Public Education

Public Communications Awards

Since 1985, the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) has presented annual awards to acknowledge outstanding contributions in communication that further insight and appreciation of Canadian Archaeology. These awards recognise contributions by journalists, film producers, professional archaeologists and institutions and are adjudicated by a committee composed of a regional representation of CAA members. CAA members are encouraged to forward materials for consideration to the Public Communications Awards Chairperson.

Outstanding efforts are recognized in the following categories:

  • Writer/Producer
  • Professional/Institutional
  • Social Media

Nominations are made by CAA members.


The competition for all awards is limited to items published and/or produced during the last calendar year (i.e., January 1st to December 31st). Individuals who are nominated do not have to be members of the CAA.

Submissions must be written and/or produced in lay terms and aimed at public awareness. The following types of works are eligible:

  • Articles published in a magazine, journal, or newspaper.
  • Books, pamphlets, or other hard copy publications
  • Television, video or radio productions (including YouTube)
  • Electronic publications and websites
  • Social media sites
  • Museum exhibitions with significant written or video content

Submissions must focus on some aspect of Canadian archaeology and be written in a format suitable for the general public. Articles about Canadian archaeologists conducting fieldwork / research abroad are not eligible. Submissions may be in English or French, but must be written/produced in lay terms and aimed at public awareness.

Current members of the Public Communications Committee are not eligible for the awards.

There is no limit on the number of awards a recipient may receive, but they may only receive awards in two consecutive years.

Award Categories

There are three categories of award:

  1. Writer/Producer: This category includes writers, journalists, producers and others. It is aimed at persons other than professional archaeologists and their employers.
    One award will be made annually in this category. The Writer/Producer Award recipient will receive a $200 cash prize and a framed award certificate.
  2. Professional/Institutional: This category includes practicing archaeologists, institutions involved in carrying out archaeology (museums, government departments, universities, etc.), or individuals employed by such institutions, and public broadcasting corporations and their employees.
    One award will be made annually in this category. The Professional/Institutional Award recipients receive a framed award certificate.
  3. Social Media: This category includes independent writers/producers as well as professional/institutional individuals and teams, whose focus is on the application of computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share and exchange information.
    One award will be made annually in this category. The Social Media Award recipients will receive a framed award certificate.

The actual number of awards made in a given year will depend on the number and quality of the submissions. Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at the CAA Annual Meeting.

Deadline for nomination: March 15 of each year

The nomination package should include:

  • A copy of the nominated materials (note that if the submission is a museum exhibit, significant writing portions or video content must be presented for adjudication by the committee), and
  • A nomination letter justifying your submission and identifying the award category you wish the submission to be considered for, and
  • A copy of a written permission from the nominated author/producer, if the person nominating is not the nominee.
Nominations should be submitted using the award nomination form.

Please note that if the nomination package is incomplete, the nomination will not be considered valid and therefore will not be evaluated.

Award Recipients

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