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About the Awards
The Governor General’s History Awards are Canada’s top honours in the field of history and heritage. They celebrate the very best in Canadian achievements to ensure our national past has a vibrant presence in our society today.
The awards were first established in 1996 by Canada’s National History Society to recognize excellence in teaching Canadian history. In 2011, the awards program was expanded to five categories in partnership with the Canadian Historical Association and the Canadian Museums Association. The five award categories are: Teaching, Museums, Scholarly Research, Community Programming, and Popular Media. Each award category is administered by the presenting organization and has its own jury, selection process, and prize structure.
Since the creation of the awards, over 200 individuals and organizations have been honoured at Rideau Hall and at the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Québec. The awards 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.
The Governor General’s History Awards are administered by Canada’s National History Society, with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Power Corporation of Canada.
The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching was created in 1996 to recognize innovative and impactful approaches to teaching Canadian history. The award places a spotlight on teachers who foster a deep understanding of the past and actively engage students in historical work through meaningful projects and initiatives.
The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming aims to inspire small or volunteer-led community organizations in the creation of innovative programming that commemorates unique aspects of our heritage. Eligible candidates include individuals; project teams; historical societies; and community, heritage, and cultural organizations.
The Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award celebrates those who have brought Canadian history to a wider audience. Eligible candidates include individuals or organizations that have helped popularize Canadian history through such means as publications, film, radio, television, theatre, or in digital formats. The recipient will receive a medal and a $5,000 cash prize at a special award presentation.
Deadline: June 1
The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! is administered by the Canadian Museums Association and honours individuals or institutions that have made a significant achievement in the historical field and encourage standards of excellence specifically in the presentation, preservation and interpretation of national, regional or local history.
Deadline: please consult the Canadian Museums Associationlink opens in new window website
Learn morelink opens in new window
The Governor General’s History Award for Scholarly Research is administered by the Canadian Historical Association. The prize is awarded to the non-fiction work of Canadian history published in the last year judged to have made the most significant contribution to an understanding of the Canadian past.
We are now accepting applications for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. Deadline is April 10th.
Nominate an exceptional history project in your community for this year’s Governor General's History Award.