My purpose in establishing the Killam Trust is to help in the building of Canada's future by encouraging advanced studies. Thereby I hope to increase the scientific and scholastic attainments of Canadians, to develop and expand the work of Canadian universities and to promote sympathetic understanding between Canadians and the people of other countries.
From the will of Dorothy J. Killam
d. 27 July 1965.
The Killam Program offers two categories of awards:
- Killam Prizes
- Killam Research Fellowships (which have a separate information sheet).
These awards, which are administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, provide support to scholars of exceptional ability who are engaged in research projects of broad significance and widespread interest. The awards honour the memory and exceptional achievements of Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam’s husband, Izaak Walton Killam.
The Killam Prizes are funded through lifetime and testamentary gifts to the Canada Council from Mrs. Killam.
15 June 2009
Nominations and all required support documentation, including letters of support, must be postmarked before or on the deadline date. If this date falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.
The Canada Council will not accept late nominations or nominations submitted by fax or email. Also, submissions that are missing any of the required support documentation or that do not meet the requirements will not be accepted.
The Killam Prizes are awarded annually to distinguished Canadian scholars doing research in any of the following fields: engineering, health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences or humanities. Normally, one prize is awarded each year in each of the five fields.
The Killam Prizes are intended to honour distinguished Canadian scholars actively engaged in research in Canada in universities, hospitals, research or scientific institutes, or other similar institutions. These awards are designed to encourage continuing contributions to scholarly research in Canada. The prizes are not related to a particular achievement, but rather are given in recognition of a distinguished career and exceptional contributions in one of the above fields. The prizes are awarded with the expectation that the prize recipients will continue to contribute to the Canadian research community.
Scholars may not apply for the Killam Prizes; they must be nominated by an expert in their field.
To be nominated for the prizes, candidates must have made a substantial and distinguished contribution, over a significant period, to scholarly research in Canada. Their outstanding achievements must have been clearly demonstrated already, and they are expected to make further contributions to the scholarly and scientific heritage of Canada. This means that they should still be very active and productive in their research careers. In other words, the prize is not intended as an “end of service” reward or as recognition for one great accomplishment. Nominees should be close to the top of an outstanding career.
Only Canadian citizens are eligible for this honour, and the prizes are awarded only to living candidates. The prizes are accessible to Aboriginal people and those from diverse cultural and regional communities who meet the eligibility requirements.
Members of the board of the Canada Council for the Arts and members of the Killam Selection Committee are not eligible to be considered for this prize during their term as members and for six months following the end of their term.
Universities with overdue Killam Research Fellowship (KRF) Financial Reports will be unable to approve KRF applications and will be ineligible to nominate anyone for future prizes from the Canada Council for the Arts until all outstanding reporting requirements are met.
A candidate is not eligible for the competition if either the candidate or the nominator has failed to submit a final report or financial accounting for a previous Canada Council grant or prize. Final reports must be approved prior to these prizes’ nomination deadline.
No individual may be awarded the prize more than once.
Each Killam Prize recipient receives $100,000. Ordinarily, Killam Prizes are not taxable.
Nominators must complete and submit a nomination form, which is available from the Canada Council Endowments and Prizes Section.
The nominator is responsible for gathering all the relevant documentation, including support letters, and sending it to the Killam Program (Endowments and Prizes).
Nominations must include the following:
- a completed nomination form
- a signed letter of nomination
- a brief description (a maximum of two pages) of the nature of the nominee’s distinguished contributions to scholarly research, including why he or she should be considered an outstanding nominee for the prize; this information may be part of the nomination letter
- the category for the nomination (engineering, health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences or humanities); the Canada Council reserves the right to place the nomination in the appropriate category to ensure that nominees with similar backgrounds are assessed in the same category
- a one-page biography for the nominee, summarizing his or her education, distinguished research achievements, current research interests, and honours or awards received
- the nominee’s curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
- the nominee’s full home and office addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and email address
- letters of support from a maximum of three experts, from within Canada or abroad, submitted in English or French
Note: If the letters are translated from another language, the originals must also be included. Ideally, the nominator will share the contents of his or her own submission with those who are providing letters of support, and request that they avoid repetition. Only letters of support from the three experts listed in part B of the nomination form will be accepted.
- confirmation that the nominee is a Canadian citizen (for example, a photocopy of the main page of the nominee’s passport).
All support documentation referred to above must be letter-sized (8 ½ x 11 inches) and loose-leaf. The Canada Council will not accept bound materials (for example, stapled, cerlox bound or spiral bound) because they are difficult to copy and mail to selection committee members.
The Canada Council is not responsible for the loss or damage, whatever the cause, of support documentation.
The Canada Council will not return support documentation to nominators. The Canada Council reserves the right to request letters of assessment from external evaluators.
At the request of the principal nominator, a nomination may be resubmitted once, to the next competition deadline after the original submission deadline. In this case, the nominator must send a letter to the Canada Council to ask that this be done and must forward an updated curriculum vitae for the nominee (before or on the deadline of 15 June 2009).
The Canada Council will not accept late nominations or nominations submitted by fax or email. Also, submissions that are missing any of the required support documentation or
that do not meet the requirements will not be accepted.
The interdisciplinary Killam Selection Committee chooses the laureates based on the purpose of the prizes and the eligibility criteria. The selection committee is composed of 15 distinguished scholars appointed by the Canada Council. The committee members are chosen to ensure fair representation of gender, Canada’s two official languages, the various regions and cultures of Canada, and various artistic and scholarly disciplines.
Notification of Results
The Canada Council for the Arts will notify laureates, by telephone, of their selection in early February. The Canada Council will notify all nominators, in writing, of the results of their nomination by the end of March. Names of the laureates are normally announced to the public by the end of April. Except for notifying the prize recipient, the Canada Council does not contact nominees.
Conditions of Receiving the Award
Prize recipients must agree to allow photographs and public information about themselves to be used for promotion of the prizes and in other Canada Council promotional initiatives.
They must also agree to participate fully in all award activities, including media conferences, ceremonies and receptions.
Recipients and nominators must not reveal the results of the Killam Prizes competition until the Canada Council makes its official announcement.
Confidentiality of Information
The Privacy Act protects the personal information of individuals and provides them with a right of access to such information about themselves. The Canada Council maintains personal information in Personal Information Bank CAC PPU 025. All other information may be accessible under the Access to Information Act.
On a confidential basis, the Canada Council may share information related to applications and awards with officials in other arts and cultural funding agencies, to assist with program planning and application evaluation.
Recent Killam Prize Laureates (2005–09)
Announcement of winners and biographies
Philippe Gros, McGill University, health sciences
Wagdi Habashi, McGill University, engineering
François Richard, McGill University, humanities
John P. Smol, Queen's University, natural sciences
Ernest J. Weinrib, University of Toronto, social sciences
Announcement of winners and biographies
Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa, social sciences
Sherrill E. Grace, University of British Columbia, humanities
Frank C. Hawthorne, University of Manitoba, natural sciences
Peter St George-Hyslop, University of Toronto, health sciences
Michael V. Sefton, University of Toronto, engineering
Announcement of winners and biographies
J. Richard Bond, University of Toronto, natural sciences
Robert E.W. Hancock, University of British Columbia, health sciences
Roderick A. Macdonald, McGill University, social sciences
Shana Poplack, University of Ottawa, humanities
A.P.S. Selvadurai, McGill University, engineering
Announcement of winners and biographies
Paul Corkum, National Research Council of Canada, natural sciences
Jean-Marie Dufour, Université de Montréal, social sciences
B. Brett Finlay, University of British Columbia, health sciences
Roderick I.L. Guthrie, McGill University, engineering
Susan Sherwin, Dalhousie University, humanities
Announcement of winners and biographies
Luc Devroye, McGill University, engineering
Brian K. Hall, Dalhousie University, natural sciences
Linda Hutcheon, University of Toronto, humanities
Margaret Lock, McGill University, social sciences
Nahum Sonenberg, McGill University, health sciences
The Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts was created by an act of Parliament in 1957. Under the terms of the Canada Council Act, the mandate of the Canada Council is “to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.” To fulfill this mandate, the Canada Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional artists and arts organizations. The Council also maintains the secretariat for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Public Lending Right Commission.
In addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts, the Canada Council for the Arts administers and awards many prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering, and arts management. These prizes and fellowships recognize the achievements of outstanding Canadian artists, scholars, and administrators. The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to raising public awareness and celebration of these exceptional people and organizations on both a national and international level.
Annual grants from Parliament are the Canada Council’s main source of funds. These grants are supplemented by income from an endowment fund that was established by Parliament in 1957. The Council also receives private donations and bequests, and it uses the income generated by them for the purposes specified in the deeds of these gifts. The Killam Fund is the largest; it totalled approximately $64.6 million as of 31 March 2008.
Izaak Walton Killam was born to modest circumstances, in 1885, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He began his business career, at the age of 18, as a junior clerk in the Yarmouth branch of the Union Bank of Halifax. He was soon transferred to the bank’s head office, in Halifax, where his talent and reputation caught the attention of Maxwell Aitken (who later became Lord Beaverbrook), who was in the process of setting up the Royal Securities Corporation. In 1904, Mr. Aitken persuaded the younger man to join Royal Securities, and this move became the foundation of his remarkable financial career.
By 1914, Mr. Killam had replaced Lord Beaverbrook as president of Royal Securities, and shortly after that he acquired the former president’s shares in the firm. Mr. Killam remained president of Royal Securities for the next 40 years. In that time, the company became one of Canada’s most influential investment houses, and Izaak Walton Killam established himself as one of the outstanding figures in Canadian financial history.
Recognizing the great potential of Canada’s forest and hydro industries and public utilities services, Mr. Killam played an active role in organizing and modernizing many companies in these fields. The various Royal Securities holdings included power companies in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, as well as pulp and paper companies in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. He had interests in other companies as well, such as Moirs Limited of Halifax, which became one of the best-known chocolate companies in Canada after he had completely overhauled it.
Despite his impressive professional accomplishments, Izaak Walton Killam was a reserved man who avoided publicity and was virtually unknown outside his small circle of close acquaintances. Characteristically, the substantial contributions he made to charities throughout his lifetime were always made anonymously.
In his private life, he was a keen salmon fisher, and he shared with his wife, Dorothy, a passion for baseball, especially for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Dorothy Killam was born Dorothy Brooks Johnston in St. Louis, Missouri in 1899. Her parents were moderately affluent, and she was well schooled, athletic and widely travelled, with a good knowledge of French and German. Unlike her husband, Dorothy Killam was an extrovert who loved company and people generally. After she and Mr. Killam were married in 1922, they lived in Montreal, the centre of the Killam financial empire.
Izaak Walton Killam died suddenly and unexpectedly of heart failure in 1955, at his Quebec fishing lodge. He left all of his substantial estate to his wife, who demonstrated her own sound financial judgement by vastly increasing the fortune over the next 10 years. When Mrs. Killam died in 1965, after several years of poor health, her will set in motion the plans that she and her husband had discussed frequently in the later years of his life. While Mrs. Killam’s will generally reflected the intentions of her husband, it also included a substantial bequest to build a children’s hospital in Halifax as a memorial to him.
The Killam Trusts
In all, Dorothy Killam’s lifetime and testamentary gifts amounted to some $100 million and were given to the following institutions:
- The Canada Council for the Arts
- Dalhousie University
- The Montreal Neurological Institute
- The University of Alberta*
- The University of British Columbia.
*In 1978, part of the bequest to the University of Alberta was transferred to the University of Calgary, after the latter institution had obtained its own charter.
The Killam Trustees
- George T.H. Cooper, C.M., Q.C., L.L.D., Halifax
- John H. Matthews, Toronto
- M. Ann McCaig, C.M., A.O.E., L.L.D., Calgary
- John S. Montalbano, Vancouver
Where there is uncertainty about the requirements or processes for these prizes, the Canada Council for the Arts retains the right to interpret the contents of this information sheet. Further information about the Killam Prizes can be obtained from Luisa Guglielmo, Program Officer, Killam Program. General information about prizes and awards is available on this website.
Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8
Telephone: 1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4308, ext. 4086
TTY (TDD) machine, for hearing-impaired callers: 613-565-5194