Chalmers Award

The Floyd S. Chalmers Award in Ontario History

This award, which is given annually to the best book written on any aspect of Ontario history in the preceding calendar year, was entrusted to the Champlain Society in 1993 with an endowment of $50,000. Entries are solicited from publishers and individuals. The award is adjudicated by a panel of distinguished Canadian historians:

  • Dr Brian Osborne, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, and Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University (Chair)
  • Dr Roger Hall, Department of History, Western University
  • Dr Jan Noel, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Toronto.

Submissions are judged on the basis of the strength of the arguments presented in the book, the range and significance of the subject, the quality of the research, and the excellence of the literary style. Some categories are not eligible for submission: diaries and volumes of documents (unless accompanied by substantial interpretive material prepared by the editor), textbooks, collections of essays by different authors, books in translation, and bibliographies.

Winners of the Chalmers Award in Ontario History are announced at the annual meeting of the Champlain Society. Winners receive a cash prize of $1,000.00, as well as an Inuit carving. No award will be made if none of the entries are deemed to have sufficient quality, and in some years an additional entry may be recognized by receiving “honorable mention.”

The Chalmers Award is administered by Dr Patrice Dutil (Ryerson University), President of the Champlain Society.

To nominate…
Nominators may be publishers, individuals (including authors), non-profit organizations, businesses and corporations. To submit a nomination, please download and print the nomination form and mail the form, along with any supporting documents to:

The Champlain Society
c/o University of Toronto Press
Attn: Lauren Naus
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON
M3H 5T8

Each nomination must be accompanied by the Nomination Form, THREE copies of each work, and a cheque ($25 for each title), made out to the Champlain Society.

For more information concerning the Chalmers Award, please see our website: or contact Lauren Naus at or (416) 667-7777 ext 7869.

About Mr. Chalmers

Floyd Sherman Chalmers (1898-1993) made outstanding contributions to Canada through his work as a journalist and philanthropist. He started in the newspaper business when he was 17 as a reporter for the Toronto News and Toronto World. Chalmers moved on to the Financial Post in 1919, advancing to the position of editor in 1925. He eventually rose to occupy several senior executive positions with the Maclean-Hunter publishing company, becoming its Honorary Chairman in 1979.

Chalmers was extremely active in promoting the arts in Canada. He guided numerous organizations by serving influential roles: director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, vice-chairman of the Royal Conservatory of Music, president of the Canadian Opera Company and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, and chancellor of York University. He founded the Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation, and initiated the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. The foundation continues to provide substantial assistance to young Canadian artists. Chalmers was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967, and was elevated to a Companion of the Order in 1984 in recognition of his contribution to the arts.

The Floyd S. Chalmers Award in Ontario History was originally established by Chalmers in 1983 when he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ontario Historical Studies Series. In 1993, having completed its government mandate to commission and publish 30 books on the history of Ontario, the Series was disbanded. Its final act was to transfer the administration of the trust fund and the award to the Champlain Society.