The Archives Association of Ontario has supported an awards program for over two decades. The intent of this program is to properly recognize individuals, institutions and companies that have made a significant contribution to Ontario archives and/or the profession.

The four awards are traditionally bestowed upon selected honourees at the annual awards gala, which is held during the spring conference. Award recipients are given a framed certificate and have been recognized in the past on the AAO website and in Off the Record. The slideshow below features selected images of award recipients from past years.

The Awards Committee is responsible for advertising, promoting, adjudicating and presenting these four awards. The awards and process involved in submitting nominations are discussed below.

The call for 2018 AAO Award nominations are now open! Nominate someone today! 

The Four Awards

Visit the individual award pages to learn about the awards and past recipients:

Submitting a Nomination

In order to nominate someone for one of the awards, please review the nomination criteria and procedures below before completing and submitting the nomination form. The new nomination form, which should be used for all four awards, can be downloaded here.

An Archives Association of Ontario member in good standing must sign the nomination form. It must be accompanied by a maximum of 1000 word narrative explaining the reasons for the nomination. Additional documentation, including resumé, clippings, publications, etc. is strongly encouraged, but not required. An electronic version of the nomination package must be received by the Chair prior to the deadline, with original documentation mailed upon request.

Nominations should be submitted to the Chair of the Awards Committee, Carolynn Bart-Riedstra, via email at

Awards Descriptions 

Awards Nomination Form

Awards Nomination Criteria
  1. Nominations are open to any resident of Ontario.
  2. Current board members, Awards Committee members or employees of the AAO are not eligible.
  3. A nomination will stand for three years of eligibility.
  4. The nominee is not required to be an AAO member.
  5. A nomination must be received prior to the application deadline unless agreed upon in advance by a unanimous decision of the Awards Committee. Extensions will be granted under extenuating circumstances only.
  6. If the Awards Committee determines that an otherwise valid nomination has not been submitted under the appropriate category, the Committee has the authority to reassign the nomination to another category. In such cases the Chair shall inform the nominator of the change. 

2017 Awards Ceremony

  • 16 Jan 2017 9:27 PM | Anonymous

    The AAO Awards Committee would like to announce that the date for award submissions has been extended to February 24, 2017.

    Information about the awards and nomination forms can be found on the AAO Awards page.

  • 07 Jan 2017 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    Nominations for the 2017 AAO Awards are now being accepted.  Consider nominating a colleague, institution or mentor for an award.

    The nomination deadline is February 10, 2017.  Nomination forms can be found here.

    Please visit the AAO Awards page for information about the various awards.

  • 31 May 2016 6:50 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    On behalf of the AAO Awards Committee, it is my pleasure to announce the 2016 recipients of AAO Awards:

    Alexander Fraser Award

    The Alexander Fraser Award is given to individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the advancement of the archival community in Ontario.

    Jean Dryden has demonstrated a strong commitment to volunteer work, generously sharing her knowledge and expertise with archival colleagues in a variety of ways: committee and board work; through her numerous articles, conference papers, handbooks, and reports; professional workshops; and as General Editor of Archivaria. Two particular areas in which Jean has shown tremendous leadership and advanced the archival community are descriptive standards and copyright. Recently she has emerged as the leading copyright expert and has strongly represented the interests of the archival community. Jean received the James J. Talman Award from the AAO in 2001. Her exceptional service to the archival community throughout her career and her contributions in these areas make her an equally deserving recipient of the Alexander Fraser Award.

    Loryl MacDonald started her career in archives in 1997. She has worked at U of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services for many years and was appointed University Archivist in 2012. Loryl has been an active and influential member of the archival community, holding numerous positions: president of TAAG; vice-president and president of AAO; and director without portfolio, vice-president and president of the ACA. She has served on several committees at the provincial and national level, was part of the 2010 ACA Conference Program Committee, edited the ACA Bulletin, and in 2014 co-chaired the Organizing Committee of the Canadian Archives Summit with Ian Wilson. Loryl also lectures at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, preparing and mentoring many new professionals for the realities of archival work in Canada. Loryl is an extremely dedicated and accomplished archival professional and role model for new professionals who fully deserves the Alexander Fraser award.

    2016 AAO Alexander Fraser Award - Theresa RegnierTheresa Regnier is being recognized for her long-standing and exceptional service to the AAO, and for the impact she has made on the broader archival and historical communities. She has been an active member of the AAO and its predecessors without pause for some 30 years. Therese has also been actively involved at the chapter level in Southwestern Ontario throughout this time and has served multiple, multi-year terms as President. Indeed, it is hard to remember a time when Theresa was not a member of the local executive. At the provincial level, Theresa served three years on the AAO Board and has been instrumental in the planning of three AAO conferences. Moreover, she has been a staunch advocate for professional education, regularly supporting students who are undertaking graduate programs at Western and encouraging them to join the AAO with great success. Theresa’s long standing service to the AAO and her contributions to countless researchers and students make her richly deserving of the Alexander Fraser Award.

    Corporate Award – Université De Hearst

    2016 AAO Corporate Award – Université De Hearst

    The Corporate Award is given for outstanding support to archives and the archival community in Ontario, including organizations that have provided significant support to the activities of a particular institution. Le Centre d’archives de la Grande Zone argileuse was established in 2010. Before that time, no institution had the mandate to preserve and protect the archives of the Great Clay Belt of Northern Ontario. It is to bridge that important gap that l’Université de Hearst worked at setting-up an archives center. The building, which formerly served as the bishop’s residence, was renovated at a cost of $1.3 million. In addition to funding this work, l’Université de Hearst has also supported the maintenance of the archives center along with the archivist, a university employee. L'Université de Hearst has not only been extremely active in promoting the preservation of the archives but has also implemented important research support mechanisms. Its financial contribution and professional support has been crucial in the operation and success of the archives which make the university completely worthy of this award.

    Institutional Award Winner – Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

    2016 AAO Institutional Award – Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

    The Institutional Award is given to institutions that have contributed significantly to the advancement of the archival community in Ontario, and for having demonstrated a significant level of innovation and imagination. The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) was founded in 1973. It was originally run entirely by volunteers. Since that time it has changed its name and its location several times, before settling into its permanent headquarters at 34 Isabella Street in 2009. The facility features a large reading room, a gallery, and meeting rooms. Since its inception, the CLGA has built its archival, library, and museum collections, established a robust volunteer program, and has worked with local colleges and universities to provide educational and training opportunities for students, interns, and emerging heritage professionals. It now boasts a full-time executive director. The CLGA serves as a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are accepted, valued, and celebrated. It is currently the largest independent LGBTQ archives in the world. It is for this reason that the CLGA is being honoured today with the AAO Institutional Award.

    Congratulations to all the recipients!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Brian Masschaele

    AAO Awards Committee Chair

  • 06 Jun 2015 5:13 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    On behalf of the AAO Awards Committee, it is my pleasure to announce the 2015 recipients of AAO Awards:

    Institutional Award Winner – City of Thunder Bay Archives

    AAO 2015 Institutional Award - City of Thunder Bay Archives The Institutional Award is given to  institutions that have contributed  significantly to the advancement of the  archival community in Ontario, and for  having demonstrated a significant level of  innovation and imagination. The City of  Thunder Bay Archives has long been a  leading municipal archives in Canada.  The archives combines an excellent facility, professional staff and innovative programming through initiatives such as virtual exhibits to effectively serve the community.

    Corporate Award Winner – County of Perth and City of Stratford

    2015 AAO Corporate Award - County of Perth and the City of StratfordThe Corporate Award is given for   outstanding support to archives and the archival community in Ontario, including organizations that have provided significant support to the activities of a   particular institution.  The County of Perth and City of Stratford have jointly supported the Stratford-Perth Archives since 1971 which is more than worthy of recognition. The development of a new,  purpose-built facility opening June 2015 only speaks further to the merits of this award.

    Corporate Award Winner – Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    2015 AAO Corporate Award - Ministry of Government and Consumer Services The Ministry and its predecessor ministries  have funded the AAO’s Archives Advisor  Program since its inception in 1991, making  it possible for the AAO to effectively serve  countless communities and organizations  across the province.  This investment has  helped to ensure that Ontario’s rich recorded  heritage is properly preserved and made  available to the province’s citizens.

    James J. Talman Award Winner – Dr. Heather MacNeil

    2015 AAO James J. Talman Award - Heather MacNeil The James J. Talman Award is given to  individuals who have demonstrated an  outstanding level of imagination and  innovation in contribution to the archival  profession. Dr. MacNeil’s nomination  spoke to her many professional  accomplishments, her research on  archival theory and practice, and her  ability to inspire students with the  breadth of her vision.

    Alexander Fraser Award Winner – Daniel German

    2015 AAO Alexander Fraser Award - Daniel German The Alexander Fraser Award is given to  individuals who have contributed in a  significant way to the advancement of  the archival community in Ontario.  Achievements may range from written  and visual work to involvement in  organizations or participation in projects.  This award is designed to recognize  cumulative contributions rather than any single activity.  Mr. German’s nomination spoke to his many professional accomplishments, both at Library and Archives Canada, and to the archival community in Ontario as a whole. This includes serving as Chair or Vice-Chair for an unprecedented four AAO conferences.

    Congratulations to all the recipients!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Brian Masschaele

    AAO Awards Committee Chair

    * * *

    The 2015 AAO Awards were handed out during the Awards Luncheon on May 29, 2015 during the 2015 AAO Conference

  • 09 Mar 2015 10:47 AM | Danielle Robichaud
    A reminder that the March 15th deadline for AAO Award nominations is this Sunday!  
    Please take the time to recognize a colleague, mentor, institution or sponsor that has helped enrich Ontario’s archival community. 

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