Molson Prize
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Molson Prize

The Thomas Henry Pentland Molson Prize for the Arts is awarded by The Canada Council for the Arts. Two prizes are awarded annually to distinguished individuals. One prize is awarded in the arts, one in the social sciences and humanities. The prizes are $50,000 each, and intended to encourage continuing contribution to the cultural and intellectual heritage of Canada.


Funded by an endowment from the Molson Foundation, the prizes are administered by the Canada Council for the Arts in cooperation with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Laureates are chosen by a peer assessment committee appointed jointly by the Canada Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. To be nominated, candidates must have made a substantial and distinguished contribution over a significant period of time. In the words of the deed of gift, the prizes are intended "to encourage Canadians of outstanding achievement in the fields of the Arts, the Humanities or the Social Sciences to make further contribution to the cultural or intellectual heritage of Canada". The terms of reference are interpreted as follows:

  • outstanding achievement must have already been amply demonstrated
  • further contribution implies that the laureates should still be very active and productive.

In other words, the prize is not intended as an "end of service" reward or as recognition for one great accomplishment. Past assessment committees have been quite consistent in choosing laureates who are close to the top of an outstanding career. Corporations and other organizations are excluded from consideration, as are posthumous awards. No individual may be awarded the prize more than once. The prizes are accessible to qualified persons from Aboriginal Peoples and diverse cultural and regional communities. Members of the board of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are not eligible to be considered for this prize during the course of their terms as members nor for six months following the end of their term.

Nomination process

Candidates may not apply for the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes on their own behalf. They must be nominated by three individuals or three organizations, or a combination of individuals and organizations. Nominations are sought from persons and organizations that have the interest and capacity to nominate appropriate individuals. Nominators may submit one letter signed by the three nominating individuals or organizations, or submit three separate letters of nomination. Nominators are responsible for gathering and providing relevant documentation to the Canada Council.

Selection procedure

The two laureates are chosen by a single, multidisciplinary peer assessment committee co-chaired by the Chairman of the Canada Council for the Arts and the President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Members are chosen to ensure fair representation of gender, the two official languages, the various regions and cultures of Canada, and the various types of artistic and scholarly disciplines. Committee members are among the most accomplished individuals in their respective fields and, ideally, have interests that extend beyond the confines of a single discipline.

List of recipients

Year Laureate[1]
2016 Marie-Claire Blais redux.jpg Marie-Claire Blais
John McGarry
2015 M. G. Vassanji
Constance Backhouse
2014 John Arcand
Jean Grondin
2013 Richard Wagamese
Ann Dale
2012 Dáirine Ní Mheadhra
KerenRice.jpg Keren Rice
2011 Chiasson Hermenegilde c3.jpg Herménégilde Chiasson
Peter Victor
2010 Édouard Lock
Linda Hutcheon
2009 Ian Wallace
Leonard Wayne Sumner
2008 Sheila Fischman
Angus McLaren
2007 Alex Pauk
Paul Thagard
2006 Nicole Brossard01.jpg Nicole Brossard
HenryMintzberg230948.jpg Henry Mintzberg
2005 Iain Baxter&.
Ramsay Cook
2004 Maria Campbell
Richard Tremblay
2003 Walter Boudreau01.jpg Walter Boudreau
Janice Gross Stein
2002 Christopher Newton
Prof. Margaret Lock, Montréal, 2013.jpeg Margaret Lock
2001 Not awarded
2000 Jacques Poulin
Ian Hacking (cropped).jpg Ian Hacking
1999 Kiawak Ashoona
Tom Courchene
1998 Jeanne Lamon
Michael Trebilcock[2]
1997 Mary Pratt
Guy Rocher
1996 Mavis Gallant
Pierre Maranda
1995 Gerald Ferguson
Donald Akenson
1994 Michel Tremblay
Martin Friedland
1993 R. Murray Schafer.jpg R. Murray Schafer
Juliet McMaster
1992 Douglas Cardinal
Fernand Dumont
1991 DenysArcand07TIFF.jpg Denys Arcand
Charles Taylor.jpg Charles Taylor
1990 Alice Munro
Jean-Jacques Nattiez[3]
1989 Vera Frenkel
Fernande Saint-Martin
1988 Robertson Davies
Terence Michael Penelhum[4]
1987 Yvette Brind'Amour
Marc-Adélard Tremblay.jpg Marc-Adélard Tremblay[5]
1986 J. Mavor Moore[6]
William Dray
1985 Gaston Miron
Melzack Ronald.jpg Ronald Melzack
1984 Marcel Dubé[7]
James G. Eayrs
1983 Brian Macdonald[8]
Francess Halpenny[9]
1982 Alan Cairns
Louis-Edmond Hamelin 2014-04-10.jpg Louis-Edmond Hamelin
Jack McClelland
Gilles Vigneault Chantauvent Natashquan 1989.jpg Gilles Vigneault
1981 Margaret Atwood 2015.jpg Margaret Atwood
Marcel Trudel[10]
John Weinzweig[11]
1980 Michel Brault[12]
Lois Marshall[13]
Robert Weaver
1979 Jean Duceppe
Betty Oliphant
Michael Snow.jpg Michael Snow
1978 Gabrielle Roy[14]
Jack Shadbolt
George Story
1977 John Hirsch
Bill Reid
Jean-Louis Roux
1976 Orford String Quartet
Denise Pelletier
Jon Vickers
1975 Alex Colville
Pierre Dansereau
Margaret Laurence
1974 W. A. C. H Dobson
Celia Franca
Jean Paul Lemieux
1973 John James Deutsch
Alfred Pellan
George Woodcock
1972 Maureen Forrester
Rina Lasnier[15]
Norman McLaren
1971 Northrop Frye[16]
Duncan Macpherson
Yves Thériault
1970 Jean-Paul Audet
Morley Callaghan
Arnold Spohr
1969 Glenn Gould
Jean Le Moyne
1968 Arthur Erickson
Anne Hébert[17]
Marshall McLuhan
1967 Georges-Henri Lévesque
Hugh MacLennan
1965-66 Jean Gascon
Frank Scott[18]
1964 Donald Creighton[19]
Alain Grandbois


  1. ^ "Molson Prizes" (PDF). Canada Council for the Arts. 2016. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Michael Trebilcock | University of Toronto Faculty of Law". Retrieved .
  3. ^ Taylor, Rachelle. "Jean-Jacques Nattiez". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Penelhum, Terence Michael - Oxford Reference". doi:10.1093/acref/9780199754663.001.0001/acref-9780199754663-e-762.
  5. ^ Gadacz, René R. "Marc-Adélard Tremblay". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "James Mavor Moore (1919-2006)". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Award Recipients - Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA)". Retrieved .
  8. ^ CRABB, MICHAEL. "Brian Macdonald". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Maude, Mary McDougall. "Francess Georgina Halpenny". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Les Prix du Québec - le lauréat Marcel Trudel". (in French). Retrieved .
  11. ^ Henninger, Richard. "John Weinzweig". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Michel Brault (1928-2013) - NFB/blog". NFB/blog. 2013-09-24. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Norman, Barbara. "Lois Marshall". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Biography - ROY, GABRIELLE (Carbotte) - Volume XXI (1981-1990) - Dictionary of Canadian Biography". Retrieved .
  15. ^ Kushner, Eva. "Rina Lasnier". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Northrop Frye at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Retrieved on: November 30, 2008.
  17. ^ Pierre H. Lemieux, "Anne Hébert Biography," Encyclopedia of Literature, 7990,, Web, April 26, 2011.
  18. ^ "F.R. Scott: Biography," Canadian Poetry Online, University of Toronto. Web, March 21, 2011.
  19. ^ "Biography - CREIGHTON, DONALD GRANT - Volume XX (1971-1980) - Dictionary of Canadian Biography". Retrieved .

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