
The Governor General's History Awards were first established in 1996 to recognize excellence in teaching Canadian history. In partnership with Canada's leading national history organizations, including the Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Museums Association, Historica Canada and Experiences Canada, Canada's History has worked to expand the awards to recognize the many different ways history is taught, communicated and celebrated by Canadians. The Governor General's History Awards now provide an annual opportunity to bring together museums, community organizations, writers, historians, students, teachers and media producers to celebrate Canadian history and to learn from one another.

About Canada's History
Canada's History is a national charitable organization whose mission is to promote greater popular interest in Canadian history, principally through its publishing, education, and recognition programs. In addition to administering the Governor General's History Awards and publishing Canada's History magazine (formerly The Beaver) and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, Canada's History produces a number of educational and online programs to encourage a Canada where people are deeply engaged in connecting with their shared past.



Excellence in Teaching

  • Adam Pounder and Lori Buchanan, Havergal College, Toronto, ON
  • Rita Gravina and Catherine Pfaff, The Bishop Strachan School, Toronto, ON
  • Geneviève Marois, École Ste-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus, St-Jérôme, QC
  • Holly Richard, Brooklin High School, Brooklin, ON
  • Brian Clancy, Lisa Sheppard and Catherine Morneault, Sussex Middle School, Sussex, NB
  • Elizabeth Freeman-Shaw and Sarah Murdoch, A.N. Myer Secondary School and Westlane Secondary School, Niagara Falls, ON

Scholarly Research (The Sir John A. Macdonald Prize)

  • Robert C. H. Sweeny, Memorial University, NL for his book Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? Montreal 1819-1849 (published by McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015)

Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

  • Maison Saint-Gabriel Museum and Historic Site (Montreal) for 350e anniversaire du cheval Canadien – 1665-2015

Excellence in Community Programming

  • The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC for Voices of the Valley
  • Centre d'archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges in Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC for Avec les yeux d'hier et d'aujourd'hui

Popular Media (The Pierre Berton Award)

  • Merna Forster, of Victoria, BC, for leading the successful national campaign to have Canadian women depicted on bank notes

In addition to the Governor General's History Awards the recipients of the following prizes will also be recognized at Rideau Hall:

Aboriginal Arts and Stories

  • Joshua Whitehead, Calgary, AB
  • Cyan-Raven Gielewska, Kitchener, ON
  • Kecia Cook, Regina, SK
  • Megan Benoit, Surrey, BC

Kayak Kids' Illustrated History Challenge

  • Eamon Sawada-Tse, Port Coquitlam, BC
  • Solène Fortin, LaSalle, QC

Experiences Canada History Award

  • Kirsten Riebot, Calgary, AB

Government of Canada History Award for Students

  • Marc-Alexandre Binette, Saint-Jérôme, QC
  • Enshia Li, Richmond Hill, ON


SOURCE Canada's History

Image with caption: "Governor General's History Award medal presentation. Credit: Canada's History Society (CNW Group/Canada's History)". Image available at:

For further information: Joel Ralph, Canada's History Society, 204-988-9300 ext. 221,


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