Friday, July 07, 2006

Bill Waiser, nominated by his colleagues here in the department, is among the five finalists for the 2006 Pierre Berton Award for achievement in popularizing Canadian history. The award celebrates "those who bring the past to life ... the wordsmiths who have dedicated their lives and careers to reminding us of our identity, our successes and our failures so that our future continues to grow strong." In announcing the nomination, Canada's National History Society noted, quite rightly, that Bill is “exceptional because he is so well regarded for the rigor of his research as well as his ability to tell a really good story.” This talent is evident with CBC-TV Saskatchewan’s popular history series Looking Back, which he hosted. His most recent book, Saskatchewan: A New History, released last year to mark the province’s centennial, is regarded as “the new definitive reference to the province's history.” Other finalists for the award include military historian Ted Barris, Ottawa Citizen journalist Randy Boswell, author Ken McGoogan, and the CBC Digital Archives. Canada's National History Society publishes The Beaver and Kayak, a Canadian history magazine for kids. This year’s winner will be announced in October at the National History Conference in Vancouver.