Canadian War Museum

Canadian War Museum

June 05, 2007 09:54 ET

Canadian War Museum Announces Winners of History Prizes for Students Exploring Canada's Role in Afghanistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 5, 2007) - The Canadian War Museum (CWM) has announced the five winners of the 2007 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards for graduating secondary school students. The theme for this year's entries, "Canada's Changing Role in Afghanistan," coincides with the War Museum's special exhibition AFGHANISTAN: A Glimpse of War, on display until January 6, 2008.

High school students in their final year from across Canada were invited to explore how the Canadian mission in Afghanistan has changed in the past five years, and to consider how our soldiers' presence has affected Canadians as well as the Afghan people.

"The Canadian War Museum has a responsibility to help students better understand history and its relevance to their lives," says Joe Geurts, Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum. "We chose the Canadian mission in Afghanistan as this year's topic because it is an example of history unfolding right now. Young people are witnessing the effects of the war both at home and abroad, either through the news or through the experiences of their own siblings, parents or other family members who have been deployed to Afghanistan."

A total of 65 students submitted a wide variety of original works, including essays, poems and visual art, which were judged for their creativity, scholarship, critical thinking, relevance and ability to communicate a clear message. The following winners will each receive $1,000 and their works will be displayed in the War Museum and posted on the CWM Web site (

Lindsey MacCallum of Fredericton, N.B. for "Leaving," an account of her own emotions, thoughts and reaction in response to her brother's departure to Afghanistan in early 2007.

Kelsey Stevens of Calgary, Alta. for "To Be The End," a poem written from the perspectives of two women: the mother of a female Canadian soldier, and the mother of an Afghani boy recruited by the Taliban.

Olivia Gilmer-Chekosky of Winnipeg, Man. for "Le role changeant du Canada en Afghanistan," a mixed media artwork that integrates newspaper clippings, text and images.

Lindsay Steele of Campbellford, Ont. for "Dear Mom: I Miss You," a fictional account of a Grade 8 student's reaction to her mother's deployment to Afghanistan, and a letter written from the mother's perspective.

Kelsey Epler of Edmonton, Alta. for "Crucial Changes," a pencil crayon drawing of many symbols and images relevant to Canada's role in Afghanistan.

The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards, established in 2006, are funded by the Friends of the Canadian War Museum, through a bequest from Colonel Gunter's family. Beginning in 1998, the Canadian War Museum funded its own history awards. In total, some $38,000 in prizes has been distributed to 38 students across the country.

"This year's entries demonstrate an impressive understanding among young people of the realities of war and peacekeeping, which is the whole purpose of the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards," says Angus Brown, President of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum. "The Friends of the Canadian War Museum would like to congratulate the winners for their excellent work."

Contact Information