Canada's National History Society

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Canada's National History Society
Canada's History Society Logo.png
Canada's History Society Logo
Formation 1994; 24 years ago (1994)
Founder Hudson Bay Company
Founded at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Type Charitable Organization
Headquarters Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Canada's National History Society is a charitable organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Society was founded in 1994 by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) for the purpose of promoting greater popular interest in Canadian history principally through its publishing activities and outreach and recognition programs. The Society receives a core grant from the Hudson's Bay Company History Foundation annually, but operates as an independent entity. Its operating budget averages $2.7 million a year, and its largest share of revenues comes from its membership who in addition to subscribing to their magazines also contribute charitable donations. 66% of total annual revenues come from individual subscriptions and donations.

From 2007-2009 it partnered with HBC to administer the HBC Local History Grants Program which provided modest support to small community-based history projects. Today the History Society continues to support local history organizations through the Canada's History Awards program as well as its website's news and travel services.


Canada's History' magazine[edit]

Its flagship product is Canada's History magazine (until 2010 known as The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine). Produced six times a year with a current paid subscriber/membership base of 44,000.[1][2] In 2017 Canada's History released an archive of the back catalogue of The Beaver.[3]

Kayak' magazine[edit]

In addition, the History Society launched Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids in 2003 which now published quarterly in English and in French as an insert to Quebec children's magazine Les Editions Les Debrouillards. Paid circulation for the English edition is just under 6,000.


To date, The History Society has published five books:

  • For The Love of History (Random House 2005), an anthology of the collected works of the first decade of Pierre Berton Award recipients;
  • Those Earlier Hills (Heritage House 2007), a collection of R.M. Patterson's articles which appeared in The Beaver magazine;
  • 100 Photos That Changed Canada (2009) celebrating Canada's most memorable photographs.
  • Reid, Mark, ed. (2011). 100 Days That Changed Canada. Harper Collins. ISBN 1443405655. 
  • Reid, Mark, ed. (2014). Canada's Great War Album. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 9781443420150. 

Awards programs[edit]

In addition to its publishing projects, the History Society produces Canada's History Awards, a national celebration of the country's top history honours including the Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and the Pierre Berton Award for achievement in popular history. In 2008, the History Society established the National Forum on Canadian History as part of the annual Awards events as an opportunity to bring students, teachers, historians, museum specials, and history organizations together to discuss ways to improve formal and informal history education in Canada.

The Governor General's History Awards[edit]

The Governor General's History Awards program were established in 1996 by Canada's National History Society. The awards include a number of separate awards programs:[4]

  • The Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History
  • Excellence in Museums: History Alive! award for innovative museum programming (Canadian Museums Association)
  • The Sir John A. Macdonald Prize for scholarly research (The Canadian Historical Association)
  • Excellence in Community Programming
  • National Student Awards including: Kayak Kids' Illustrated History Challenge, The Government of Canada History Awards for Students, Aboriginal Arts & Stories, and the Experiences Canada Awards

Pierre Berton Award[edit]

Established in 1994, the Pierre Berton Award is presented annually by the Society for distinguished achievement in presenting Canadian history in an informative and engaging manner. The award program is currently known as the Governor General's Award for Popular Media: the Pierre Berton Award.[5] Canadian writer and historian Pierre Berton was the first recipient and agreed to lend his name to future awards. The award honours those who have introduced Canadian characters and events of the past to the national and international public.

Year Recipient Name
2016 Merna Forster[6]
2015 Lawrence Hill[7]
2014 Mark Zuehlke
2013 Tim Cook
2012 Dictionary of Canadian Biography
2011 J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2010 Desmond Morton
2009 Paul Gross
2008 Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History
2007 Brian McKenna
2006 Ken McGoogan
2005 Will Ferguson
2004 Jack Granatstein
2003 Charlotte Gray
2002 Canadian Society for Civil Engineering
2001 Canada: A People's History
2000 Peter C. Newman
1998 Bob Johnstone: Today in History
1997 The CRB Foundation
1996 Jacques Lacoursière
1995 James H. Gray
1994 Pierre Berton


  1. ^ Austen, Ian (2010-01-24). "The Beaver, a Magazine, Changes Its Name to Canada's History". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  2. ^ Patriquin, Martin (February 17, 2010). "How the beaver lost its name". Retrieved July 31, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Canada's History archives launched in celebration of Canada day". News Wire. June 22, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Governor General of Canada". Retrieved 2017-07-31. 
  5. ^ International, Radio Canada (2013-09-08). "Arts: The Governor-General's Pierre Berton award for promoting history in the media". RCI | English. Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Merna Forster: Meet the Author". Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Lawrence Hill: Recipient of the 2015 Governor General's History Award for Popular Media". Canada's History. October 16, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]