The Killam connection to the Canada Council is twofold. When Izaak Walton Killam died purposely intestate in 1955, it was because he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the government of the time that half of his estate would be used to further the arts in Canada. Half of the original endowment used to create the Canada Council came directly from Mr. Killam.
After Mrs. Killam’s death she bequeathed additional funds to allow for the Killam Research Fellowships (program launched in 1967) to support outstanding scholars to carry out their groundbreaking projects.
The Canada Council Killam Prizes followed in 1981 and are among Canada’s most prestigious prizes for careers in research. To this date, two Killam Prize recipients have been awarded a Nobel Prize: Arthur B. McDonald (Physics, 2015) and John C. Polanyi (Chemistry, 1986).
Killam Awards at the Canada Council for the Arts
Often referred to as the “Canadian Nobel Prizes”, the Killam Prizes are awarded annually to distinguished Canadian scholars in the fields of health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. Each Prize is worth $100,000 and is awarded in the expectation that the scholars will continue to contribute to the Canadian research community.
Killam Research Fellowships
The Killam Research Fellowships provide release time to scholars of exceptional ability so they can pursue research projects of broad significance, and are currently valued at $70,000 per year (fellowship granted for two years).