Celebrated Canadian Author Wins National History Award


WINNIPEG, Sept. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Well-known Canadian author Lawrence Hill has been named recipient of the Governor General's History Award for Popular Media. Known by many as the Pierre Berton Award, it celebrates those who bring Canadian history to a wide audience through mediums such as publications, film, radio, theatre and the web.

Hill, of Hamilton, Ontario is best-known for his historical fiction The Book of Negroes, which has sold more than 700,000 copies, making it one of the most popular books in Canadian publishing history. The novel has been translated into French and adapted into a mini-series for television, giving its powerful message an even wider audience.  His latest book, The Illegal, was inspired by the survival stories of undocumented refugees around the world, including Canada.

Hill is a member of the Order of Canada and holds several honorary doctorates. He will be presented his gold medal by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall on October 16.

 "Through his writings, Lawrence Hill has helped Canadians gain a better understanding of our shared history—particularly the Black experience," says Janet Walker, President and CEO of Canada's History Society, which administers the award. "He has done much to popularize Canadian history and provide a voice to those whose stories might otherwise remain untold."

The day prior, Hill will be the keynote speaker at the Canada's History Forum in Ottawa. This annual event, held in conjunction with the Governor General's History Awards, brings together award-winning historians, educators, writers and heritage professionals to explore themes, issues, and opportunities in the study of Canada's history. This year's forum will focus on women's history in honour of the upcoming centennial of women achieving the right to vote in Manitoba and will take place at the Canadian Museum of History on Thursday, October 15 from 1:00pm-5:00pm. The event is free to the public and guests are invited to register to attend in-person or online at CanadasHistory.ca/HistoryForum.

About the Governor General's History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award

The Governor General's History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award was created in 1994 to celebrate those who have brought Canadian history to a wider audience and named after its first recipient, popular author and historian Pierre Berton. In its twenty years, the award has recognized individuals and organizations that have helped popularize Canadian history through such means as publications, film, radio, television, theatre, or the web. Past recipients include the CBC series Canada: A People's History, author Charlotte Gray, and actor and filmmaker Paul Gross.

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.

SOURCE Canada's History

Image with caption: "Lawrence Hill will receive the Governor General's History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award on October 16 at Rideau Hall. Photo credit: Lisa Sakulensky. (CNW Group/Canada's History)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150915_C7633_PHOTO_EN_496922.jpg

For further information: Barbara Czech, Canada's History, Phone 204-832-3578, Email: bczech@mts.net


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