Legion Magazine has been nominated for the prestigious Pierre Berton Award for writers and producers of Canadian history in popular media.
The award created by Canada’s History Society is now part of the vice-regal awards for Canadian history to be presented by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa this December.
The Pierre Berton Award, named after the prolific writer of Canadian popular history books such as The National Dream, was established in 1993 by Canada’s History Society, the publisher of Canada’s History Magazine, formerly The Beaver. Past recipients have included Pierre Berton, J.L. Granatstein, Charlotte Gray, Peter C. Newman and the CRB Foundation’s Heritage Minutes.
“Each year there seems to be more and better books, television, film and new media programming on Canadian history, which was of course why the award was established in the first place,” said Richard Pound, the chair of the society’s board of directors.
The magazine’s citation says in part, “Legion Magazine began publishing in 1926 to serve the members of The Royal Canadian Legion. Over the past two decades the magazine has evolved into an engaging and attractive popular magazine that focuses on all aspects of Canada’s military past.”
The magazine’s print readership is approximately 650,000 and with its expansion into special interest publications and the Internet and blogs, it has a growing book and online audience estimated at over one million.
“Legion Magazine is almost a hundred years old and our mandate has always been to bring the stories of Canada to every corner of this country,” said General Manager Jennifer Morse. “This type of recognition can only help us share this nation’s history with an even wider audience.”
Apart from publishing Legion Magazine six times a year, Canvet Publications Ltd. has produced the special interest publications, WW I: The War That Shaped A Nation and WW II: The War That Had To Be Won. Both were 100-page publications written by top Canadian historians and filled with rare archival photographs, timelines and maps.
The magazine’s website has also grown to include blogs on Canadian military history and news on Canada’s military (Connecting To Legion Magazine, July/August). Several series have been devoted to the letters written by men and women serving overseas during the two world wars. The magazine has also produced videos of action from Afghanistan and rare archival coverage of the D-Day landings which can be found by searching Legion Magazine on the video-sharing website YouTube.
As of 2011, the Pierre Berton Award was integrated into the vice-regal awards for history which include the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Governor General’s History Award for Scholarly Research, the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums, the Governor General’s History Award for Community Programming and three awards for students.
The other nominees for 2012 are Sir John A. Macdonald biographer Richard Gwyn, television producer Bernard Zuckerman, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and Le Quebec, une histoire de famille, a series of 52 short stories for television.