Governor General's Award

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The Governor General's Awards are a collection of awards presented by the Governor General of Canada, marking distinction in a number of academic, artistic and social fields. The first was conceived in 1937 by the Lord Tweedsmuir, a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction who created the Governor General's Literary Award. Successive governors general have followed suit, establishing an award for whichever endeavour they personally found important. Only Adrienne Clarkson created two Governor General Awards — the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Governor General's Medal in Architecture (though this was effectively a continuation of the Massey Medal, first established in 1950).


Governor General's Literary Awards

Since their creation in 1937, the Governor General's Literary Awards have become one of Canada's most prestigious prizes, awarded in both French and English in seven categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, children's literature (one each for text and illustration), and translation. The awards were created by the the Lord Tweedsmuir, himself the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps. The awards first honoured only two authors each year, and only those who wrote in English. Then, in 1957 the awards were put under the administration of the Canada Council for the Arts and a cash prize began to be awarded to the winner. By 1980, the council began to announce the finalists for the awards a month before they were presented in order to attract more media attention, and in 2007 the cash prize was increased to $25,000.

During her tenure from 1999 to 2005, Adrienne Clarkson made an effort to obtain for the governor general's study copies of every Governor General's Literary Awards winning book from fairs and second hand shops. As of 2004 there remained only two titles unrepresented.

Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

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