Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ancestry.ca wins recognition from Canada's History Society

The following is a press release via Canada Newswire.

McGill University Professor Desmond Morton Wins 2010 Pierre Berton Award

WINNIPEG, Nov. 3 /CNW/ - Steady scholarship, dry wit and an appetite for public debate are the qualities that have made Professor Desmond Morton this year's winner of the Pierre Berton Award, Canada's History Society announced today. Desmond Morton's incisive analysis and quiet chuckle have raised interest in and knowledge of Canadian history from coast-to-coast. 
The author of over 40 books on military, political, and labour history in Canada including two enduring popular works: A Short History of Canada and A Military History of Canada, Desmond Morton has also been an active and generous mentor, contributor, and advocate within the historical community.  He continues to be a sought-after media commentator providing historical context for contemporary events and public policy debates. 
The Award selection committee noted that the Pierre Berton Award particularly recognizes Desmond Morton's tireless advocacy of accessible Canadian history. He once facetiously suggested that Canadian history be banned from schools as 'unfit for young minds. Then, of course, those "young minds" would grab a flashlight and read it avidly under the covers.'
"We are delighted to honour Desmond Morton," said Deborah Morrison, president and C.E.O. of Canada's History Society. "He cares deeply about how history is taught in our classrooms and how it is remembered in our communities.  His career reflects his strong commitment to helping bridge between academic research and popular understanding of our past."
In accepting the honour Desmond Morton commented, "This is a gratifying award to receive, since Pierre Berton was the master of history performances as well as popular writing. I am humbled to be put in the same category."
The Pierre Berton Award is Canada's top history prize, recognizing excellence in bringing Canada's history to a wider popular audience.  Past awards have honoured the initiatives of writers, filmmakers, television broadcasters, and non-profit organizations. 
The History Society also acknowledged the work of four other exceptional nominees who were short-listed for the prize:
Ancestry.ca as a part of the world's largest online aggregator of historical records provides Canadian families with an unprecedented breadth of resources to begin their exploration of Canada's history with the stories that intrigue them the most - those of their own families and descendents. Lively, participative, and personal, Ancestry.ca is quite literally weaving more connections between Canadians and their pasts.
Dan Francis has been a freelance writer exploring for over 35 years all aspects of Canadian cultural history, and publishing for children and adult audiences alike. Among many notable projects he's been involved The Encyclopedia of British Columbia remains one the most important books written about the province. Indeed Dan Francis is one of the most important historical writers in Canada today.
J'ai La Memoire Qui Tourne is an unprecedented multi-media project developed by Les Productions de la Ruelle in collaboration with the French television network Historia. Rooted with a television documentary series that traces the history of 20th century Quebec by weaving together family films and videos, the project culminates with a vast website, coproduced with Turbulent Media and the support of the Bell Fund, featuring more viewer-contributed content and a robust set of educational resources.  J'ai La Memoire Qui Tourne is a game-changer for how Canada's stories are told in popular media.
Bernard Zukerman's curiosity about the Canadian people and events has brought some of Canada's best historical drama to film and television screens. His filmography includes features about Dieppe, the Dionne Quintuplets; Victor Davis, hockey player's rights in Canada, Colin Thatcher, as well as the forthcoming CBC television movie about political rivals John A. Macdonald and George Brown. A natural story-teller, Zukerman's contributions to bringing Canada's history to movie theatres and television are unparalleled.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The url for J'ai la mémoire qui tourne is:
http://jailamemoirequitourne.historiatv.com/accueil
Thanks for having mentionned it.

DWP said...

This blog provides much more (and some less) than its title indicates, having 45% of its lines about Desmond Morton, 11%about Ancestry.ca, 35% about the three other nominees who were short-listed for the Pierre Berton prize, and 9% about the prize. Berton's book "A Short History of Canada" mentioned in the citation would be of interest to any reader of this blog who feels the need for a refresher in Canadian history. Not surprisingly, it has considerable material that could be construed as having Anglo-Celtic connections. Its index contains 29 entries for Great Britain, and 32 more for closely related subjects.

I wonder if "wins" in the blog's title is justified by the wording "acknowledged the work of four other" in the press release.

For the reader who is puzzeled, as I was, about the pretentiously named "Canada's History Society", this is NOT Canada's only history society, unless one thinks that an association is not a society. A much older society is the CHA (Canadian Historical Association). The former has a popular bent, the latter an academic bent. For more information about these two societies, see
http://www.canadashistory.ca/About-Us/Our-History.aspx
and
http://www.cha-shc.ca/en/What_is_the_CHA_55.html

DWP said...

In my comment of 21 November "blog" should be replaced by "post".