CMA Awards

Each year the CMA presents awards to celebrate and encourage excellence within the Canadian museum sector. A volunteer jury conducts a peer review of all submissions, and the successful recipients are honoured at the CMA's annual conference.


The CMA presents four different awards:


The CMA also presents three awards in partnership with other organizations:

  • The Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! recognizes excellence and innovation in the public programming of museums and related heritage institutions. This award is presented by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) in partnership with Canada’s History Society.
  • ICOM Canada's International Achievement Award honours a Canadian museum professional or organization that has demonstrated and promoted excellence in Canadian museology on an international scale.
  • The Museum Volunteer Award recognizes individuals or groups who generously volunteer their time and commitment to a museum or related heritage institution for several years. This award is a collaboration between the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums (CFFM).



The deadline for applications and nominations for all awards is November 15 each year, with the exception of the History Alive! Award.

Click on each of the links above to find all the information and forms you will need to apply or to nominate someone for an award.




Dr. Shirley L. Thomson Young Curators Award

The Canadian Museums Association and the Museums Foundation of Canada were proud to honour the 2013 award recipient, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). Thanks to the award, Anne Cotignola collaborated on a 32-week European Art internship project, during which she has been initiated to the responsibilities of museological curatorship and has been gaining an understanding of the inner workings of the MMFA.


2013 Young Curators (SThomson) L. to r. : Victoria Henry, Canada Council Art Bank; Anne Cotignola; Anne Grace, MMFA.

2014 Awards Recipients

Excellence in the Canadian museum sector was celebrated at the 2014 Canadian Museums Association (CMA) National Conference in Toronto, Ontario. A total of 15 awards were presented and two emerging museum professionals were introduced during a special ceremony held at the Royal Ontario Museum. 


CMA Awards of Outstanding Achievement

Chaired by David Silcox, these awards recognize exceptional museum projects in various categories. This year, seven awards of Outstanding Achievement were presented in as many categories:


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Conservation


Conservation of Miller Brittain’s Saint John Tuberculosis Hospital Mural Cartoons (New Brunswick Museum)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Education

Education Sex Talk in the City (Museum of Vancouver)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Exhibitions

Exhibition From This Place: Our Lives on Land & Sea and Here, We Made a Home (The Rooms)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Facility Development and Design

Facility/Conception Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium (Space for Life)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Marketing

Marketing 100 Masters Only in Canada (Winnipeg Art Gallery)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Publications

Publications Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection (Bata Shoe Museum)


Award of Outstanding Achievement in Research

Research Charles Edenshaw (Vancouver Art Gallery)


Award of Distinguished Service

Distinguished service (Betsy T) Betsy Thorsteinson
Distinguished service (Francine L) Francine Lelièvre
Distinguished service (David J) David Jensen


Barbara A. Tyler Award in Museum Leadership

Museum Leadership (BAT)

René Binette, director of the Écomusée du fier monde (Montreal, Que.), was recognized for his leadership in taking the museum to a new level of contribution to Canadian society.


New Fellow

Fellow (CCCole)

The CMA is very pleased to appoint Catherine C. Cole as CMA Fellow, the highest form of recognition bestowed by the CMA for her tireless dedication to the work of the CMA and to museums.


Museum Volunteer Award

Presented in collaboration with the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums, the 2014 Museum Volunteer Award recognized Joan F. Ivory for her dedication to the growth of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, Que.) since 1955, as well as the Wednesday Volunteers, a group of retirees that have been at the core of the Telephone Historical Centre (Edmonton, Alta.) for over 25 years.

Volunteer (individual) Joan F. Ivory
Volunteer (Wednesday Volunteers) Walter Onyskiw,
Wednesday Volunteer


ICOM Canada's International Achievement Award

ICOM Canada

Ann Davis, PhD, received the ICOM Canada International Achievement Award for the contributions she has made to international museology during her career in both museums and universities in Canada and internationally.


RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals

RBC Emerging Professionals

Ellen Hlozan will be workingat the York Region District School Board Museum and Archives, and Shellie Zhang will be working at the Art Gallery of Missauga.


The CMA wishes to congratulate this year’s award recipients and interns for their professional achievements and contributions to the Canadian museum sector.


Past Awards Recipients



Questions? Contact:

613-567-0099 x240