Canada Prizes

Canada Prizes

Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2016, the Canada Prizes have been awarded annually since 1991 to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). The winning books make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

Every year, four prizes of $2,500 are awarded:

  • Canada Prize in the Humanities
  • Canada Prize in the Social Sciences
  • Prix du Canada en sciences humaines
  • Prix du Canada en sciences sociales

2016 Canada Prizes

Celebrating 25 years of exceptional scholarly books.

Latest news

Latest news

First awarded in 1991, the Canada Prizes are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

The winners of the 2016 Canada Prizes have been announced! See the list of this year’s winners below. Find out more in our media release, media kit and on our blog.

The winners will be honored during the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences  at the University of Calgary at a special event on the afternoon of Sunday, May 29. This event will be open to the public. Click here for more details.

2016 Canada Prize winners

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Canada Prizes. This year’s winners are:


Canada Prize in the Humanities

Brian Young
Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords
McGill-Queen’s University Press

Jury’s citation: Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords provides a fascinating journey through two of Quebec's élite families over four generations, from their arrival in North America in the eighteenth century to their uncertain prospects by the 1930s. Along the way, Brian Young masterfully shows how the McCords and Taschereaus were closely tied to larger economic, cultural, social and religious forces in Quebec, both shaping and being shaped by them. In addition to the impressive body of research that Young brings to this study, readers will also be drawn in by a book which has been beautifully produced with attractive illustrations that help make the story come alive.

Brian Young is James McGill Professor of Canadian History (emeritus) at McGill University. He is a founding member of the Montreal History Group and is an active member of the Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises (CIEQ). With interests across scholarship, the teaching of history, and its vulgarisation, he has served on the boards of Canada's History Society, the McCord Museum of Canadian History, le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), l’Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française, and the Canadian Historical Association. He was a founding editor of the McGill-Queen's University Press series Studies on the History of Quebec / Études d'histoire du Québec. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has twice won the Prix Lionel-Groulx, awarded annually for the best work on French America. Other awards include a Killam Research Fellowship, le Prix Gérard Parizeau, and the Governor General’s International Award for Canadian Studies (2010). Many of his books are available in translation and seven have been published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Read more about this book on our blog.



Canada Prize in the Social Sciences

Nancy Turner
Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. Volume 1 and Volume 2
McGill-Queen’s University Press

Jury’s citation: Nancy Turner's Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge is an astonishing work of scholarship, the culmination of 40 years of collaborative engagement with indigenous communities and natural ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. First and foremost, Turner provides a detailed written record of ancestral knowledge accumulated over thousands of years, much of which, in the present era, is in danger of being lost. Yet she goes beyond just providing a record, developing a richly detailed account of the way this traditional ecological knowledge of the botanical world can serve as a gateway to a deeper understanding of everything from migration patterns, linguistic change, foraging strategies and medicinal practices to material culture and philosophical worldview among Indigenous peoples. Written in a straightforward, jargon-free style, generously interspersed with photographs, illustrations and tables, the resulting work is surprisingly accessible, given the depth and intensity of the scholarship on display. An extraordinary achievement.

Nancy Turner is a Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology in the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 45 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge represents an integration of her long term research. She has authored or co-authored/co-edited 19 other books, as well as over 120 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers. She has received a number of awards for her work, including the Richard Evans Schultes Award in Ethnobotany from the Healing Forest Conservancy, the Canadian Botanical Association’s Lawson Medal for lifetime contributions to Canadian Botany in the field of Ethnobotany, and the Society for Economic Botany’s Distinguished Economic Botanist of the year. She belongs to the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Read more about this book on our blog.



Prix du Canada en sciences humaines

Caroline Durand
Nourrir la machine humaine : Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860-1945
McGill-Queen’s University Press

Jury’s citation: Caroline Durand’s book is an extraordinarily well researched study on nutrition in Quebec between the industrial revolution and the Second World War. This monumental work of exceptional scope sits at the intersection of social, cultural, health and women’s histories. The culmination of exhaustive research, Nourrir la machine humaine compares, in a direct and dynamic style, a plethora of writings on nutrition and cooking practices (literature, cookbooks, newspaper articles, marketing pamphlets, legal texts, religious tracts, medical textbooks, etc.). By intertwining large and small histories without ever losing sight of the Canadian, continental and imperial contexts, this original perspective shows how the evolution of nutritional practices is shaped not only by personal beliefs and individual choices, but by complex mechanisms driven by industry, research, the Catholic church, and, ultimately, national and international policy. Thanks to Caroline Durand, the research community and amateur history buffs will see their pantries in a whole new light. Now when they open the cupboard, they will see a strategic battleground where powerful players have long operated in the shadows, placing scientific progress at the service of social conservatism.

Assistant professor of history and Canadian studies at Trent University, Caroline Durand has conducted research on cultural phenomena including popular music, cuisine, and modernity, and on ideas such as nationalism and liberalism. Her research contributes to the social, cultural, political, and intellectual history of Quebec and French Canada, and the wider field of critical food studies. .

Read more about this book on our blog.



Prix du Canada en sciences sociales

Caroline Caron
Vues, mais non entendues. Les adolescentes québécoises et l'hypersexualisation
Presses de l’Université Laval

Jury’s citation: Through her in-depth and masterful study of a social phenomenon that has garnered significant media attention and been the subject of multiple controversies, Caroline Caron has achieved two fundamental goals of social science. First, she aims to deconstruct some of the myths and prejudices advanced by the conversation around teen and pre-teen girls by questioning the way in which media and public debates have presented their alleged hyper-sexualization. Her analysis of the media discourse on this issue is thorough, irrefutable and extremely theoretically sound. In addition, she uses a series of extremely well-presented and articulate interviews to give a voice back to the teens affected by the debate, who are so often relegated to what others choose to say about them and treated like a homogenous third party excluded from the conversation. With great methodological and theoretical rigour, Caron got these young girls to talk outside of the usual societal disapproval and moral framework imposed by outside scrutiny. In this way, she gives them back their identity and their own principles, enabling them to become rational subjects with their own agency, rather than objects of scorn or of poorly repressed desire. In the current pan-Canadian and Quebecois context of constant (and often dangerous) objectification of young girls and their bodies, this important and timely study asks fair and relevant questions about this pressing topic.

Caroline Caron is a professor in the department of social sciences at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. A specialist in gender studies, communication and discourse analysis, she is currently conducting FRQSC- and SSHRC-funded research on social media, youth civic engagement and sexism in public digital spaces. She has published articles in academic journals including Lien Social et Politiques, Canadian Review of Sociology, Journal of Youth Studies and Communication.

Read more about this book on our blog.




Congratulations to all the winners!

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2016 Canada Prizes finalists

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 Canada Prizes. This year’s finalists are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities

Canada Prize in the Social Sciences

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines

Prix du Canada en sciences sociales

Congratulations to all the finalists!

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2016 Canada Prizes jury

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the jury members for the 2016 Canada Prizes.

Jury members for the 2016 Canada Prize in the Humanities

Bronwyn Drainie is a cultural journalist who has worked widely in Canadian broadcasting, newspapers and magazines. In the 1970s she hosted CBC-Radio’s “Sunday Morning”, in the 80s and 90s she had a cultural affairs column in the Globe and Mail, and from 2003 to 2015 she was the editor of the Literary Review of Canada.

Stephen Henighan is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Guelph. He has published extensively on the literatures of Spanish America, Lusophone Africa and English Canada. His recent books include A Report on the Afterlife of Culture, A Green Reef: The Impact of Climate Change and Sandino's Nation: Ernesto Cardenal and Sergio Ramírez Writing Nicaragua, 1940-2012, for which he was named a finalist for the 2015 Canada Prize in the Humanities.

Ronald Rudin is a Professor of History and Co-Director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University. The author of numerous books, most recently the award-winning Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie, he has also been recognized for his documentary films and multimedia websites. Academic Convenor for the 2010 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, his research has been supported by a fellowship from the Trudeau Foundation. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Jury members for the 2016 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences

Michael Asch is a professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria and a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta. In 2001, his contributions to the field of applied anthropology were honoured by Canadian Anthropology Society with the Weaver-Tremblay award. He has served as President of the Canadian Anthropological Society, Senior Research Associate for Anthropology on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and as Director of the Dene/Metis Mapping Project. He is currently a member of the board of advisors of Smithsonian Folkways Records.  He is the author of many books, including Home and Native Land, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada and, most recently, On Being Here to Stay, for which he won the 2015 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences.

Joseph Heath is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Trudeau Foundation, Heath is the author of several books, both popular and academic. His most recent, Morality, Competition and the Firm, is a collection of papers on business ethics and the normative foundations of market economies. He is also the author of Enlightenment 2.0, which won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing in 2015.

Linda Kealey is Professor Emerita of the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick. Her most recent research and publications have focused on health care history in Canada and particularly the role of women as nurses, as well as the experiences of domestic servants in 20th century Newfoundland. Previous research included Canadian women’s work and women’s involvement in labour and socialist politics in the twentieth century. It also reflects her involvement in the women’s movement since the late 1960s. She was also the Academic Convenor of the 2011 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Jury members for the Prix du Canada en sciences humaines 2016

Yves Frenette is professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair Migrations, transferts et communautés francophones at the Université de Saint-Boniface. Frenette is the author of two books and more than one hundred chapters and articles, in addition to having edited or co-edited fifteen books. His historical atlas La francophonie nord-américaine (co-edited with Étienne Rivard and Marc-Saint-Hilaire) won the Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française's Prix de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec. Frenette is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Yan Hamel is a professor at TÉLUQ (Université du Québec) where he develops multimedia distance learning courses on Québec culture and literature. He is the author of La bataille des mémoires. La Seconde Guerre mondiale et le roman français and L’Amérique selon Sartre, for which he won the 2015 Prix du Canada en sciences humaines. Yan Hamel was president of the North American Sartre Society and is a member of the board of directors of the Groupe d’études sartriennes.

Monique Régimbald-Zeiber lives and works in Montreal. She was a professor of the school of visual and media arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal from 1992 to 2012. She was Vice-Dean of Research and Creation of the faculty of arts at UQAM from 2010-2013. An artist, over the past twenty years she has developed an approach that questions the construction of the gaze and of history, particularly as it relates to women. Her works are part of many collections, including those of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the gallery at UQAM. In 1996, she founded with Louise Déry, director of the UQAM gallery, the publishing house Éditions «les petits carnets».

Jury members for the Prix du Canada en sciences sociales 2016

Daniel Béland holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. A specialist of fiscal and social policy, he has published 14 books and more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. From 2010 to 2013 he was Co-Chair (Social Sciences) of the Academic Council of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program.

Founding member and director of Équiterre, Steven Guilbeault is involved in environmental issues, particularly those that relate to climate change. Over the past twenty years he has worked for Greenpeace Canada, Greenpeace International, Deloitte and Touche, as well as reporting for many news outlets. In 2009 he published his first book, Alerte! Le Québec à l’heure des changements climatiques, about his experience of international climate negotiations. In 2012, the Université de Montréal awarded him the Médaille de l’Université for his career achievements. His second book, Le prochain virage, written with François Tanguay, was published in 2014.

Dominique Perron is a retired professor of Québec studies at the University of Calgary, where she taught from 1990 to 2015.  She is the author of Le nouveau roman de l’énergie nationale : Analyse des discours promotionnels d’Hydro-Québec de 1964 à 1997, which was shortlisted for the Prix Raymond-Klibansky in 2006. Her most recent book L’Alberta Autophage : Identités, mythes et discours du pétrole dans l’Ouest canadien, was a finalist for the 2013 Governor General's Prize for Non-Fiction and won the 2015 Prix du Canada en sciences sociales.


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About the Canada Prizes

Archives: Canada Prizes