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Know History, Refugee Boulevard, Canadian War Museum


Public History Prize


In 2020, the award was presented to three recipients:

KnowHistory 20201. Know History
Historic Métis Communities Video Project

The Historic Métis Communities Video Project is a well-produced series of seven documentary short films that is by the communities and for the communities. The collaborative work of Know History, the Métis Nation of Ontario, and SandBay Entertainment, each three-act film highlights a Métis community in Northern Ontario, its origins, challenges, and connections to the contemporary Métis community.

The jury commends the team, which designed the project as an educational tool for grades six to ten, for the community-focussed and engaging approach to telling these complex histories through film, and how these histories are rooted in both the voices of community members and archival records.

Refugee Blvd2. Team: Stacey Zembrzycki (Dawson College); Nancy Rebelo (Dawson College); Eszter Andor (Montreal Holocaust Museum); Anna Sheftel (Saint Paul University); Philip Lichti (multimedia production); Joyce Pillarella (booklet graphic design); Caroline Künzle (translation); and Antonia Hernández and Corina MacDonald (graphic design and web development).

Survivors: Ted Bolgar; Fishel Goldig; Paul Herczeg; Muguette Myers; George Reinitz; Tommy Strasser; Musia Schwartz; Renata Skotnicka-Zajdman; and Sidney Zoltak.
Refugee Boulevard: Making Montreal Home After the Holocaust

Driven by community outreach and oral histories, Refugee Boulevard: Making Montreal Home After the Holocaust is an audio tour of six child survivors who came to Montreal through the War Orphans Project in 1948. Developed by researchers at Dawson College, the Montreal Holocaust Museum, Saint Paul University, and survivors, the tour is rooted in strong scholarship, while linking the past to the present and future through community outreach and collaborative research methods.

The tour is well crafted and can be followed easily in-person or using online mapping services, such as Google Streetview. As such, it is an effective demonstration of how digital resources and methodologies can expand and enrich more traditional forms of public history. Survivors’ personal anecdotes provide a depth to the content that is supported by a strong narrative framework and the supplementary booklet.

CWM3. Canadian War Museum
Second World War Discovery Box

The Second World War Discovery Box is a hands-on learning experience that is available free to any classroom in Canada for a two-week loan. The boxes are comprised of a curated selection of both original and reproduction artifacts from the Canadian War Museum, and are supported by digital resources including historical overviews, archival materials, personal stories, and lesson plans. The Discovery Box takes the museum experience out of Canada’s capital, bringing it to learners across the country.

The committee was impressed by how the content of the Second World War Discovery Box is based on strong scholarship, while presented in a way to make historical practice adaptable across age ranges. This promotes the best practices of historical thinking for teachers and students, and as such it reflects the important cross-fertilization between public history and history education.