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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching? Here are some of the questions we've received in the past. If you have further questions, please contact Joanna Dawson at 1-866-952-3444 x225.

Q. I have been nominated for the award. What does this mean?

Congratulations! If you’ve been nominated, that means a colleague, student, or community member told us that you deserve to be recognized for your work. People can nominate a teacher at any point during the year, and sometimes we run special campaigns or promotions inviting people to tell us about their favourite history teacher.


Q. What do I do once I’m nominated?

Although we have a nomination process in place, teachers are asked to complete an award application. This is because there is specific information we request (relating to lesson plans, teaching philosophy, etc), that only the teachers can supply.


Q. What does the application consist of?

The application is made up of 3 parts:

1) Basic contact information
2) Five short-answer questions
3) Supplementary Documents (lesson plan, student work, assessment rubric, and letters of reference)

You can access the application form or download a Word version for reference here: All applications must be submitted through the online form.


Q. What do I submit for the application?

Teachers are asked to submit a specific unit or project for their award application. The unit should have a significant component of Canadian history and a unique culminating activity.

Although you may have difficulty selecting one activity to submit, you will find that the application is easier to complete if you focus on a specific project. It’s a way for you to provide specific examples and evidence of your teaching philosophy, methods, and assessment techniques.


Q. Who should I ask to write my letters of reference?

Teachers are asked to submit 2 letters of reference with their application. The letters could come from a variety of people – a colleague, administrator, student, parent, or community member. It’s important to ask people who are familiar with your work (specifically the project you submit), and can attest to the impact it has had on your students.


Q. How do I submit my letters of reference?

You should upload your letters of reference as part of your online award application. They should be signed by your referee and scanned in a pdf format. Letters can be addressed as follows, but there is no need to mail the original letter:

Canada’s History
Bryce Hall, Main Floor
515 Portage Ave
Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
Attention: Selection Committee – Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching


Q. What file types can I submit for my supplementary documents?

The online form will accept Word, pdf, Powerpoint, JPEG, and Excel documents. Documents shouldn’t be larger than 5 MB. If you have other file types you would like to share (videos, photo galleries, etc), it’s recommended that you put them online and then share the link in your application.


Q. I have applied for the award before – can I apply again?

Absolutely. Many teachers have applied more than once before being named recipients. We receive many wonderful submissions and some applications may just need a few revisions to help them stand out. The judges also like to see that teachers are building upon and improving their projects, so resubmitting your application does not in any way put you at a disadvantage.


Q. Can I access my past submission?

If you have applied online for the award, you can log in to Canada’s History and access your previous submission here:


Q. What if I can’t remember my username or password to log-in?

You can reset your password here: If you continue to have trouble, please contact Joanna Dawson.


Q. When will the recipients be announced?

A shortlist will be announced in June, and the final 6 recipients will be contacted in September. A public announcement will be made later in the fall.

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