Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes


The Canada Council is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority artists, groups and organizations. The Canada Council recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of this land and encourages applications and nominations from First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, groups, and organizations in all its programs. Measures are in place in all programs to support these commitments.

Two Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes, in the amount of $50,000 each, are awarded annually to distinguished individuals (one in the arts and one in the social sciences and humanities). The prizes are intended to encourage continuing contributions to the cultural and intellectual heritage of Canada.

The prizes are funded by an endowment from the Molson Foundation, and they 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.

Deadline – 1 October 2021

Your completed nomination form and supporting documents must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). The Canada Council will not assess late or incomplete nominations.

Nomination limits

  • Only one nomination per candidate is permitted, in one category and for one competition.
  • An individual may receive this award only once in a lifetime.

Notification of results – approximately 6 months after the deadline date

All nominators and winners will be notified in writing. Except for the notification of the prize winners, the Canada Council does not contact nominees.

Prize amount – $50,000 each


Eligible nominators

Candidates must be nominated by a nominator; either an individual or an organization. Anyone or any organization with an interest in, and capacity for, nominating appropriate individuals is eligible to do so.

Eligible candidates

These prizes are for individuals. Candidates must:

  • be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada.
  • have made a substantial and distinguished contribution over a significant period
  • still be active and productive in their career.

Ineligible candidates

  • Corporations and organizations are not eligible.
  • Molson Prizes cannot be awarded posthumously.
  • Members of the board of the Canada Council or the SSHRC are not eligible during their term as board members, and for 6 months following the end of their term.

Application/Nomination Assistance

Application/Nomination Assistance contributes to costs for services to help with a prize application or nomination for individuals who self-identify as: 

  • Deaf, hard of hearing, having a disability or living with a mental illness
  • First Nations, Inuit or Métis facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers.

To submit a request, contact the prizes officer 4 weeks prior to the deadline.

Assessment – How are decisions made?

Peer evaluation is fundamental to the Canada Council’s decision-making process. A multidisciplinary peer assessment committee, will assess the eligible nominations. The committee will be composed of experienced professionals selected by the Canada Council and SSHRC for their expertise in their field of practice. Committee members will also be selected with consideration to fair representation of artistic specializations, Canada’s 2 official languages, Indigenous peoples, Deaf and disability communities, gender, age and the cultural and regional diversity of Canada.

The peer assessment committee may decide not to award one or both of the prizes in a given competition.

All peer assessment committee recommendations are final.

Assessment criteria

Nominations will be evaluated based the following weighted criteria:

Merit (50%)

  • the quality of the candidate’s overall career achievements and where appropriate, the international stature of the candidate

Impact (40%)

  • the scope of the candidate’s contributions to the cultural or intellectual heritage of Canada, taking into account the context of their artistic discipline or academic field of study
  • evidence of the candidate’s outstanding commitment, creativity and efforts to share research and knowledge beyond the artistic or academic community

Relevance (10%)

  • the influence of the candidate and their work on enriching and evolving current thinking and practice in their area of expertise
  • the candidate’s contributions towards a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.

Required information and support material – What you need to submit with the nomination

  • Letter of nomination (maximum 2 pages)
  • Biography of the nominee (maximum 1 page)
  • Nominee’s current curriculum vitae (maximum 10 pages)
  • Letters of support from experts in the field (3 maximum)
  • Written support items (e.g. articles, reviews, commentaries and promotional items) from independent external sources (6 maximum, up to 4 pages each)

Nomination preparation

  • The nominator is responsible for providing all the information and support material requested.
  • The Canada Council will make eligibility decisions based on the information provided in the nomination.
  • The Canada Council is not responsible for the loss or damage of material submitted.
  • Submit only the material requested. Extra material will not be shown to the peer assessment committee.
  • Carefully choose your support material as committee members have limited time in which to review each nomination.
  • It is important to inform the Canada Council of any changes to your contact details.If you have an account in the Canada Council portal, please update changes directly through your account.


  • A nominator may resubmit a nomination for a specific nominee as many times as desired.
  • However, a nominator may only use the same nomination package for 2 consecutive deadlines. To do this, the nominator must send a letter to the Canada Council requesting that the nomination package be resubmitted, and include an updated curriculum vitae for the nominee, on or before the competition deadline date.
  • A new nomination package is required for a third consecutive nomination, or if more than 1 year has passed since the last nomination.

Personal information

Personal information collected in this nomination shall be used for purposes related to the program, service or activity of the Canada Council.

The Canada Council may share personal information from applications and nominations for awards with officials in other arts and cultural industry funding agencies and government institutions on a confidential basis. Shared information is limited to your name, contact information, field of practice and project description, and is provided to assist with research, reporting, program planning and evaluation, to present networking or economic opportunities, or to respond to federal reviews. For more information on how your personal information is protected, see our Privacy Notice.

For the purpose of this prize, the Canada Council will share your nomination with the SSHRC for assessment purposes. SSHRC is subject to the Privacy Act.

Prize terms and conditions

Once the prize winners have been contacted, they must confirm acceptance of the prize and agree to keep the results of the competition confidential until the Canada Council makes its official announcement. If successful, the terms and conditions will be outlined in a notification letter.

Prize payment

Winners cannot receive the prize money until all overdue final reports for Canada Council grants and prizes have been submitted and approved.

Participation in promotional activities

The winners must agree to allow their photographs and public information be used for promotion of the prize and in other Canada Council promotional initiatives. They must also agree to participate fully in all prize-related activities.

Previous winners

Visit the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes web page to download a list of past winners.

Instructions – How to submit a nomination

Send your completed nomination as 1 email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time) to The maximum file size including attachments is 25 MB. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, please contact us.

Contact information

Jill Zmud

Program Officer, Prizes

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