Twenty years ago the Hudson’s Bay Company created Canada’s National History Society to help popularize and share Canadian history. In addition to their flagship publication The Beaver, now Canada’s History magazine, the Society created a new award to recognize exceptional storytellers. Fittingly, the award was named after its first recipient, Pierre Berton.
Since that time, the Pierre Berton Award has been presented to exceptional writers and organizations that have dedicated themselves to sharing Canadian history. To honour this legacy we are dedicating this year’s history forum to outstanding storytellers — young and old.
Do Canadians still think about their history? Is it possible to present a Pierre Berton-style national narrative in the 21st Century with so many competing perspectives? What can Canada’s best storytellers do to tell Canadian history and what can we do to help them?
We are particularly excited to have 22 Young Citizens joining us from across Canada. These young storytellers researched their own Heritage Fair projects, created online videos about their topics, and were selected from over 150 students after a national online vote.
We are grateful to Nexen and the Department of Canadian Heritage for their support of this year’s forum.
Mark Zuehlke is the author of the critically acclaimed Canadian Battle Series — the most extensive published account of the battle experience of Canada’s Army in World War II. These best-selling books continue to confirm Zuehlke’s reputation as one of Canada’s leading popular military historian.
David O’Keefe is an award-winning historian, documentarian and professor at Marianopolis College in Westmount, Quebec. He has created and collaborated on over 15 documentaries for History Television and appeared on CBC Radio, Global Television, and the UKTV Network in Great Britain.