Negotiating a River wins Champlain Society’s 2015 Chalmers Prize

Here is the text of the press release:

November 7, 2015 Toronto, ON — The Champlain Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Macfarlane, assistant professor of environmental and sustainability studies at Western Michigan University, is the winner of the 2015 Floyd S. Chalmers Award for his book Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway. 

Published by UBC Press, Negotiating a River looks at the profound impacts of the planning and building of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project, from the complex diplomatic negotiations, political maneuvering, and environmental diplomacy to the implications on national identities and transnational relations.

Established in 1983, the Floyd S. Chalmers Award is given annually to the best book written on any aspect of Ontario history in the preceding calendar year. The award selection committee was composed of Dr. Roger Hall (Western University), Dr. Jan Noel (University of Toronto), and Dr. Brian Osborne (Queen’s University). The prize includes a $1000.00 cash award as well as an Inuit carving, as dictated by Floyd S. Chalmers himself.

This is what the jury concluded about Macfarlane’s Negotiating a River:

“The committee recognizes Negotiating a River for its treatment of an important theme in Ontario history relating it to national and continental issues. This superior piece of scholarship communicates the geopolitical, bureaucratic, technological, and social implications of one of North America’s megaprojects. While U.S.-Canada diplomacy is an important element of the story, primarily, an Ontario project, its impact on the economy and history of the province is to the fore. Well written and well researched, it concludes with the assessment that the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway fulfilled a long-standing dream in Canadian and Ontario history.”

The Chalmers Foundation entrusted the Champlain Society in 1982 to make this award annually. The Champlain Society, founded in Toronto in 1905, is dedicated to making the voices of the past survive through the written text. It publishes an edited volume of textual document each year and maintains a rich depository of digitized books. It continues to be based in Toronto, but reaches around the world with its website.

Chalmers Award Press Release 2015

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