Library and Archives Canada Scholars Awards

The  Library and Archives Canada Scholars Awards were created to recognize the outstanding contribution of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the creation and promotion of our country's literary and historical heritage.

As the custodian of our distant past and of our recent history, Library and Archives Canada is an essential resource for all Canadians who wish to know themselves better, individually and collectively.

As such, it is essential for Library and Archives Canada to recognize the exemplary work of those who support its fundamental mission which is to promote all aspects of Canadian culture, here and around the world.

This recognition also seeks to highlight the fact that the creation and dissemination of our heritage are increasingly democratic undertakings, no longer reserved to environments where knowledge has traditionally been developed.  

2019 Recipients

Marie-Louise Arsenault

Marie-Louise Arsenault

A journalist, show host, program developer and producer, Marie-Louise Arsenault has worked in media for 20 years. During her career, she has hosted cultural shows on television ("Jamais sans mon livre," "Écran Libre") and radio ("Le Mélange des Genres"), collaborated on the first four seasons of the daily television series "Flash," and produced documentaries for television (Patrick Huard, portrait d'une première fois) and radio (L'Aventure internationale du cinéma québécois, Les Leçons de Denise Filiatrault). She also wrote a column on the media for five years in the magazine ici and the newspaper 24 Heures, and has contributed to numerous print media outlets as a journalist (Elle Québec, Clin D'œil, Chatelaine). Since August 2011, she has hosted the daily literary broadcast "Plus on est de fous, plus on lit," which she developed, on Radio-Canada Première. She is also the host of "Dans les médias," which airs weekly on Télé-Québec.


Ronald I. Cohen, MBE

Ronald I. Cohen

Ronald Cohen has assembled bibliographically significant collections of the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Sir Winston Churchill. In 1998, he established the Ronald I. Cohen Lucy Maud Montgomery Collection at the National Library of Canada and he has provided LAC with four subsequent accessions of her works and related materials. His interest in Churchill led to the publication in 2006 of his definitive Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill; many articles in Finest Hour, the journal of the International Churchill Society; and more recently, in 2016, The Heroic Memory: The Memorial Addresses to the Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Spencer Churchill Society, Edmonton, Alberta, 1990–2014. Cohen received the Farrow Award from the Churchill Centre in Chicago in 2012 for his "magisterial three-volume work Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill." In June 2014, he was recognized on Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) "for services to British history," one of only two Canadians, and the only Canadian resident, to be so honoured on that occasion. Cohen is regularly consulted on bibliographical issues relating to Churchill's writings by persons around the world. He also co-founded and serves as President of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa. He has served on the Friends of Library and Archives Canada's Board from its founding in 1991 until now. He was President from 2000–2008 and has been Past President since then.


Lawrence Hill, C.M.

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill is a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph. He is the author of ten books, including The Illegal, The Book of Negroes, Any Known Blood, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. He is the winner of various awards including The Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and two-time winner of CBC Radio's Canada Reads. Hill delivered the Canada-wide 2013 Massey Lectures, based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He co-wrote the adaptation for the six-part television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which attracted millions of viewers and won eleven Canadian Screen Awards. The recipient of eight honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, as well as the 2017 Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, Hill served as chair of the jury of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is a volunteer with Book Clubs for Inmates and the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, and is an honorary patron of Crossroads International, for which he has volunteered for more than 35 years and with which he has travelled to Niger, Cameroon, Mali and Swaziland. He is working on a new novel about the African-American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in northern BC and Yukon in 1942-43. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, and lives in Hamilton, Ontario and in Woody Point, Newfoundland.


Frances Itani, C.M.

Frances Itani

Frances Itani, C.M., has written 17 books (best-selling novels, stories, poetry and children's works), and essays and reviews for national and international publications. She is well known as a researcher, teacher and public speaker, and has been Writer-in-Residence at the Banff Centre and at several Canadian universities. She is three-time winner of the CBC Literary Award and twice won the Ottawa Book Award. Deafening earned a Commonwealth Prize, was translated in 17 countries, chosen for CBC's 'Canada Reads' and 'Combat des Livres,' and 'Book of the Year' by Grant MacEwan University. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Giller Prize, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and William Saroyan International Award. The Washington Post selected Requiem as a top fiction title of 2012. Born in Belleville, Ontario, Ms. Itani grew up in Quebec, lived in seven Canadian provinces, has travelled widely, holds a B.A. (U of Alberta) and M.A. (U of New Brunswick), studied Nursing at the Montreal General Hospital, with graduate work at McGill and Duke universities. She has been involved in humanitarian work all her life and established The Itani Award for Flute, presented annually to a young musician at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy. She lives in Ottawa and is presently at work on two novels.


Shelagh Rogers, O.C.

Shelagh Rogers

A veteran broadcast-journalist, Shelagh Rogers is the host and a producer of The Next Chapter, an award-winning CBC Radio program devoted to writing in Canada. In 2011, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for promoting Canadian culture, and for advocating for mental health, adult literacy, and truth and reconciliation. Also in 2011, she was inducted as an Honorary Witness to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Through sharing what she witnessed, she has committed to helping create a national memory of the residential school era so that Canada will never forget, and never be able to deny what happened.

Shelagh is the co-editor of three books in the "Speaking My Truth" series on truth, justice and reconciliation published by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. She holds honorary doctorates from six Canadian universities. In 2014, she was the Jack Matthews Fellow at Trent University. Also that year, she received the Queen's University Alumni Humanitarian Award. In October 2016, she received the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy. Shelagh is Chancellor of the University of Victoria and the founding Ambassador for the Canadian Canoe Museum.

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