News Releases - 2008
Sheila Fischman, Angus McLaren win Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes
Ottawa, May 21, 2008 — Montrealer Sheila Fischman, one of Canada’s top literary translators and Angus McLaren, a University of Victoria professor and world-renowned expert on the history of sexuality, are the winners of this year’s Molson Prizes, presented by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Ms. Fischman, who has translated more than 125 books by such well-known writers as Gaétan Soucy, Anne Hébert and Michel Tremblay, is the winner of the Molson Prize in the Arts. Dr. McLaren, a Distinguished Professor of History (Emeritus) at the University of Victoria, and author of at least 10 books on the history of sexuality, gender and reproduction, is the winner of the Molson Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
Two Molson Prizes, worth $50,000 each, are awarded every year to distinguished Canadians, one in the arts and the other in the social sciences or humanities. The prizes recognize the recipients’ outstanding lifetime achievements and ongoing contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada.
Of this year’s recipients, the jury said: “With more than 125 translations of works by Quebec authors to her credit, Sheila Fischman has introduced Canada’s French-language literature to countless English-language readers both at home and abroad. Her phenomenal body of work has made a significant contribution to Canadian heritage by giving expression to a wide range of voices and building bridges between the two cultures. Literary translation is an under-recognized art form, an act of creation in which the creator is often anonymous. Ms. Fischman has perfected this art form and deserves to be applauded by all Canadians.”
“Angus McLaren is an imaginative and prolific historian who has increased significantly our understanding of sexuality, gender and reproduction, and other related topics. Dr. McLaren’s insightful scholarship, encompassing many books and articles, sheds new light on issues that are an important part of our social fabric. Drawing on a rich array of sources and addressing historical experience broadly, his writing emerges out of a deep engagement with international scholarship yet it is accessible to a broader public. Translated and republished in many languages, this body of research has brought him international recognition as a leading figure in a number of fields of inquiry.”
Established in 1964, the Molson Prizes are funded from the income of an endowment given to the Canada Council for the Arts by the Molson Foundation and now valued at more than $2.6 million. The Council administers these awards in cooperation with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and, following a nomination process, both laureates are selected by a joint peer jury. The winner of last year’s Molson Prize in the Arts was composer, conductor and music educator Alex Pauk. The Molson Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities went to University of Waterloo philosophy professor Paul Thagard.
This year’s Molson Prize jury was co-chaired by Carol Bream, Director of Communications of the Canada Council for the Arts, and by Gordana Krcevinac, Director, Fellowships and Institutional Grants Division of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The jury was made up of Patricia Demers, professor of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta (Edmonton); literary translator Linda Gaboriau (Montreal); violinist and general artistic director of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra Peter Gardner (St. Philips, NL); Denis Jeffrey, department director of Teaching and Learning Studies, Laval University (Quebec City); interdisciplinary artist Margo Kane (Vancouver); and Bryan Palmer, Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies chairholder and professor of Canadian Studies, Trent University (Peterborough).
Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Sheila Fischman is a graduate of the University of Toronto. A co‑founder of the periodical Ellipse: Œuvres en traduction/Writers in Translation she has also been a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette, a broadcaster with CBC Radio, and was literary editor of the Montreal Star. She now devotes herself full time to literary translation, specializing in contemporary Quebec fiction, and has translated more than 125 Quebec novels.
Ms. Fischman has received numerous honours, including the Governor General’s Literary Award (1998) for which she has been a finalist 14 times, two Canada Council Translation Prizes, and two Félix-Antoine Savard Awards from Columbia University in New York. She has long been recognized for her enthusiastic efforts to bring new Quebec writers to the attention of an English-speaking readership. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2000. Ms. Fischman lives in Montreal.
Angus McLaren, Distinguished Professor of History (Emeritus) at the University of Victoria, received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His many books and articles that focus primarily on the history of reproduction have appeared in Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Korean, Chinese and French translations. A recipient of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research grants, a SSHRC exchange researcher in France and a visiting professor of the history of medicine at the University of Toronto, McLaren has received awards from the Canadian Historical Review for best article written on Canadian history and from the Royal Society of Canada for the best book written on the history of medicine in Canada. An associate editor of several journals including The Journal of the History of Sexuality, Victorian Review, and the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Mr. McLaren lives in Vancouver.
Photos of winners
Downloadable images of the winners are available in the image gallery of the Canada Council.
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards prizes and fellowships to more than 150 artists and scholars annually in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, and engineering. Among these are the Killam Prizes, the Killam Research Fellowships, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
For more information about these awards, including nomination procedures, contact Joanne Larocque-Poirier, Head, Endowments and Prizes at 613-566-4414, or 1-800-263‑5588, ext. 5041.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council