Governor General Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

About the Awards

It’s an Honour!

The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the goal of equality for women and girls in Canada.

Deadline

Nominations are open for the 2016 Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

The deadline to submit your nominations is June 24.

Nominate someone now!

Useful Tools

Before you submit a nomination, please read the Guidelines for Nominators. These guidelines will provide all of the information you need to better understand the nomination process and complete your nomination. You may also refer to the check list for step-by-step instructions.

Persons Day

October 18 is celebrated as Persons Day, and the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case are awarded each year in October to mark the historic Persons Case decision.

 

2015 recipients

More About the Awards

In 1929, after two years of legal debate, Canada's highest court of appeal declared that the word "person" included both women and men. The decision was made by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain and made it possible for women to serve in the Senate. It also paved the way for women's increased participation in public and political life. The case had been brought before the courts in 1927 by five Alberta women who became known as the "Famous Five." The case became known as the Persons Case.

The Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Persons Case, which changed the course of history for women in Canada.

This year, five recipients, including one from the youth category (15 to 30 years of age), have been chosen from across Canada.

Recipients of these Awards continue the tradition of courage, integrity and hard work that the Famous Five of the Persons Case inspired.

These awards recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the goal of equality for women and girls in Canada. Recipients come from all parts of the country and from all walks of life.

Learn more about the jury and the awards' policy

What Can Recipients Expect?

Awards Ceremony

Recipients of the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case are invited to attend an awards ceremony hosted by the Governor General at historic Rideau Hall in Ottawa. During the ceremony, recipients are presented with award medals by the Governor General.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivering remarks at the 2014 Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case ceremony.
Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case medals.
2014 Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Photographer:
MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall ©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, 2015.

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