Lights, Camera, Action! Canada's Top Teachers Land a Starring Role in a
Historic Casting Call at Rideau Hall

WINNIPEG, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - Canada's National History Society today announced the twenty-five finalists for the 2009 Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History - Canada's top teaching prize.

Canada's most passionate educators created interactive and novel lesson plans that literally turned their classrooms into time machines that transported their students hundreds of years into the past. Some of these life-changing teaching styles encouraged students to:

    -   Film and star in a play that documents the sinking of the Titanic and
        its impact on the city of Halifax.
    -   Research the lives of Canadian soldiers who met their untimely demise
        during World War II.
    -   Create a board game that propels students back in time to the 15th
    -   Debate the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway with Sir John A.
    -   Sing along with Sinead O'Connor as they explore the Great Famine in
    -   Re-enact the Plains of Abraham Battle with paper ammunition and
        homemade cannons.

    The twenty-five finalists for the 2009 Governor General's Awards for
                 Excellence in Teaching Canadian History are:

    Loralea Wark       Ecole St. Patrick's High School      Yellowknife, NT
    Neil Robinson      Westmount Charter School             Calgary, AB
    Mark Moorhouse &
    Maria Casasola     Claude E. Garton School              Thunder Bay, ON
    Pam Calvert        Oakville Trafalgar High School       Oakville, ON
    Diane Vautour      Loretto College                      Toronto, ON
    Chad Howie and
    Sarah Beech        Valley Creek Middle School           Calgary, AB
    Karen Wight and
    Alison England     Longview School                      Longview, AB
    Andrea Daly        Leo Nickerson Elementary             St. Albert, AB
    Sean Steel         Cochrane High School                 Cochrane, AB
    Steve Murphy       Fox Creek School                     Fox Creek, AB
                       Ecole Grosvenor Wentworth Park
    Andrew Stickings   School                               Halifax, NS
    Lindsay Gibson     Mount Boucherie Secondary.
    and Graeme Stacey  Kelowna Secondary                    Kelowna, BC
    Adrian Charles
     French            Mount Douglas Secondary              Victoria, BC
    Brent Pavey        Waterloo Collegiate Institute        Waterloo, ON
    Lindsay Hall       Huron Park Secondary                 Woodstock, ON
    Susan Yip and
    Laura Shantz       Gilpin Elementary                    Burnaby, BC
    Barbara Martin     Foothills School Division            High River, AB
    Neil Stephenson    Calgary Science School               Calgary, AB
    Lousia Ellul       St. Joseph High School               Ottawa, ON
    Helene Fisher      Ecole Olds Elementary School         Olds, AB
    Martin Poirier     Aberhart H.S.                        Calgary, AB
    Jean Pelletier     De l'Alize                           Chrysosto, QC
    France Gendron     Carrousel                            des Saults, QC
    Michel Hince       Jacques-Rousseau                     Radisson, QC
    Michel Marcotte    Ecole Primaire Primadel              Adelphe, QC

Now in its 14th year, the Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Canada's history teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools. Deborah Morrison, CEO and President of Canada's National History Society says, "At a time when teachers are frequently criticized for what they aren't doing right in the classroom, we take pride in reminding Canadians of the many teachers whose creativity and dedication are transforming both the history classroom and how our children embrace our history." Morrison adds, "These exemplary teachers merit celebration, and we hope that by sharing their techniques with others, how history is taught will continue to improve, and even more young Canadians will look forward to their studies."

A panel of distinguished judges will next select six recipients from the twenty-five finalists, based on submissions outlining the nominee's innovations and achievements in the field of teaching Canadian History or Social Studies. The six recipients will be awarded $2,500, a gold medal and a trip to the Awards ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, November 20, 2009.

The Awards recipients will be presented with their medal by the Governor General and treated to a reception in their honour and private tour of the historic Rideau Hall. Their respective schools will also benefit from a cash gift of $1,000. During the Awards festivities, recipients will also be treated to a gala dinner and a rare insiders' tour of the Gatineau Preservation Centre hosted by program partner, Library and Archives Canada. "I am delighted to be able to offer this experience to this year's recipients and to open a window on how we preserve the stories about Canada and its history," said Daniel J. Caron, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "Each individual story is important because it helps us discover something unique about our country, and each individual history teacher is important because they give us a broader understanding about who we are and where we have come from."

The prestigious event and Awards prizes are made possible through the generous support of TD Bank Financial Group. "Few things are more powerful than a teacher's enthusiasm. Their passion for a subject can excite, inspire and even transform the lives of their students," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. "Our finest teachers of Canadian history have the ability to make our proud past come to life, in ways that help our students gain a better appreciation of the world we live in today. TD is proud to do its part in recognizing the incredible contributions our Canadian history teachers make in the lives of so many young Canadians."

Biographical details and photos of each of the finalists are available for download through the press room of the History Society's website:

About Canada's History Society

Canada's National History Society is a charitable organization dedicated to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History, the Society also publishes Canada's History Magazine: The Beaver and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids.

About Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. LAC also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD

Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and other causes. In 2008, TD donated $35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada.

SOURCE Canada's History

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview with teachers, please contact: Nicole Harris, Maverick Media, (204) 470-4555,; Deborah Morrison, CEO, Canada's National History Society, 1-866-952-3444 ext. 222,

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