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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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About the Margaret Ormsby Scholarships


The Society for the Promotion of B.C. History
has four objectives:

  • The first is to raise the profile of British Columbia history in this province and to give British Columbians more opportunities to learn about their history.
  • The second is to bring together from academia, public life, business, historical organizations and the public, British Columbians already interested in heritage history of the province to build alliances and strengthen ties by working on a common project.
  • The third goal is the completion of such a project, the raising of a series of scholarships to celebrate and promote British Columbia History.
  • Finally, it is the intent of the committee to honour the contributions of the province's most important historian, Dr. Margaret Ormsby.


 Two types of prizes are proposed to honour Dr. Ormsby.


The first, The Margaret Ormsby Doctoral Scholarship in British Columbia History will be made once annually to a promising scholar commencing a doctorate in British Columbia history, including the related disciplines of historical geography, historical sociology, art history, the history of education and ethno-history.  [Please note that currently the Ormsby Doctoral Fellowship is unavailable]

The successful applicant may hold the award at any university in, or outside, of British Columbia so long as the subject of their proposed dissertation is substantially concerned with British Columbia. In order to encourage as many scholars as possible, the award may only be held for one year, and may not be held in conjunction with another major scholarship.

It will be administered by the Vancouver Foundation.

Candidates for the award will be evaluated on:

  • the candidate's scholarly record
  • the proposed program of study
  • the personal objectives of the applicant

Within these guidelines, preference will be given to candidates who propose innovative approaches to the study of British Columbia history. Consideration will also be given to candidates' proposals to disseminate their research. If there are no suitable candidates in a given year, the adjudicating committee reserves the right not to make an award. [currently the Ormsby Doctoral Fellowship is unavailable]

The second type of award is The Margaret Ormsby Prize for the Best Essay in British Columbia History. There will be four awards of $200 each presented every year for the best undergraduate essay on an aspect of B.C history, including the related disciplines of historical geography, historical sociology, art history, the history of education and ethno-history, to a student at each of the following: the University College of the Fraser Valley, Malaspina University College, University of British Columbia-Okanagan, and Thomspon Rivers University.

The essays will be adjudicated by a committee appointed at each of the respective institutions. The committees will submit a copy of the winning essay to the chair of the executive committee of Margaret Ormsby Scholarships by May 15th of each year.

The awards will be financed by an endowment established by donations. The target for the endowment is $300,000. Donations will be held by the Vancouver Foundation on behalf of the "Endowment Fund for the Promotion of British Columbia History" who are able to issue tax receipts to donors.