School Programs

Overview of Canadian War Museum School Programs Offering


The Canadian War Museum, your museum of military history, offers a wide range of learning opportunities that will fascinate students of all levels. Through historical artifacts, personal stories, artwork, photographs and interactive presentations, the

Museum’s school programs help students discover Canada’s rich military history.

The Museum offers meaningful learning experiences designed to support teachers in providing exceptional history education. Our programs ensure that your students come away with a greater understanding of the human stories behind historical events.

Our programs closely match Ontario and Quebec curricula in the areas of Social Studies, History and Geography.

The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards

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. In addition, winning entries will be posted on the Canadian War Museum website.


Open to all senior students graduating from secondary school in the spring of 2018. Each student must submit an original work that satisfies the requirements listed below (text, visual art, audio or video production), and a completed application form.

Important Dates

Completed applications must be postmarked no later than February 23, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Successful applicants will be notified in June 2018.


Every year, the Canadian War Museum selects a theme on which students must base their work. For 2018, students are to produce a work on the following theme:

The Legacy of the First World War
The First World War ended on 11 November 1918, but its impact is still with us today. The young dominion saw some 620,000 Canadians serve from a nation of about 8 million. Canadians fought in land, air, and naval campaigns around the world and those at home supported the war through farming, munitions production, and patriotic work. The war unified Canadians but also divided them, especially over the country’s commitment to winning what increasingly became a total war effort. The terrible loss of life, the curtailment of civil liberties, and acts like conscripting young men for overseas service pitted community against community. The war forever changed Canada.

Describe the most important legacies of war. You may wish to consider topics like:

  • Canada’s involvement on the world stage
  • Government intervention in the lives of Canadians
  • Women and war
  • Technical or scientific developments emerging from war
  • The creation of new heroes
  • The terrible strain of the war
  • How the fallen soldiers and war effort were commemorated
  • War’s impact on art
  • The role of veterans in Canadian society


Students may submit ONE entry in any of the following media:

1. Text

  • May include essays, short stories, or works of non-fiction;
  • Written in English or French, maximum 1,000 words (include word count), size 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, with a cover page.

2. Visual Art

  • May employ any two- or three-dimensional media for artwork: may include photographs, paintings, or sculptures;
  • Every artwork must be accompanied by a written statement of intent in English or French, minimum 250 words, maximum 800 words (include word count), size 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, with a cover page.

3. Audio or Video Production

  • May include songs, short films, or documentaries;
  • Production must be in English or French (use subtitles where necessary), and must not exceed 10 minutes in duration.
  • Every production must be accompanied by a written transcript or lyrics sheet in English or French, size 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, with a cover page.
  • Every production must be accompanied by a written statement of intent in English or French, minimum 250 words, maximum 800 words (include word count), size 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, with a cover page.

Review Criteria

Submissions will be assessed based on:

  • Creativity: Have you demonstrated creative thinking in the choice of topic and/or your approach to the topic? Is this project noteworthy in its unique take on the topic?
  • Scholarship: Have you demonstrated good research skills? Did you choose appropriate and reliable secondary sources? Did you use primary source evidence effectively? Do you avoid factual errors?
    • ALL submissions MUST include a bibliography and a list of sources consulted
    • All text submissions MUST use correctly formatted citations
  • Critical Thinking: Have you engaged with the topic in a thoughtful and appropriate way? Does your evidence support your conclusions?
  • Relevance: Does your original work clearly respond to the theme?
    • Submissions deemed to be not relevant to the theme will be automatically disqualified from consideration
  • Ability to Communicate a Clear Message: Are you conveying an idea or message through your original submission? Are others able to decipher the idea or message? Do you demonstrate skill in conveying this idea or message in your chosen media?


Nothing is to be sent with submissions other than what is listed below (no letters, personal photographs, CVs, official transcripts)

1. Text

2. Visual Art

  • 1 copy of original artwork with student’s name clearly visible on front or back, unfolded;
  • 3 stapled copies of written statement of intent, unfolded;
  • Completed application form.

3. Audio or Video Production

  • 3 copies of the production on CD or DVD, labeled with title and applicant’s name, with each disc in an individual sleeve;
  • 3 copies of the lyrics or transcript, unfolded;
  • 3 copies of written statement of intent, unfolded;
  • Completed application form.

Send complete submission to:

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

Applications sent by fax, e-mail, electronic transfer websites or on a USB will not be considered.

Submissions, whether successful or not, will not be returned. Winning submissions become the exclusive property of the Canadian War Museum.

Recipients of the 2017 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards

In 2017, applicants of the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards were asked to submit an original work considering “How has War Shaped Canada?”.

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

Timothy Hass
Burnsview Secondary School
Delta, British Columbia
Category: Text
The Military Service Act

Hannah Clarke
Penticton Secondary School
Penticton, British Columbia
Category: Visual Art
A Hundred Years



For any inquiries about the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards, students can either email us at or call us at 819-776-7000 (toll free: 1-800-555-5621).

Download the application form (PDF file, 250 Kb)

To send us an email or see other ways to contact us:

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