The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards

(The Canadian War Museum History Awards for students graduating from secondary school)

The Canadian War Museum is dedicated to the study of Canadian military history and the effects of war upon Canada and its people. Each year, the Museum sponsors a national history award competition for senior high school students, based on a historically significant event or theme.

The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards are financially supported by the Friends of the Canadian War Museum.

Value of the Awards

Up to five prizes of $1,000 each are awarded to individual winners.

Criteria for admission

Application for the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards is open to all senior students who plan on graduating from secondary school in the spring of 2015. To qualify, each student must submit an original work using one of the following media:

  • Text
  • Visual Art
  • Audio or Video Production

In addition, each student must include a completed application form.

Please do NOT include extra material such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, news clippings or résumés.


Completed applications must be postmarked and mailed no later than April 10, 2015. Late applications and applications that do not provide all the requested material will not be reviewed. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be considered.


Every year, the Canadian War Museum selects a theme on which students must base their work. For 2015, students are to produce a work on the following theme:

Independent war correspondents have kept Canadians informed about armed conflicts throughout the world since the mid-19th century. The media has historically acted as a conduit for information, linking the military abroad with the public at home. During a conflict, the public wants to know about its armed forces, the media wants to tell informative stories and the military wants to control information, either to protect its activities or showcase its accomplishments.

Original submissions for this year’s competition should explore the relationship between the military on operations, the media and the public in a Canadian context. It should deal with a conflict that either occurred in Canada (e.g., the North West Resistance of 1885)  or in which Canadian personnel participated, such as the First or Second World War, or Afghanistan. Some possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • the impact of technology and social media on war reporting;
  • the work of a specific war correspondent;
  • the coverage of a Canadian peacekeeping operation(s);
  • the dangers and ethical challenges faced by journalists in the field.

Students may submit ONE entry in either of the media listed below:

  • Text (i.e. essay, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journalism)
  • Visual Art (i.e. photography, drawing, painting, 3-D elements)
  • Audio or Video Productions (i.e. songs, documentaries, commentaries, films)


Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines will not be evaluated. All submission must come with the application form, filled on the computer and printed. Hand written application forms will not be evaluated.

1. Text

  • Must be written either in English or in French, to a maximum of 2000 words (please include word count at the end of the text), in a size 12 font, a line spacing of 1.5 and a cover page.
  • Students must include 4 stapled copies of their work, unfolded, in an appropriate envelope.

2. Visual Art

  • Students may employ any two- or three-dimensional media.
  • Students must submit their original work with 4 stapled copies of a description document explaining their work and the materials used in a minimum of 250 words, size 12 font, a line spacing of 1.5 and a cover page.
  • The name of the student must be clearly visible on the artwork or on the back.
  • Original works on paper should not be folded.

3. Audio or Video Production

  • Productions must be in English or French (using subtitles or translations where necessary) and must not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • Students must submit 4 copies of the transcript and 4 copies of their production on CD or DVD. Transcripts must be stapled, have a cover page, a size 12 font, a line spacing of 1.5 and be unfolded.
  • CD’s and DVD’s must be labeled and in individual sleeves.

Sending your application

Send your original work and application form in a 9 x 12 envelope (except Visual Art submissions which can be sent in an appropriate envelope) to:

The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8

Review Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary Canadian War Museum committee based on creativity, scholarship, critical thinking, relevance and the ability to communicate a clear message. Of the entries submitted, the committee may select up to five winners, each of whom will receive $1000. The committee reserves the right of final decision. Any entry that does not conform to any of the above mentioned specifications will not be evaluated.

Notification to students

All candidates will be notified of the committee’s decision in June, 2015. Submissions, whether successful or not, will not be returned. Winning submissions become the exclusive property of the Canadian War Museum.

Award payment

Every effort will be made to formally present awards at each successful student’s graduation ceremony (if applicable). Failing this, awards will be sent directly to the successful student’s current address.

In addition to receiving a monetary award, winning students will have their original works posted on the Canadian War Museum’s Web site. Works may need to be edited to respect the Canadian War Museum’s publishing policies.

Recipients of the 2015 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards

In 2015, applicants of the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards were asked to submit an original work considering “War and Media“.

Of the entries submitted by students from across Canada, four were retained as winners:

Tessa Mouzourakis
Kitsilano Secondary School
Vancouver, British Columbia
Category: Text
The Battle of Truths (fiction)

William James Burns
Harrison Trimble High School
Moncton, New Brunswick
Category: Audio or Video Production
Peter Stursberg – Canadian World War Two correspondent for the CBC News (video)

Miriam Dumitra
Langley Christian School
Langley, British Columbia
Category: Visual Art
If You Don’t Like it, Edit It: Canadian Censorship Media in World War I
Accompanying text

Félix Lupien
École de la Magdeleine
La Prairie, Quebec
Category: Text
La plume et l’épée – Essai sur l’utilité de la propagande en temps de guerre (essay – in French)


For any inquiries about the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards, students can either email us at: or call us at (819) 776-8617 and leave their name, a brief message and phone number.

Download the application form (PDF file, 250 Kb)

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Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M8
Tel: 1-800-555-5621

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