Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

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Award Description

The Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! is a partnership between the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) and Canada's History Society (CHS). This award has been presented for the first time in December 2011 by the Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall. 

Canadian history is comprised of many histories.  It is kept vibrant and meaningful by the roles and activities of smaller community-based initiatives, led largely by Canada's museums, archives, and local heritage institutions.  Their efforts ensure there is an enduring repository of valuable research information for future generations, as well as provide important interpretive programs that give greater personal relevance and connection for Canadians to the later national story. 

The goal of the History Alive! award is to honour significant achievement in the historical field and encourage standards of excellence specifically in the presentation, preservation and interpretation of national, regional or local history.

The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have made remarkable contributions to a better knowledge of Canadian history. 

Past winners of The Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

Eligibility

  • Eligible nominees are individuals or organizations in museums, archives, art galleries and related heritage institutions that have made remarkable contributions to a better knowledge of the Canadian local, regional or national history.
  • The award selection would be drawn from nominations put forward by individuals or institutions involved in Canadian museums, archives, art galleries and related heritage institutions.
  • The award is conferred on accomplishments occurring within the year preceding the nomination deadline.
  • Individuals or organizations may not receive an award more than once in three years.
  • Works accepted for nomination may include innovative exhibitions, interpretation, programs and presentations on local, regional or national history subjects, in English or in French.
  • The works must be about actual people and events in Canada history, or composites of events known to have happened.
  • Nominees are considered on the basis of the quality of their research, presentation, preservation and interpretation of national, regional or local history, as well as the overall contribution and impact of their work to fostering a better understanding of our past.
  • Posthumous nominations will not be considered.
  • Individual nominations will not be considered more than 3 times.
  • Members of the jury or their affiliated institutions are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be assessed against the following:

  • Innovation: Nominee initiated and used new ideas, concepts, approaches, activities and programs in communicating local, regional or national history;
  • Integrity: the project is an accurate portrayal of an aspect of Canadian heritage/history;
  • Impact: the project results in positive outcomes in Canadian communities, enhances historical and heritage understanding, and has a significant record of audience outreach;
  • Inclusion: the project/activity supports, promotes, and reflects accessibility and diversity;
  • Inspirational: the project is of significance to other museums in the presentation of Canada's history.

Selection Process

An independent jury will review the nominations and choose the award recipient.

Award Presentation

The award will be presented in the Fall each year by the Governor General during the Award Ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Nominator

The nominator must be an individual or an organization involved in museums, art galleries and related heritage institutions and who is a CMA or Canada's History Society member.

Submissions Guidelines

You simply have to complete and submit the online nomination form available in the CMA member portal. The form requires the following information:

  • Nomination statement (max. 1,500 words) that describes the nominee's achievement.
  • An explanation that details what makes the nominee's accomplishment an outstanding achievement and how it meets the selection criteria (max. 500 words);
  • Biography or curriculum vitae of individual nominee;
  • Letters of support from other Canadian museum professionals supporting the application (1-2);
  • Up to 3 relevant support material of the nominee (OPTIONAL);
  • 5 digital photos presenting the project/program nominated

Questions? Please email: awards@museums.ca

FAQ

1. When will the CMA provide a response to the nomination submitted?

With a nomination deadline of July 15, 2016, you should be receiving a response in early September.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

2. If I nominate a project rather than an individual, do I still need to submit a biography or curriculum vitae of the nominee?

You should submit a brief history about the museum, art gallery, archive, or related heritage institution that is being nominated. You can also submit a short biography about the team nominated.


3. How do I fulfill the following eligibility: “The award is conferred on accomplishments occurring within the year preceding the nomination deadline”?

If your project or accomplishment was launched, initiated, opened or created between August 2015 and July 1st, 2016, you are eligible to apply providing you meet all other requirements and criteria. The project could still be active or available to the public after July 15, 2016, but needs to have been launched or initiated before July 2016.

4. What can I submit under “relevant support materials” outlined in the Submission Guidelines?

This includes any material not currently outlined in the submission guidelines. You may submit any type of material that provides other or additional information that you think is necessary to understand the project and explains how the project meets the criteria. Please note the required material should provide most if not all the information necessary to explain how the nomination meets the criteria.

For more information on Canada's History, please visit their website.