Accomplished Canadian scholars awarded over $ 1 million


Ottawa, April 18, 2016 – The Canada Council for the Arts announced today the recipients of the 2016 Killam Program awards. This prestigious awards program is funded by a private endowment from the Killam Trust, which supports creativity and innovation through research and higher learning. The Canada Council has proudly administered the program since 1967.

Five Canadian professors will each receive a $100,000 prize in recognition of their exceptional career achievements in the diverse fields of humanities, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and health sciences. Another $840,000 will be awarded over two years in Killam Research Fellowships, granting six scholars full teaching and administrative release so they may pursue independent research.  Winners were selected by peer assessment through an independent evaluation committee.

Killam Prizes
The 2016 Killam Prize winners are a dynamic group of scholars, whose lifetime of work has impacted the lives of Canadians and citizens around the world.

Natural Sciences – Axel Becke, Dalhousie University, is a 2015 Herzberg Medal winner whose work in quantum chemistry, specifically Density Functional Theory, has transformed computational science. 

Humanities – Isabelle Daunais, McGill University, is an internationally acclaimed author and leading scholar of French literature, particularly Flaubert and romanticism.

Engineering – Elizabeth Edwards, University of Toronto, a renowned chemical engineer whose research has led to the development of bioremediation strategies and tools for cleaning up groundwater pollutants.

Health Sciences – Steven Narod, University of Toronto, Women’s College Hospital, is a world-leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics, shaping current knowledge of cancer assessments and risks amongst carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

Social Sciences – Daniel Trefler, University of Toronto, is a celebrated economist researching the impact of international trade on innovation, employment, earnings and domestic institutions, focusing on Canadian competitiveness and prosperity.

Killam Research Fellowships
The Killam Research Fellowships support scholars engaged in ongoing projects of outstanding merit and widespread interest in their fields.

Susanna Braund, University of British Columbia – Virgil Translated

Christophe Caloz, École Polytechnique de Montréal– Time-Varying Metamaterials: A Novel Paradigm in Modern Science and Technology

Charles Gale, McGill University – Nuclear Matter under Extreme conditions: Elucidating the Properties of the Quark-Gluon Plasma

Andrew Gonzalez, McGill University– From science to solutions: biodiversity science for global environmental change

Stephen McAdams, McGill University– Timbre on my mind: Toward a perceptual foundation for a theory of orchestration

Arthur Ripstein, University of Toronto – Kant and the Law of War


“The men and women honoured by the Killam Program are renowned specialists in their fields. But their impact goes far beyond academia,” said the Canada Council Director and CEO Simon Brault.  “Their creative insights and innovation help us to better understand the world around us – and lead us on a path to resolving the pressing environmental, economic, health and social problems of the day.”  

“As one of the largest private philanthropic trusts for higher education in Canada, the Killam Trusts are committed to building Canada’s future through advanced research, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts,” said Killam Trusts Managing Trustee George Cooper. “We are thrilled to welcome the 2016 Prize winners and Fellowship recipients to the Killam family and salute their exceptional contributions to Canada and a better world through research and scholarship.”


Prize ceremony
The Killam Prize presentation ceremony will be held at Rideau Hall on May 3rd. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Julie Rocheleau at the Rideau Hall Press office at (613) 998-7280 or by email at


Learn more about the Killam Program
The Canada Council Killam Program, inaugurated with lifetime and testamentary gifts by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam in memory of her husband Izaak Walton Killam, includes the Killam Prizes and the Killam Research Fellowships. In total, the Killam Trusts are valued at approximately $450 million, of which the Canada Council portion is $57 million. For more information about the Killam Trusts, please visit


Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. We champion and invest in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2014-15 we allocated $155.1 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through our grants, prizes and payments. We also conduct research, convene activities and work with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. We are responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts. .