Prizes Sorted Alphabetically
Many of the prizes awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts were established with private donations. These endowed prizes are funded entirely through income generated by the capital. Therefore the amount of these prizes is subject to the performance of financial markets and the frequency and/or value of the prize may vary. Please consult the program guidelines to confirm the current prize amount.
- Bernard Diamant Prize
The $5,000 Bernard Diamant Prize, awarded every two years, offers professional Canadian classical singers under age 35 an opportunity to pursue their career through further studies. The recipient is selected from among those awarded a Canada Council grant in the Grants to Professional Musicians program.
- Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature
The Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature is a literary award and readership initiative established by CODE. The Burt Award is given annually to English-language literary works for Young Adults written by First Nations, Métis or Inuit authors. Three prizes will be awarded: a First Prize of $12,000; a Second Prize of $8,000 and a Third Prize of $5,000. In addition, the publishers of each winning title will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies of each winning book for distribution to schools and libraries, and Friendship Centres that serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada. Eligible book publishers must submit books or manuscripts to the Canada Council for the Arts.
- Canada-Japan Literary Awards
The Canada-Japan Literary Awards recognize literary excellence by Canadian writers who are writing on Japan, Japanese themes, or themes that promote mutual understanding between Japan and Canada. It also recognizes literary excellence by Canadian translators of such books from Japanese into English or French. Two awards worth up to $10,000 each may be given every two years: one for an English-language book and one for a French-language book. Candidates must be nominated by an eligible book publisher.
- CBC Literary Prizes
The CBC Literary Prizes are awarded annually to Canadian writers for original and unpublished works in English and French in each of three categories: Short Story, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry. First Prize is worth $6,000; non-winning finalists in each category receive $1,000. Entries must be submitted to the CBC.
- Coburn Fellowships
Up to two $20,000 Coburn fellowships are awarded annually to Canadian students (of the University of Toronto) and Israeli students (of the University of Tel Aviv or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), in the fields of fine arts or humanities, to study in Israel and Canada, respectively. Normally, fellowships are awarded on a mutual exchange basis. The fellowships are administered and awarded by Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
- Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography
The Duke and Duchess of York Prize, worth $8,000, is awarded annually to the most outstanding visual artist working in photography, as selected from among all those awarded a Canada Council visual arts project grant.
- Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition
The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition is designed to promote Canadian music and excellence in performance by young Canadian musicians. The Canada Council provides assistance in the amount of $9,000 towards the cost of administrating the competition. First Prize consists of a national concert tour as well as $5,000. Second Prize is valued at $3,000 and Third Prize at $2,000. The competition alternates annually between piano, voice, and strings and is administered by a separate organization based at Brandon University.
- Governor General’s Medals in Architecture
Up to twelve Governor General’s Medals in Architecture are awarded every two years to recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently completed built projects by Canadian architects. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada receives submissions for the medals.
- Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards
Up to six Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, worth $25,000 each, are given annually for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in the categories of theatre, dance, classical music, popular music, film and broadcasting. Nominations must be submitted to the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation.
- Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts
The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, worth $25,000 each, are awarded annually to honour excellence in visual and media arts. Up to 6 awards recognize distinguished career achievements in the visual and media arts by Canadian artists, one award celebrates outstanding contributions to the visual and/or media arts and the Saidye Bronfman Award recognizes excellence in fine crafts. Candidates must be nominated for the award.
- Governor General's Literary Awards
The Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $25,000 each, are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language books by Canadians in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children's Literature (text), Children's Literature (illustration) and Translation (from French to English and English to French). The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000. Candidates must be nominated by an eligible book publisher.
- Healey Willan Prize
The $5,000 Healey Willan Prize is awarded every two years to the amateur choir that gives the most convincing performance in musicianship, technique and program at the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. The competition is administered by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.
- J.B.C. Watkins Award
The J.B.C. Watkins Award provides fellowships of $5,000 to professional Canadian artists in music, visual arts (architecture only) and theatre who are pursuing graduate studies in any country other than Canada and who are graduates of a Canadian university, postsecondary art institution or training school. Preference is given to those wishing to carry out their studies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Iceland. In the field of architecture, candidates must apply to be considered for the award.
- Jacqueline Lemieux Prize
The Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, worth $6,000, is awarded annually to an established dance professional who has made a substantial difference for dance in Canada, as nominated by peer assessment committees in the Grants to Dance Professionals and Grants to Aboriginal Dance Professionals programs.
- Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts
The Jean A. Chalmers Fund for the Crafts assists non-profit, Canadian visual arts organizations and fine crafts professionals to undertake projects that contribute to the advancement and understanding of the fine crafts in Canada. The program provides partial funding for one-time projects through three components: Research and Policy Development Assistance, Special Project Assistance and Pre-publication Assistance. An application must be submitted to the program.
- Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting
The Jean-Marie Beaudet Award, worth $1,000, is given annually to an emerging Canadian orchestra conductor from among the resident or staff conductors with Canadian orchestras, as nominated by the peer assessment committee in the Grants to Professional Musicians.
- Joan Lowndes Award
The Joan Lowndes Award, valued at $3,500, is given every year to an independent critic or curator in recognition of excellence and meritorious achievement in critical or curatorial writing contemporary Canadian visual and media arts. The winner is selected among the recipients of the program of Assistance to Professional Independent Critics and Curators.
- John G. Diefenbaker Award
The John G. Diefenbaker Award, worth up to $75,000, is given annually to a distinguished German scholar to spend up to 12 months in Canada to pursue research in the social sciences and humanities. Candidates must be nominated for the award.
- John Hirsch Prize
The John Hirsch Prizes recognizes new and developing theatre directors who have demonstrated great potential for future excellence and an exciting artistic vision. Two $6,000 prizes are awarded every two years, one for each of the Anglophone and Francophone theatre communities. Candidates must be nominated for the prize.
- John Hobday Awards in Arts Management
Two $10,000 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management are given annually to established and mid-career arts managers for professional development or mentorship. Candidates must apply for the award.
- Joseph S. Stauffer Prizes
Each year, up to three Canadian artists who have received a Canada Council grant in the fields of literature, visual arts or music, are awarded a $5,000 Joseph S. Stauffer Prize.
- Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music
The Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, valued at $7,500, is awarded annually to a Canadian composer for a work and was designed to encourage the creation of new chamber music and to foster its performance by Canadian chamber groups.
- Killam Program
The Killam Prizes, valued at $100,000 each, are awarded annually to distinguished Canadian scholars doing research in the fields of health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. Normally, one prize is awarded each year in each of the five fields. Candidates must be nominated for the prize.
The Killam Research Fellowships, valued at $70,000 per year for two years, are designed to recognize distinguished Canadian scholars with an outstanding reputation in the following areas of research: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering, and studies linking any of the disciplines within these fields. Fellowships are awarded each year and provide two years of release time from teaching and administrative duties. Candidates must apply to be considered for a fellowship.
- Michael Measures Prize
The Michael Measures Prize recognizes promising young performers of classical music. One recipient is selected annually from the students of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada who are between the ages of 16 and 22 and who have successfully completed the annual summer training program.
- Molson Prizes
Two prizes of $50,000 each are awarded annually to distinguished Canadians, one in the arts and the other in the social sciences and humanities. Candidates must be nominated for the prize.
- Musical Instrument Bank
The violins, cellos and bows in the Musical Instrument Bank, made by celebrated luthiers, are among some of the most legendary instruments in the world. The instruments are loaned to gifted established Canadian professional musicians or young Canadian professional musicians about to embark on international solo or chamber music careers. Candidates must apply; a competition is held every three years.
- Peter Dwyer Scholarships
The Peter Dwyer Scholarships, totaling $20,000, are awarded annually to the most promising students at the National Ballet School ($10,000) and the National Theatre School ($10,000). The scholarships are awarded by the schools.
- Prix de Rome in Architecture
The Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, valued at $50,000, is awarded to a young architect or practitioner of architecture, an architecture firm or an architectural design firm that has completed its first buildings and demonstrated an exceptional artistic potential. The prize allows the winners to travel around the world to hone their skills, develop their creative practice and strengthen their presence in international architecture culture. The Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners, valued at $34,000, is awarded to a recent graduate of one of Canada’s ten accredited schools of architecture, who demonstrates exceptional potential in contemporary architectural design. The winner is given the opportunity to visit a series of selected buildings and to expand his or her professional skills with an internship at an internationally acclaimed architectural firm anywhere in the world. Candidates must apply to be considered for the prizes.
- Robert Fleming Prize
The $2,000 Robert Fleming Prize, which is intended to encourage the careers of young creators of music, is awarded annually to the most talented Canadian classical music composer in the Canada Council grant competition for composers in classical music.
- Ronald J. Thom Award for early Design Achievement
The $10,000 Ronald J. Thom Award is given every two years to a practitioner of architecture or an architectural firm. The successful candidate must be in the early stages of a career and must demonstrate both outstanding creative talent and exceptional potential in architectural design. Candidates must apply to be considered for the award.
- Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards
The Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards, worth $15,000, are awarded annually for outstanding artistic achievement by Canadian mid-career artists in the disciplines of Dance, Inter-Arts, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing and Publishing. The winners are chosen from the pool of applicants from the Grants to Professional Artists programs.
- Vida Peene Awards
Awards are given annually to eight specified organizations through investment earnings from an endowment. There is no application or nomination process for these awards.
- Virginia-Parker Prize
The Virginia Parker Prize, valued at $25,000, is awarded annually to a young Canadian classical musician, instrumentalist or conductor, under the age of 32, who has received at least two Canada Council grants from the Grants to Professional Musicians program.
- Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts
Awarded annually, the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, worth up to $50,000, recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career in the performing arts. The prize is awarded on a four-year cycle – in dance, theatre, dance and music. Candidates must be nominated for the prize.
- York Wilson Endowment Award
The York Wilson Endowment Award, worth up to $30,000, is given annually to a Canadian art museum or public art gallery to purchase an original artwork by a living, contemporary Canadian painter or sculptor. Eligible institutions must apply to be considered for the award.