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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
September 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Margaret Ormsby Scholarships

British Columbia: A Colourful Past

British Columbia has a fascinating and colourful history, and a rich and diverse heritage. Increasingly, people have expressed an interest in knowing more of the elements of our past, the origins of our traditions, how we have lived in years gone by.

Sadly, one of this province's most important historians, Dr. Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby passed away on November 2, 1996, at her home near Vernon, BC. She was 87 years of age. Undoubtedly, the legacy of her contributions will continue to inspire us and to broaden our knowledge about British Columbia's past.

To encourage the study, promotion and understanding of British Columbia's history, The Society for the Promotion of B.C. History and The Margaret Ormsby Scholarship Executive Committee, together with a committee of historians, invite you to help establish an awards program honouring one of British Columbia's prominent historians and increasing our understanding of British Columbia.

The Margaret Ormsby Doctoral Scholarship in British Columbia History will be awarded annually to a promising scholar commencing a doctorate in any aspect of British Columbia history including: the histories of aboriginal people, immigrants and women; art history, historical geography, historical sociology; and the history of education. [currently the Ormsby Doctoral Scholarships are unavailable]

To encourage a broader understanding of our history, the Margaret Ormsby Prize for the Best Essay in British Columbia Historyare available to students at the University of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island University, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan and Thompson Rivers University.

A Scholarship Tribute to Margaret Ormsby

Margaret Ormsby occupies a unique position as British Columbia's historian of record. Author of British Columbia: A History, she served as Professor of History at the University of British Columbia for more than 30 years, as Chair of the Department for a decade, and as President of both the Canadian and British Columbia Historical Associations.

She served on the B.C. Heritage Advisory Board, the Historical Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and published, edited and encouraged the advancement of B.C. history in countless ways.

In honour of her contributions to the understanding of British Columbia and its place in Canada, she was the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, the Centennial Medal, and five honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.

In 1993, a group of graduate students, assisted by the British Columbia Heritage Trust and other historically minded supporters, created the Margaret Ormsby Scholarship project. A fund for donations was established in support of scholarships which celebrate and recognize Dr. Ormsby's contributions, ensuring that the work she pioneered continues. To this end, in 1997 the group officially established the charitable organization called The Society for the Promotion of B.C. History. Today the scholarships' fund is adminstered by the Vancouver Foundation on behalf of the Executive Committee of this Society, and is joined by a growing number of committed volunteers in raising an endowment sufficient to annually fund the Margaret Ormsby Scholarship Program. Contributions are tax deductible.

Endowment Fund for the Promotion of British Columbia History
c/o The Vancouver Foundation
Suite 200, 475 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC Canada V6D 4M9
Tel: (604) 688-2204 Fax: (604) 688-4170

ŠThe Society for the Promotion of B.C. History and the Margaret Ormsby Scholarship Executive Committee. This page is maintained by Susan Neylan (