Book Prize

The J.W. Dafoe Book Prize is awarded to the best book on Canada, Canadians, and/or Canada’s place in the world published in the previous calendar year.

The Prize memorializes John Wesley Dafoe, one of the most significant Canadian editors of the 20th century. In his tenure at the Manitoba Free Press, later renamed the Winnipeg Free Press, from 1901- 1944, Dafoe was known for his advocacy of western development, free trade, national independence, and the Commonwealth.

Past Winners

2023 Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii).Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation. Harper Collins Publishing Ltd.

2022 Donald J. Smith. Seen but Not Seen: Influential Canadians and the First Nations from the 1840s to Today.  University of Toronto Press.

2021  Stephen R. Bown.The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire. Doubleday Canada.

2020 Brendan Kelly, The Good Fight: Marcel Cadieux and Canadian Diplomacy

2019 Taylor Hollander.  Power, Politics, and Principles.  University of Toronto Press.

2018  Tim Cook. Vimy: The Battle and the Legend.  Allen Lane/Penguin Canada Group

2017 Adam Lajeunesse. Lock, Stock, and Icebergs: A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty. Vancouver: UBC Press.

2016 David Mulroney. Middle Kingdom, Middle Power: What Canadians Need to Know About China in the 21st Century. Toronto: Allen Lane Canada/Penguin Random House Canada.

2015 Terry Gould. Worth Dying For: Canada’s Mission to Train Police in the World’s Failing States. Toronto: Random House Canada

2014 Paul Wells. The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-. Toronto: Random House Canada.

2013 Mary Janigan. Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark: The West versus the Rest since Confederation. Toronto: Knopf Canada.

2012 Richard J. Gwyn, Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times. Toronto: Random House.

2011 Shelagh D. Grant, Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America.  Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre.

2010 Sean T. Cadigan, Newfoundland & Labrador: A History. Toronto & London: University of Toronto Press.

2009    Jack Bumsted. Lord Selkirk: A Life. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press

2008 Tim Cook. At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916, Volume One. Toronto: Viking Press

2007 John English. Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1919-1968, Volume One. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf

2006 Kim Bolan. Loss of  Faith. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

2005 Carol Off.  The Ghosts of Medok Pocket. Toronto: Random House of Canada.

2004 Robert Sharpe and Kent Roach. Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey. Toronto:University of Toronto Press,

2003 John T. Saywell. The Lawmakers: Judicial Power and the Shaping of Canadian Federalism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2002 Francis Carroll. A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the Canadian-American Boundary, 1783-1842. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2001 Gordon Robertson. Memoirs of a Very Civil Servant. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2000 David Frank. J.B. McLachlan; A Biography. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company.

1999 Brian Hutchinson. Fool’s Gold: The Making of a Global Market Fraud. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf.

1998 Jonathon Vance. Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

1997 James R. Miller. Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Residential Schools in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

1996 Denis Smith. Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John D. Diefenbaker. Toronto: McFarlane, Walker and Ross.

1995 Christina McCall and Stephen Clarkson. Trudeau and Our Times, Volume 2. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

1994 Jack L. Granatstein. The Generals: The Canadian Army’s Senior Generals in the Second World War. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Company.

1993 John English. Lester B. Pearson: The Worldly Years. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf.

1992 Robin Anthony Fisher. Duff Patullo of British Columbia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

1991 Roberto Perin. Rome in Canada: The Vatican and Canadian Affairs in the Late Victorian Age. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

1990 Brian Loring Villa, Unauthorized Action: Mountbatten and Dieppe. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

1989 Denis Smith. Diplomacy of Fear: Canada and the Cold War. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

1988 John M. Bumstead. Land Settlement and Politics in 18th Century Prince Edward Island. Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

1987 R. Douglas Francis. Frank Underhill, Intellectual Provocateur. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

1986 D.J. Hall. Clifford Sifton, the Lonely Eminence. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

1985 No Prize Awarded

1984 Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker. Tug O’ War. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Company.