Awards | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Honours which have not been applied for or competed for, but which have been bestowed in recognition of extraordinary merit, achievement, leadership, or munificence.


Honours Bestowed
Honours which have not been applied for or competed for, but which have been bestowed in recognition of extraordinary merit, achievement, leadership, or munificence. This is the kind of honour typified at the highest level by knighthood in Great Britain, and in fact knighthoods were bestowed in Canada (until 1919, when the granting of titular honours to Canadians was abolished, by which time, however, no musician had been so honoured). The practice was resumed briefly (1933-5) during R.B. Bennett's term as prime minister, and at that time one Canadian musician - Sir Ernest MacMillan - was knighted. After 1935, when this honour was no longer possible, other means of demonstrating recognition assumed new significance, and new means were invented. In 1967 the Order of Canada was created, the first distinctly Canadian honour recognizing achievement and service. Among traditional means, the granting of honorary degrees by universities has continued (see Degrees and entries for individual universities). The ensuing list cites some bestowed honours for which Canadians are or were eligible.

Awards A-C

ACE Award. Begun in 1988 by the Association of Cultural Executives; annual award to honour individual achievement in the cultural field.

Alberta Achievement Award. Begun in 1969; provincial, given annually in recognition of achievement in several areas including music. See Alberta Culture.

Alberta Composers' Association Awards. Begun in 1980.

Alberta Recording Industry Association. (ARIA). Awards begun 1986.

Association of Canadian Choral Conductors Awards. Biennial awards begun in 1988, in six categories one of which recognizes distinguished service.

Association of Canadian Orchestras Award. Begun 1986.

Banff Centre for the Arts National Award. See University of Alberta National Award below.

Marius Barbeau Medal. Begun in 1985. Awarded by the Folklore Studies Association of Canada.

Big Country Awards. Begun in 1975.

Black Music Association of Canada Awards. 1985-7. See Black music and musicians.

Canada Council Medal. Begun in 1961; combined in 1968 with the Molson Prizes, which were begun in 1963.

Canada Music Citation Begun in 1967, and granted at the discretion of the CLComp to recognize a non-member "who has shown dedication and outstanding achievement in the performance of Canadian music."

Canadian Association of Broadcasters Award.

Canadian Conference of the Arts Diplôme d'Honneur. Begun in 1954; annual; to persons outstanding in service to the arts.

Canadian Country Music Association. Hall of Honour, begun in 1984.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Opened in 1989. See Country music: 3/Infrastructure.

Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association Centennial Citation Award. 1967 only.

Canadian Music Council Awards. 1977-89. Annual in various categories including: Special Award to individuals or bodies in the public or private sector providing assistance to music in Canada; Artist of the Year; Composer of the Year; Ensemble of the Year; Also media awards for TV, radio, and recording. The last-named category included the CMCouncil Grand prix du disque.

Canadian Music Council Medal. Begun in 1971.

Canadian Music Educators' Association Awards.

Canadian Music Publishers Association Song of the Year Award. Annual award for the top earner of the year.

Canadian Woman of the Year. Begun in 1951; annual; winners chosen, in various categories including music and entertainment, by a poll of Canadian newspaper women's editors.

CASBY Awards (Canadian Artists Selected by You). Begun in 1981 as the annual U-Know Awards, renamed in 1985; a fan ballot run by Toronto radio station CFNY-FM. Winners selected in the more than 20 pop categories are listed in editions of Music Directory Canada.

Centennial Medals. 1967. Musicians were among the many Canadians awarded medals marking the centennial of Canada.

Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation Award. Begun in 1974. Annual cash prize of $1500 to promising artists under 30 years of age.

Jean A. Chalmers Award for Opera. Begun in 1965. See Floyd S. Chalmers.

Concert Society Prize of the Jewish People's Schools and Peretz Schools. Montreal. Annual award to a personality in the Canadian artistic community.

Conseil des arts de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal. Annual Grand Prix to recognize excellence and quality.


Including fellowships, bursaries, study grants. These usually are applied for or competed for either actively through performance or passively through marks received in set examinations. They also often are decided by adjudication of submitted materials. (For those that are prizes won in competition, see section 3.) A complete list of available music scholarships would number in the hundreds, ranging from modest amounts granted from funds established in memory of individual teachers to the often substantial money awards cited below. The ensuing list claims only fractional and random coverage of the vast and fluctuating scholarship situation. For instance, systems designed by the provinces to support university or post-secondary studies are not included, and anyone seeking information about them is directed to individual provincial departments of education. Conservatories and schools of music across the country also award scholarships (often named in honour of donors or teachers), and the numbers of these continue to increase.

Competition Prizes, Canadian A-L

Cash awards, scholarships won in active competition, performance opportunities, and trophies. Prizes of this kind won by composers are treated separately in the entry Composition competitions. See also Competition festivals.

Banff International String Quartet Competition. Triennial, begun 1983

Leslie Bell Memorial Trophy. Begun in 1964; originally sponsored by the CBC and the CMEA. In 1979 it was accompanied by a $300 prize. It has been awarded biennially to the winner of the Leslie Bell Memorial Choir Competition.

Canadian Church Choir Competition.. Begun in 1978; annual; sponsored by Maclean-Hunter Cable TV; $12,000 in prizes in 19 categories.

Canadian Music Competitions/Concours de musique du Canada. Begun in 1970; annual.

Canadian Open Old-Time Fiddling Contest. Begun in 1951.

CBC radio competitions. 1/for Young Performers, begun in 1959; 3/for Amateur Choirs, begun in 1976.

CIBC National Music Festival. Begun in 1972 as the National Competitive Festival of Music.

du Maurier Search for Stars. Begun in 1977; see du Maurier Arts Ltd.

Earl Grey Trophy. 1909-? Awarded by the governor-general for performances in music and drama. See Sovereigns, statesmen, and other public figures.

S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. Begun in 1974; annual.

Edmonton SO Concerto Competition. Annual, begun in 1987.

Glory of Mozart: International Mozart Competitions of Canada. June 1991, with cash awards of $20,000, $10,000, and $2500 in each of the three categories. The Vocal competition, held in Toronto, was won by the US baritone Earle Patriarco, and the Canadian soprano Kathleen Brett was third; the Chamber Music competition, held in St. John's, Nfld,was won by the French Trio des Iscles, and the Canadian St Lawrence String Quartet was second; the Piano competition, held in Joliette, Que, was won by US pianist Mark Anderson, and the Canadians Raymond Spasovski and Paul Stewart were second and third.

JMC (YMC) Centennial Competitions. 1967. Held in three cities, Guelph, Ont (voice), Quebec City (piano), and Vancouver (strings). The winners were Annon Lee Silver, Jeannette Zarou, Maurice Brown, and André Lizotte (voice); Andrew Dawes, Sharon McKinley, and Denis Brott (strings); and Robert Silverman, William Aide, and Claude Savard (piano). First prize $5000; second $2000; and $500 from Les Amis de l'art for the best interpretation of a Canadian work in each category.

Scholarships A-F

Aria scholarship. Established by the periodical Aria in 1984, and awarded to a member of the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal to assist in career development.

Arthur S. Barnstead Memorial Award. Begun in 1968. Initially worth $1500. One of the Nova Scotia Talent Trust awards.

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music scholarships, Awarded 1909-53 to Canadians.

Reginald Bedford Scholarship. Established at McMaster University, mid-1980s, for piano studies.

Leslie Bell Scholarship 1973-87, Leslie Bell Prize 1987-. For young choir conductors.

Canada Council Victor M. Lynch-Staunton Award Begun in 1972. Chosen by the Canada Council from among the successful candidates for Senior Arts Grants.

Canadian Amateur Hockey Association award. 1949-ca 1954. Scholarships of $2000.

Canadian Opera Company Women's Committee, scholarships. Begun in 1952. They include the Josephine Harper Award; the Lillian Steinberg Award; the John Eros Scholarship; the Samuel Sorbara Scholarships; the Laxer Scholarship; the Vida H. Peene Scholarship; the Herman Geiger-Torel Scholarship; and the Mariss Vetra Memorial Scholarship of $1000, begun in 1977, available to any Canadian singer working towards a diploma in operatic performance at the University of Toronto.

Eaton Graduating Scholarship. Begun in 1947; annual; $2000 ($3000 by 1989) to the top graduating student, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, for assistance in beginning a career.

William Erving Fairclough Scholarship. Begun in 1966. Administered by the University of Toronto. For organ or advanced composition studies in the USA or Europe.

Sarah Fischer Scholarship. Begun in 1947.

W.O. Forsyth Memorial Scholarship. Begun in 1968.

Scholarships G-L

Sylva Gelber Foundation Award Annual; established in 1981, and administered by the Canada Council, for performers in classical music in the Council's "B" grant competition. Originally a cash award of $5000, its value has risen to $15,000.

Inco of Canada Scholarships. 1967. Six centennial awards of $2500 each; to three instrumentalists, two singers, and one dancer.

Johann Strauss Foundation. Established in 1967 in Edmonton. Scholarships are awarded to young Albertans to pursue vocal or instrumental musical studies in Austria. Students study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Wiener Musikhochschule, the Franz Schubert Institut in Badbe bei Wien and others.

London Music Scholarship Foundation. Administers five $1500 scholarships dedicated to encouraging performers to attend the music faculty of the University of Western Ontario, and the Clifford Evens Memorial Conducting Award.

Scholarships M-Z

Luella McCleary Award. Begun in 1974 by the Women's Art Association of Canada for students at the University of Toronto.

Ruby Mercer Opera Fellowship. Established in 1986 at the University of Toronto for outstanding singers in the opera program.

National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition. Fund established in 1979 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the NACO. Bursaries of up to $2300 are awarded annually to young instrumentalist; a special encouragement award, the Le Caine-NACO prize, was begun in 1987.

Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers' Association Scholarship. Begun in 1975. Originally valued at $200.

Peace River Pioneer Memorial Scholarship. Begun ca 1962; annual; administered by the University of Alberta; $300 to a music student who has shown interest in teaching music in rural areas.

Prix Raoul-Jobin. Annual; begun in 1985; for young singers who studying at the CMQ or Laval.

Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation. Awards to young musicians.

Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Scholarship in Choral Conducting. Award established by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Foundation and administered by the Canada Council.

Lord Strathcona Scholarships. (Montreal Scholarship 1886-95, Lord Strathcona Scholarship thereafter.)

Portia White Memorial Award. Begun in 1968. See Nova Scotia Talent Trust.

Women's Musical Club of Toronto Career Development Award. Biennial award, begun in 1989.

Bruce Yarnell Award (USA). Begun in 1975; annual; $1000, to a baritone of 32 or younger, resident in California, Oregon, New York, or Massachusetts, or in the Canadian cities of Montreal, Ottawa, or Toronto.

Competition Prizes, Canadian M-Z

Montreal International Competition. Begun in 1966.

MSO Concours. Begun in 1965.

MusicFest Canada. Begun in 1972 as the Canadian Stage Band Festival.

National Vocal Competition. Organized in 1967 by the Edward Johnson Music Foundation at the request of the Centennial Commission and the JMC (YMC), and held in Guelph (see JMC above); subsequent competitions have been held in 1977 and every five years thereafter, at the Guelph Spring Festival.

1985 International Bach Piano Competition.

"Nos Futures Étoiles." Competition for singers, 1947-55; succeeded in 1955 by the "Concours de la chanson canadienne".

"Opportunity Knocks." 1947-57.

Prix Archambault. 1946-63.

Prix Paul Baby. 1975, 1977; administered by the Canadian Music Centre, Montreal; open to individuals and groups interested in analysis and the didactic aspects of music education, study to be based on music of Quebec composers. The first category carried a prize of $250; the second, prizes of $500 and $250. Winners included Gaby Billette (1975, using Tremblay's Kékoba); and Danielle Jasmin, Mireille Gagné, and Michel Beaulieu (shared award, 1977, using Vivier'sProlifération). There was no award in 1976.

RCCO National Organ Playing Competition. Biennial after 1975; $400 and a CBC recital to a first-prize winner; $200 to a second-prize winner. The RCCO has sponsored other competitions, including one held in conjunction with the 1967 International Congress. First prize for improvisation that year was won by Andrew Davis (see TS). In 1980 the RCCO held a National Organ competition to mark the Healey Willan Centennial Celebration in association with the Guelph Spring Festival. Michael Bloss won the first prize, John Vandertuin the prize for improvisation.

"Singing Stars of Tomorrow." 1943-56.

Heinz Unger Award. Begun in 1968; annual; founded by the York Concert Society and the OAC. Award available through competition to a young orchestra conductor qualified to continue study at a professional level.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Women's Committee scholarships. Begun in 1956; annual; competition open to advanced students of orchestral instruments; a scholarship of $1000 is offered as first prize.

Healey Willan Prize for Amateur Choirs. Annual; established in 1980 to commemorate the Willan centennial; a cash award ($3000 by 1989) for the best or most promising group in a juried competition.

Winnipeg Music Competition Festival. Begun in 1919 as the Manitoba Music Competition Festival. Many trophies awarded annually.

Young Canadian Mozart Singers' Competition. Established in 1981, and administered by the COC Ensemble; biennial.

Awards D-L

Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Begun 1980; annual theatre awards in Toronto including revue and musical categories.

East Coast Music Awards. Begun in 1989. Annual awards in over 10 categories, including a lifetime achievement award, which was renamed in honour of Helen Creighton in 1991.

Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame. Established in 1987.

Félix. Awards established in 1979 by ADISQ

Festival du disque. Founded in 1965 in Montreal by Jacqueline Vézina to promote and stimulate the recording industry in Quebec by means of a week-long exhibition and an awards gala presentation. Held annually 1965-9 (with the exception of 1967); awards in various categories.

Financial Post Awards for Business in the Arts. Begun in 1978 to encourage corporations involvement in the visual and performing arts. Annual prizes of sculptures are offered in several categories.

Gala de l'industrie du disque et du spectacle québécois.Recording and showbusiness awards, begun in 1979; annual. See ADISQ

Gemini. Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television annual awards, begun in 1986.

Glenn Gould Prize. Established in 1985. See Glenn Gould Foundation

Tyrone Guthrie Awards. Begun in 1953; in conjunction with the Stratford Festival; annual cash prizes to promising artists. The first award to a musician was made in 1965 to Maurice Brown.

Sir Frederick Haultain Prize. This award of $25,000 for exceptional accomplishment and outstanding contribution to the people and province of Alberta. The first award to a musician was made in 1987 to Violet Archer.

Juno Awards. Begun in 1964; annual awards of the Canadian recording industry.

LaFlèche Trophy. Fl mid-1940s; given in recognition of contributions to Canadian radio.

Awards M-P

Maclean's. Annual honour roll, begun in 1986, has honoured several Canadian musicians.

Manitoba Association of Country Arts. Begun 1978. See Country music: 3/Infrastructure

Médaille Jacques-Banchet. Established in 1983 to honour those involved in chanson.

Moffat Awards. Begun in 1967 in memory of Lloyd E. Moffat. Awards were made annually for the best recordings in four categories: beat, middle-of-the-road, folk or country, and the record which, regardless of category, best demonstrated Canadian talent and originality.

Wm Harold Moon Award. See P.R.O. Canada Awards.

New Brunswick Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Awarded to Janis Kalnins in 1984.

Order of Canada. Established in 1967 is conferred in recognition of exemplary merit and achievement in all major fields of endeavour, including music.

Order of Ontario. Established in 1986.

Order of the Buffalo Hunt. Manitoba provincial honour.

Ordre de la Pléiade.

Ordre national du Québec. Established in 1985 to recognize achievement this provincial award comprises three levels: Grand officier, Officier, and Chevalier.

Prince Edward Island Country and Traditional Music Awards. Begun in 1989 and sponsored by the PEI Recording Industry Association.

Prix Anik Awards. Begun in 1976; annual; incorporate the Wilderness Awards (independent 1964-76). Under CBC sponsorship, these awards fall into three categories: the Wilderness Award, for a TV documentary.

Prix CIEL-Raymond Lévesque. Begun in 1986 by radio station CIEL, Longueuil, Que, to honour the chanson and advance the career of an established artist.

Prix de Jazz Alcan. See FIJM.

Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée. Begun in 1959; annual.

Prix d'Europe. Begun in 1911; annual.

Prix Oscar-Peterson. See FIJM.

Prix Serge-Garant Established by the Fondation Émile-Nelligan; triennial.

P.R.O. Canada awards.

Awards Q-Z

Quebec government awards. Include the Prix David for literature (begun in 1923; and the Prix Denise-Pelletier (begun in 1977, $15,000 in cash, a certificate, and a medal, to a Quebec artist).

The Record Awards. Begun 1985.

Remeny [Remenyi] Award. Re-established by the music firm House of Remenyi in conjunction with the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto; an award granted 1902-50 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and in Toronto 1974-83.

Royal Society of Canada. Established 1882.

Roy Thomson Hall Award. Established in 1984.

Saskatchewan Award of Merit. Established in 1985 to recognize individual excellence, and achievement and outstanding contribution to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its residents.

Silver Jubilee Medals. 1977. Musicians were among the many Canadians awarded medals marking the silver jubilee of Elizabeth II.

Freddie Stone Award. Established by the Minden Foundation and administered by Sound Symposium to honour "a musician who reflects musical integrity and innovation."

Toronto Arts Awards. Begun in 1986, this civic arts award is administered by the Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto (Toronto Arts Award Foundation 1986-90).

Toronto Music Awards. Annual: begun in 1987 to recognize local achievement across the broad spectrum of pop. Awards are made in over 20 categories, and are listed in editions of Music Directory Canada.

Tribute to West Coast Music. Annual; begun in 1981. Winners in the more than 25 categories are listed in editions of Music Directory Canada.

University of Alberta National Award in Music. 1951-79; to Canadians for distinguished contribution to the development of Letters, Music and Painting and the Related Arts. In 1980 it became the Banff School of Fine Arts National Award.

Virginia P. Moore Prize Annual cash award established in 1982 and administered by the Canada Council.

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