Canada’s History is pleased to announce this year’s shortlist for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming. The organizations featured represent remarkable and inspiring initiatives that encourage public engagement in Canadian history.
The award will honour two recipients, one French and one English, for innovation in community programming. Organizations receive a cash prize of $2,500 and a trip for two to Ottawa to receive their award.
Congratulations to the featured projects!
100th Anniversary of the Death of Albert "Ginger" Goodwin
Cumberland and District Historical Society
Albert "Ginger" Goodwin was a labour activist who was killed in Cumberland in 1918. The Cumberland and District Historical Society coordinated a series of events and commemorations to remember Ginger Goodwin and his contributions to workers' rights on the 100th anniversary of his death. Related events included: workshops, performances, an exhibit, and re-enactment that involved the community.
1699 - 2018 : l'histoire d'une vie
Musée des Ursulines de Trois-Rivières
In 2018, the Musée des Ursulines de Trois-Rivières began the creation of two projects to help the public better understand the heritage character of their site. The museum created a 360 video which explores the interiors of the site and features narration about the different areas. 3D modelling was used in the second project to display the evolution of the historic structure and to accompany the video content.
1919 - Prince Edward Island Soldiers Return from the Great War
The project "1919 - Prince Edward Island Soldiers Return from the Great War" was created by Culture Summerside as a tribute to the large-scale demobilization effort after the First World War. Culture Summerside coordinated a series of lectures, events, exhibitions, and a publication to educate the public about the return of the soldiers 100 years ago.
Town of Cobourg
"Armistice18" is a series of events put on by the Town of Cobourg from September to November 2018, to commemorate the centennial of the First World War Armistice. The project featured plays, concerts, exhibitions and public lectures, among other events, to commemorate this important milestone.
Calgary Gay History Project
Calgary Gay History Project
The Calgary Gay History Project aims to share and reveal Calgary's LGBTQ2+ history. Through a play, short film and book, the project has been able to reach thousands of Canadians. The Calgary Public Library also named the project's founder as their inaugural Historian in Residence, allowing the project to further disseminate history within the community.
Canada's Cultural Roots - Kanyen’keha:ka O:kara'shon'a (CCR-KO)
Through the Canada’s Cultural Roots - Kanyen'keha:ka O:kara'shon'a program, youth from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory receive training in various art disciplines from Indigenous and non-Indigenous arts educators. The youth then use their new knowledge to facilitate arts sessions at elementary schools in the surrounding area.
Centennaire de Val-David
Société d'histoire et du patrimoine de Val-David
In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Val-David, the Val-David Historical Society is undertaking research to catalogue and identify significant information and artefacts for the 2021 celebrations. This project involves research, organizing, and the gathering of potential testimonies for a proposed exhibition about the municipality.
Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow
Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society
"Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow" is an exhibition that featured images from a prominent photographer of Vancouver's Chinatown in the 20th century. Photographs came predominantly from families in the community. Yucho Chow developed a reputation as a welcoming photographer who would serve people of all backgrounds.
History Check Mobile App
"History Check" is a mobile app that allows users to engage with the history of Alberta on an interactive map. The app uses location services to show areas of historical significance in the vicinity of the phone. Users can get more information about points on the map, such as, archival documents, current images, and references.
Living Memory: Jeszcze Polska nie zginela (Poland is not yet lost)
Billy Bishop Home, Archives and Museum: A National Historic Site
Owen Sound, ON
The centerpiece of this exhibition is a Beech tree with the words "Poland is not yet lost" carved into the bark; it was signed "A Soldier, April 14, 1942." This artefact prompted the Billy Bishop Home, Archives and Museum to research Polish soldiers who were stationed in the area during the Second World War. The resulting exhibition combined information from residents as well as input from high school students to create something of significance for the Polish-Canadian community.
'Looking to the Past': Brandon Labour History Exhibition
Brandon University Public History Program/Brandon General Museum and Archives
Brandon University's "Looking to the Past: Brandon Labour History" exhibition explored the dynamic history of labour in the community. Many featured images were crowdsourced from the community to counteract the lack of materials available in traditional research databases. This exhibition travelled to different organizations to further spread these lesser-known stories.
Mémoire du Quartier Harwood
Centre d'archives Vaudreuil-Soulanges
"Mémoire du Quartier Harwood" is a collaborative project between the archives of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and the surrounding community. The archives consulted with citizens to gather information about the evolution of the area. Citizens contributed stories, photographs, and insight which allowed for the creation of panels and an accompanying booklet that track change within the community. Information obtained as part of this project was also copied digitally to further preserve the memories.
Société historique de Saint-Henri
This exhibition series, put on by the Saint-Henri Historical Society, displayed the culture of the community across four decades. Each exhibition focused on an individual decade and over 150 photos and over 75 objects from the archives were used across the four exhibits.
Myseum of Toronto
The Myseum of Toronto created a festival titled "Myseum Intersections" with the goal of bringing together accessible programs for the general public. This festival featured 17 projects that explored hidden and frequently ignored stories and narratives from Toronto's past.
Nous sommes Montréal
Pointe-à-Callière, cité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal
"Nous sommes Montréal" is an educational project by Pointe-à-Callière. Point-à-Callière worked with students and a local author to create a book about the history of Montréal. Students were encouraged to draw connections between history and their own creativity for the creation of the book.
"Portraits Vivants" (Living Portraits) is an exhibit created by the 5M - Musées Gaspésiens. The exhibit is featured at all five museums in the form of portraits highlighting different historic figures from the area. When guests approach the exhibit, they can activate a video which causes the portraits to move, and one individual will explain the history of the Gaspé Peninsula while interacting with characters in the other picture frames.
Potlatch 67-67: The Potlatch Ban - Then and Now
Kumugwe Cultural Society
The Kumugwe Cultural Society marked 67 years since the Potlatch Ban was lifted with the program "Potlatch 67-67: The Potlatch Ban - Then and Now." This program consisted of a series of blanket exercises, articles, film content, ceremonies, and an accompanying exhibition to discuss the resiliency and growth of cultural practices.
Through PowerFilledYouth TO students and youth within the community are given the opportunity to put on plays about black history. After much rehearsing, the plays are presented to the schools, parents, and community.
Prince Albert Historical Society's Indigenous Mural Project
Prince Albert Historical Society
Prince Albert, SK
Prince Albert Historical Society's "Indigenous Mural Project" was created as part of the process of redeveloping a space in the Prince Albert Historical Museum. After consultation with Métis Knowledge Keepers, they developed the idea to involve the community and Indigenous artists in the creation of a mural. With the help of artists Leah Dorion and Kevin Pee-Ace, the mural was created with artwork done by school children and seniors.
Canadian Research and Mapping Association
The Canadian Research and Mapping Association launched "Project 44" to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. With the help of a team of volunteers, the CRMA scanned and transcribed maps, diaries and other documents relating to the campaign. The documents were digitized and are held on a website that has an interactive map charting the different unit positions of all parties involved.
Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall
Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, Algoma University
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
"Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall" at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, is an exhibition and space dedicated to Residential School Survivors. The exhibition's Survivor-driven approach allowed the Centre to consult Survivors to determine their needs for commemoration, public education, and reclamation. Archival material, oral histories, and digital photo stations are some of the ways in which the Hall communicates and facilitates continuous addition of new content.
The Tashme Project: The Living Archives
Tashme Productions' "The Tashme Project: The Living Archives" uses oral histories to create a verbatim theatre play about Japanese internment in Canada during the Second World War. The play uses interviews with 2nd Generation Japanese Canadians (Nisei) and includes a map of the Tashme internment camp in the lobby. Audience members are invited to pinpoint the areas they lived in on the map.
Grande Prairie, AB
Thunderbird Inc. engages with communities and educational institutions to share cultural teaching and practices. Through their work they disseminate ancestral knowledge and bridge gaps in today's society. This work aims to help those involved understand their connection to the land.
Architectural Conservancy Ontario - Toronto Branch
"TOBuilt" is a project created by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's Toronto Branch. The project uses crowd-sourcing from citizens and architectural organizations to assemble a database of buildings and structures in Toronto. Complete with images and information, the database already has 11, 000 entries.
Trail of the Caribou Research Group
Trail of the Caribou Research Group
Portugal Cove St. Philip's, NL
The Trail of the Caribou Research Group aims to raise awareness and preserve the memories of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who served during the First World War. This project incorporates public talks and school outreach, historical and genealogical research, and works with cemeteries to preserve and identify relevant markers.