This award recognizes and honours outstanding contributions to intellectual freedom in Canada by individuals or groups. Preference is given to librarians, other library workers, and library institutions. However like-minded individuals such as teachers or authors and groups such as schools or publishers are also eligible.

This award will be given from time-to-time, not necessarily on an annual basis, and there may be more than one recipient in any one year.


The general criteria for judging candidates for the award are as follows:

  • individuals and institutions having demonstrated leadership and courage in defending and promoting the principles of intellectual freedom in Canada; or,
  • individuals and institutions having demonstrated leadership and courage in resisting censorship and in opposing violations of intellectual freedom pressures in Canada; or,
  • individuals and institutions having produced innovative and creative projects, programs, or materials that promote the principles of intellectual freedom in Canada.

Nomination Guidelines

  • 1-2 page statement describing national or regional impact and speaking directly to one or more Award criteria listed above
  • relevant supporting documentation
  • (digital) signature of nominator including CLA membership number

The determination of the recipient or recipients of the award will be made by Executive Council of the association on the joint recommendation of the President and the Convenor of the Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom (in consultation with the committee members).

Nominations should be sent to:

CLA Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada Award

Canadian Library Association
1150 Morrison Drive, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K2H 8S9
info (at)

The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2015.

Past Winners

2016 Richard Beaudry and Gail Chaddock-Costello [Press Release]
2015 Brian Campbell [Press Release]
2014 Dale Askey [Press Release]
2013 Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs [Press Release]
2012 Calgary Freedom to Read Committee [Press Release]
2011 Alan Borovoy [Press Release]
2010 Kent Weaver  [Press Release]
2009 Kim Bolan [Press Release]
2008 Nancy Branscombe and Gina Barbar
2007 Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
2006 June Callwood
2005 David Wyman
2004 Monique Désormeaux
2003 James Chamberlain
2002 Peter Carver/Nancy Fleming/Sarah Thring
2000 Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium
1999 Board & Staff of the Greater Victoria Public Library
1997 Dr. Alvin M. Schrader
1996 Burlington Public Library
1988 Les Fowlie & the Toronto Public Library Board