About the Canada Prizes

Canada Prizes

About the Canada Prizes

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually 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. First awarded in 1991, the Canada Prizes celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2016.

Celebrating the best Canadian scholarly books—not simply within a single academic discipline, but across all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences—the Canada Prizes are truly unique. The winners and finalists of the prizes provoke and inform national conversations on important topics and draw attention to the important contribution of scholarship to Canadian society.

Beginning in 2017, two prizes of $5,000 are awarded annually:

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

Established in 1991 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ASPP, the Canada Prizes were originally known as the Raymond Klibansky Prize, for the best English book in the humanities; the Prix Raymond-Klibansky, for the best French book in the humanities; the Harold Adams Innis Prize, for the best English book in the social sciences; and the Prix Jean-Charles-Falardeau, for the best French book in the social sciences. In 2011, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences adopted the name the Canada Prizes for the four prizes. Beginning with the 2017 prizes, the Federation combined the humanities and social sciences prizes in each language, awarding two prizes – one in English and one in French..

All books eligible for the Canada Prizes have received funding from the ASPP. This program was established in 1941 by a group of Canadian scholars who wanted to support the dissemination of Canadian research in the humanities and social sciences. These scholars, among them noted public intellectuals Harold Adams Innis and Northrop Frye, felt strongly that the unique scholarship being produced in Canada needed to be shared. Since that time, the ASPP has funded more than 7,000 works, contributing directly to the creation of a distinctly Canadian body of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences. The winners of the Canada Prizes represent the very best of these books.

Click here for a list of past winners.