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Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes

Photo collage of the two winners, Shirley Cheechoo on the left and Christina Sharpe on the right.

Shirley Cheechoo (left) and Christina Sharpe (right)

Photographer(s): Nano Debassige (left) and Christina Sharpe (right)

Latest winners

Shirley Cheechoo (Arts)

Dr. Shirley Cheechoo, C.M., is a trailblazing Cree filmmaker, artist and educator renowned for being the first Indigenous woman to direct a dramatic feature film in Canada. Born in Eastmain, Quebec, Shirley has dedicated her career to amplifying Indigenous voices through the arts. She is the founder of the Weengushk Film Institute, the Debajehmujig Theatre Group and the Weengushk International Film Festival, each fostering artistic expression and professional development among Indigenous peoples. Her films and theatrical works, celebrated for their poignant storytelling and cultural authenticity, have garnered numerous accolades. Shirley’s impactful contributions continue to resonate across the arts and education sectors.

Christina Sharpe (Social sciences and humanities)

Christina Sharpe is a writer, professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University, in Toronto. She is the author of three books, most recently Ordinary Notes (2023), winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the L.A. Times Current Interest Book Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography. In April 2024, she was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction and was named a Guggenheim Fellow.

The prizes

The Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes are awarded to two persons – one in the arts and the other in the social sciences and humanities, who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding achievements. The prizes are intended to encourage ongoing contributions to Canada's cultural and intellectual heritage.

These prizes are administered by the Canada Council in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The winners are chosen by a peer assessment committee, which is appointed jointly by the Canada Council and the SSHRC. 


The nominations must be submitted with the Canada Council by email. For eligibility criteria and further information on these prizes, please consult the guidelines.


These prizes are funded by an endowment from The Molson Foundation.

Additional information


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 4086


October 5, 2024

Annual competition

Prize amount

2 prizes of $50,000 each:

  • 1 prize in the arts
  • 1 prize in the social sciences and humanities


Updated guidelines will be posted 2 months prior to the deadline. You can submit a nomination to molson-prizes@canadacouncil.ca.

Cumulative list of winners [139 KB]

The Canada Council is committed to equity in all its activities, including the administration of prizes and awards.




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