The Dafoe Foundation Advances Dafoe’s Ideals for Canada

John Wesley Dafoe, editor of the Winnipeg Free Press from 1901-1944, was the most significant and influential Western Canadian Journalist of the 20th Century. He was crusty, feisty and hard-nosed in the advancement of his vision for Canada – a Canada strongly independent and influential in a troubled world. A Trust in his name perpetuates:


John W. Dafoe Graduate Fellowships are worth $10,000 a year, non-renewable, and are offered to MA students who (want to) pursue a course of studies in International Relations, the clutch of related fields (history, economics, political studies) that drove Dafoe’s ideals in Canadian national building. western development, journalism, free trade, and Canada’s place in world affairs.

Book Prizes

The Dafoe Book Prize, inaugurated in 1984 and given annually where there is a worthy contender doubled in value in 2002, at $10,000 it is one of the richest book awards offered for good, non-fiction writing about Canada, Canadians and the nation in international affairs. It now attracts about 30-40 contenders each year. Some of the winning authors: Denis Smith, Dennis & Sheila Whittacker, Jack Granatstein, Christina McCall & Steven Clarkson, Jonathan Vance, Gordon Robertson, Francis M. Carroll.


The foundation supports financially, motivates and initiates gatherings of eminent figures to address subjects of world concern that deserve Canadian attention and scholarly discussion. Specially supported are matters that John W. Dafoe saw as vital to nation building. Trade, defence, the constitution, the Commonwealth, national policy and nationhood are a few of them. Principle, ethics, word-smithing all mattered and his staff particularly liked it when he took the pants off appeasers in the pre-war years.