Rules and Regulations

The Government of Canada History Awards are presented by the Government of Canada and Canada’s National History Society. Up to $200,000 in prizes will be presented to exceptional young Canadians in two categories: High School and University. By submitting an essay for consideration, students agree to the rules and regulations as presented below.


The Government of Canada History Awards High School Category is open to all residents of Canada currently enrolled at a Canadian High School as a full-time Grade 10, 11, or 12 student (4/5 secondaire and CEGEP in Quebec). Each student may submit one project for consideration. Additional submissions received will not be considered.

How to Enter:

The competition will officially begin August 18, 2017 at 12:01:00 am ET and will end December 15, 2017 at 11:59:59 pm ET. All submissions must be received by no later than the end date. Regardless of the format selected, the total text should be no more than 1000 words. Submissions longer than this will not be accepted.

Students may submit their response in one of three formats:

  1. Historical Essay: Students will submit a non-fiction historical essay that addresses one of the five questions in a formal writing style.
  2. Historical Fiction: Students will create a fictional story that addresses one of the five questions. The submission could take the form of a story, letter, newspaper article, or diary entry that addresses the question in a creative writing style.
  3. Digital Content: Students may create their own website that addresses one of the five questions. The website can present digital content using different media such as videos, podcasts, and interactive stories. Students will submit a link to their final work as well as a text document containing all text and/or scripts presented online. The total text, written or spoken, should not exceed 1000 words.

In all cases, the submission should demonstrate historical research, analysis, knowledge of the topic, and critical thinking skills. Footnotes and/or a bibliography are also required in all cases (see below for details).

Entries must be submitted online. Entries emailed or mailed will not be accepted. Each submission must be the original work of a student specific to this competition. Students may work individually or in teams of two to create their submission (prize money will be divided between partners for team submissions). All submissions will be reviewed for plagiarism. Plagiarism of any sort will result in immediate disqualification.

2017 Awards Questions

The 2017 questions are:

1. Who are the Indigenous people who have lived on the land in your community? What can be done in the spirit of reconciliation to make more people aware of this history?

2. To what extent did the Battle of Vimy Ridge or Beaumont-Hamel affect your community? Use primary sources to support your answer.

3. What was the vision of the future for Canada and the world presented at Expo 67? Is that vision still relevant today to your generation?

4. What moment(s) in Canadian History has most influenced your identity? Explain your answer.

5. Propose one new national historic site that contributes to a diverse and inclusive history of Canada. Use research and evidence to support your answer.


The text for each submission should be presented in a Word or PDF document in standard 8.5 by 11 inches paper size and portrait format. Please use a regular business font such as Times New Roman or Arial at 12 point size. Essays should be double spaced. Cover pages are not required.

All submissions must include proper citations following a consistent style. The suggested citation method for footnotes and endnotes is the Chicago Manual of Style. Guidelines on the style are available here: Students should also include a bibliography of relevant referenced works. Footnotes/Endnotes/Bibliographies will not count towards the word count.

Judging and Review Criteria

A shortlist of all participants will be selected by an independent panel of members of the education community. Winners will be selected by an independent panel of five judges. The judge’s decision is final. Submissions will be evaluated by the judging panels along five main criteria:

  • Relevance: Submission components directly address one of the five questions.
  • Research and Sources: Primary and secondary sources are employed in crafting the submission.
  • Quality of Writing: Concerned with coherence, clarity, depth of analysis, and strength of argument.
  • Critical and Historical Thinking: Submission demonstrates use of critical and historical thinking skills, for example: engaging multiple perspectives, analysis and corroboration of evidence, and use of other historical thinking concepts as appropriate (continuity & change, cause & consequence, historical significance, ethical judgments, and/or historical perspective-taking).
  • Accuracy: Information is factually correct; references are complete and are cited correctly.


High School Category Prizing

The prize for the high school category is $1,000 to be presented to each recipient selected by the review committee. Prize money will be divided between any partners selected as recipients. The number of awards presented will be dependent upon participation.

Terms and Conditions

The prize is nonnegotiable and non-transferable. By entering this awards program, the participant agrees that any information sent to Canada’s History becomes the property of Canada's National History Society to publish online or in Canada’s History magazine at their discretion and, should they win, a photo may be posted and/or published.

Employees of Canada's National History Society, Kayak Magazine, Canada’s History Magazine, and their partners, or their representatives, agents, or family members, are not eligible. Subject to all applicable laws. Void where prohibited.

By accepting a prize, recipients agree to grant the Government of Canada and Canada’s History the right to use their names, photographs, city/province of residence, biographical information, statements, voice, and likeness for promotional purposes relating the competition in any media or format, now and in the future without a time limit, and without compensation or notification. Entries not complying with these Official Rules may be disqualified.

For further questions or comments regarding this contest please contact Canada’s History Society at 515 Portage Avenue, Bryce Hall Main Floor, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9; at; or by telephone at 1-866-952-3444, x 221.