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The Petroleum History Society established an awards program in 1995 to recognize the valuable contributions of people and groups helping to keep our story alive. These awards recognize contributions which encourage the study, communication, preservation, and enjoyment of Canadian petroleum industry history. The Society's Awards Committee also considers the projects in terms of relevance, depth, availability, affordability and access by the public.

Nominations are accepted from the general public as well as from Petroleum History Society members. To nominate someone for an award, please send an email to and we will contact you with more information.

Award Winners

Note: The awards are presented the year following - for example 2019 Awards are presented in 2020.

Book | Article | Multimedia | Preservation | Lifetime Achievement

Book of the Year

  Recipient Achievement

Dave Werklund With Robert Brehl

For “Unconventional – the Story of an Entrepreneurial Environmentalist Inside Alberta’s Oil and Gas Industry” 
Published by Barlow Books
2022 Gary May For "Crude Genius: The Making of an International Oil Baron” 
Published by Mosaic Press
2021 George Johnson "ATCO: An Epic Legacy"
Published by Epic Legacies Inc.
2020 Donald J. Savoie

Thanks for the Business” – K. C. Irving, Arthur Irving, and the story of Irving Oil
Published by Nimbus Publishing

2019 Graham Taylor

Imperial Standard – Imperial Oil, Exxon, and the Canadian Oil Industry from 1880
Published by the University of Calgary Press


Jacques Poitras

Pipe Dreams: The Fight For Canada’s Energy Future
Published By Viking Canada

2017 Peter McKenzie-Brown Bitumen - The People, Performance and Passions Behind Alberta's Oil Sands
2016 Robert Bott, Graham Chandler and Peter McKenzie-Brown Footprints - The Evolution of Land Conservation and Reclamation in Alberta
Published by Kingsley Publishing Services
2015 Don Gillmor Long Change
Published by Random House Canada
See Amazon
2014 Dr. Alan J. MacFadyen and
G. Campbell Watkins

Petropolitics:  Petroleum Development, Markets and Regulations, Alberta as an Illustrative History
Published by the University of Calgary Press

2013 Gordon Jaremko Steward - 75 Years of Alberta Energy Regulation
Published by the Energy Resources Conservation Board
2012 Arne Nielsen We Gambled Everything - The Life and Times of an Oilman
Published by The University of Alberta Press
2011 Joyce E. Hunt

Local Push – Global Pull: The Untold Story Of The Athabaska Oilsands 1900 - 1930
Published By Pushpull Limited

2010 John McQuarrie The Alberta Oil Patch - Then and Now
Published by Magic Light Publishing and John McQuarrie Photography
2009 Harley Hotchkiss Hat Trick - A Life in the Hockey Rink, Oil Patch and Community
with Paul Grescoe
Dundurn Press
2008 Sydney Sharpe Staying in the Game - The Remarkable Story of Doc Seaman
Dundurn Press
2007 Dick Haskayne Northern Tigers: building ethical Canadian corporate champions: a memoir and a manifesto
with Paul Grescoe
Key Porter Books, 320 p.
2006 Christina Burr

Canada’s Victorian Oil Town – The transformation of Petrolia from Resource Town into a Victorian Community
Queen’s University Press, 295 p.

2005 Sandy Gow

Roughnecks, rock bits and rigs: the evolution of oil well drilling technology in Alberta, 1883-1970
University of Calgary Press, 451 p.

2004 Paul Chastko Developing Alberta's Oil Sands - From Karl Clark to Kyoto
2003 Paul Rubak Big Wheels Across the Prairie – A History of
trucking in Alberta prior to 1960
2002 Peter C. Newman Continental Reach - The Westcoast Energy story
2001 Frank Dabbs Branded by the Wind - The Life and Times of Bill Herron
2000 Fred Stenson The Last Stack: Entrepreneurism and the Environment
1999 Bryce Cameron Under Sand, Sea and Ice
1998 Gary May

Hard Oiler!: The Story of Early Canadians' Quest for Oil at Home and Abroad

Information and ordering at Dundurn Press -

1997 Penelope Grey and Laura Krowchuk Spirit of Success - the Sproule Story
1996 Neil Leeson Oil Patch Jeopardy: Torn in the U.S.A.
1995 Beverley Jones High Heels 'n' Oil Rigs
1994 Aubrey Kerr Redwater


Article of the Year

  Recipient Achievement
2023 Adam Lajeunesse and P. Whitney Lackenbauer

For “Shipping Along the Northwest Passage: a Historical Overview” 
Published as: Chapter 4 in: Bartenstein, K. and Chircop, A. (eds).  Shipping in Inuit Nunangat.
 Brill Nijhoff Publishers

2022 Colleen Inglis

For “Early Refineries in Lambton County”
Published in Oil-industry History V. 23, no. 1

2021 Tim Kiladze and Jeffrey Jones

“The Mysterious Case of Encana"
Published in the Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine V.37 No.5 (May)

2020 Sean Kheraj

A History of Oil Spills on Long-Distance Pipelines in Canada
Published in The Canadian Historical Review, v. 101, pp. 161-191.

2019 Hereward Longley

Conflicting Interests:  Development Politics and Environmental Regulation of the Alberta Oil Sands Industry, 1970-1980
Published in: “Environment and History
by the White Horse Press

2018 Ruth W. Sandwell

 The Coal-Oil Lamp
Published In: “Agricultural History” V. 92, No. 2 (Artifacts In Agraria),
Pp. 190-209

2017 Jonathan Peyton Industry for the Future: Dome Petroleum and the Afterlives of "Aggressive" Development
Published in Unbuilt Environments - Tracing Postwar Development in Northwest British Columbia
University of British Columbia Press, pp.113-135
2016 S. George Pemberton, James A. MacEachern and Murray K. Gingras

An Iconic Professor: The Life of Charles Richard Stelck O.C., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., P.Geol. (May 20, 1917 - May 14, 2016)
Published in Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, V.64, No.4, PP. 495-515

2015 Graham D. Taylor Under (Canadian) Cover: Standard Oil (NJ) and the International Petroleum Company in Peru and Columbia, 1914-1918
Published online in Management and Organizational History, Volume 10, Issue 2, 2015 (requires subscription or purchase)

Historical Society of Alberta

Alberta History magazine’s Spring 2014 issue, v. 62, no. 2
Entitled “Discovery of Oil at Turner Valley 1914-2014

2013 Dan Masterson The Arctic Islands Adventure and Panarctic Oils Ltd.
Published in Cold Regions Science and Technology, No.85 (2013), pp.1-14
2012 Paul Chastko Anonymity and Ambivalence: The Canadian and American Oil Industries and the Emergence of Continental Oil
Published in The Journal of American History
Volume 99, No.1, PP.166-176
online at

Peter Mckenzie-Brown
Robert Bott
Adriana Davies
Gordon Jaremko

The Hourglass Series: Reflections On The Oilsands Oral History Project
Published in Oilsands Review, several issues In 2011

2010 Erik Lizée Betrayed: Leduc, Manning, and Surface Rights in Alberta, 1947-1955
published in Prairie Forum, Spring 2010
Vol.35, No.1, pp.77-100
2009 Marcelo Bucheli Canadian Multinational Corporations and Economic Nationalism: The Case of Imperial Oil Limited In Alberta (Canada) and Colombia, 1899-1938
published in Entreprises et Histoire
2009, No. 54, pp.67-85
2008 Gary May Ontario's Living Dinosaur
published in The Beaver
Vol.88 No.3, pp.34-39
2007 Laura Golebiowski Oil Discovery in Turner Valley - Press Reactions
published in Alberta History Magazine, Summer 2007
V.55 No.3 pp.20-27

Tammy Nemeth

1980: Duel of the decade
published in Alberta Formed – Alberta Transformed
Editors: M. Payne, D. Wetherell, and C. Cavanaugh
University of Alberta Press/ University of Calgary Press.
2005 Judy Larmour

New Horizons: surveying for the emerging oil and gas industry
published in: “Laying Down the Lines: a history of land surveying in Alberta”, Brindle & Glass Publishing, Calgary, pp. 216-240.

2004 David Breen Atlantic No.3 Disaster - from Raging Inferno to Beacon of Promise, published in Harm's Way - Disasters in Western Canada edited by Anthony Rasporich and Max Foran


Dr. Christina Burr Some Adventures of the Boys: Enniskillen Township’s “Foreign Drillers,” Imperialism, and
Colonial Discourse, 1873-1923
published in Labour, v. 51, Spring 2003
2002 Tammy Nemeth Consolidating the Continental Drift: American Influence on Diefenbaker's National Oil Policy published in the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association
2001 Arn Keeling The Rancher and the Regulators: Public Challenges to Sour Gas Industry Regulations in Alberta, 1970-1994
published in Writing off the Rural West: Globalization, Governments, and the Transformation of Rural Communities
2000 Erin Steuter and Geoff Martin The Myth of Competitive Challenge: The Irving Oil Refinery Strike, 1994-96, and the Canadian Petroleum Industry published in Studies in Political Economy 63
1999 Not awarded
1998 Roland Priddle Reflections on National Energy Board Regulation 1959 - 1998
1998 Hugh Grant Solving the Labour Problem at Imperial Oil
1997 Aubrey Kerr Historical series in the Reservoir magazine of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
1996 Not awarded
1995 Cal Sikstrom Theodore August Link
1994 Not awarded


Multimedia Award

  Recipient Achievement
2023 Brendan MacDougall For the development and promotion of a multifaceted educational program concerning the people, operations and activities of the petroleum industry.
2022 ATCO Ltd. For the multifaceted celebration of the corporation’s 75th anniversary and the recognition of its manifold accomplishments through publications, the internet and various other media.

The Heavy Construction  Heritage Society

For the preservation and display of machinery historically used in road and other heavy construction and the celebration of the accomplishments of the Canadian construction industry .

2020 Peter Tertzakian

Energyphile – a website encompassing pictures, stories, vignettes and interactive stories related to the evolution of mankind’s use of all forms of energy.

2019 Dylan Rhys Howard and
Omar Mouallem
Producers of "Digging in the Dirt"
Back Road Productions
2018 Glenbow Museum

Their Display Entitled: Mavericks: 
An Incorrigible History Of Alberta
– Petroleum Section

2017 Sandra Sawatzky For the Creation of The Black Gold Tapestry
2016 Julia Ivanova (Director) and The National Film Board of Canada For the movie Limit is the Sky
2015 Bernie Brown For the creation and widespread marketing of a body of artwork featuring everyday working life in the Canadian oilpatch, its history and its colorful personalities
2014 Alberta Culture and Tourism Sponsorship of the centennial celebrations for the Turner Valley Oil and Gas Field held on May 14, 2014 in Turner Valley
2013 Len Maier For the creation of the DVD entitled
Killing the Most Northerly Blowout in the World, 5th edition
2012 Not awarded  
2011 The ATCO Museum and Interactive Centre
909 - 11th Avenue SW, Calgary
For the creation of an educational facility featuring Canadian-based technologies and the history of natural gas and electrical utilities
2010 Gasoline Alley Museum, Heritage Park Historical Village For the creation of a world-class facility featuring the history of the Canadian petroleum industry
2009 Soul of Alberta and Randal Kabatoff For creation and marketing of a wide range of products related to the history of the Canadian petroleum industry
2008 Museum of the Highwood Living in Little Chicago
Dara Murphy - videographer and editor
2007 Randal Kabatoff Alberta Petroleum Discovery Calendar 2008
published by Soul of Alberta
2006 Murray Dale and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board For the DVD A Salute to the People of the EUB
Q and D Productions Inc.


Pay Dirt Pictures Inc.

For the film Pay Dirt: Alberta Oil Sands– Centuries in the Making, Calgary.

Available from:
1-888-982-FILM (3456)

2004 Corb Lund Band Music video The Roughest Neck Around shot at the Canadian Petroleum Interpretive Centre at Devon AB
2003 Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray Presents the history, science and technology of Alberta's Oil Sands - the world's largest single deposit of oil.
2002 Good Earth Productions Birth of a Boom - Turner Valley Gas Plant, an episode of the History Lands "Canada's Heritage Sites" series
2001 Petroleum Communication Foundation Many excellent publications for public information and education about the industry, including Our Petroleum Challenge.
2000 Historic Sites and Cultural facilities Branch of Cultural Facilities and Historical Resources Division of Alberta Community Development Excellent presentations and tours at the Turner Valley Town Hall and Gas Plant
1999 Gordon Pengilly Play Wildcat!
1998 Heritage Park Gasoline Alley and Cable Tool Rig
1997 The Petroleum Club Mural by Doug Dreiger
1996 Energy Resources Conservation Board Energeum
1995 Sharon and Stacy Stevens Doodlebugs - the Video
1994 Multimedia award had not yet been established


Preservation Award

  Recipient Achievement
2023 The Okotoks Petroleum Association For its initiatives to preserve our knowledge of the history of the Canadian petroleum industry and the display of related artifacts for the education of the public.

The Canadian Heritage Photography Foundation

For the collecting, archiving and display of significant photographic collections that record Canadians at work, our industries and our national accomplishments.
2021 Not awarded  
2020 The Petroleum History Institute

The publication of numerous articles concerning Canadian petroleum history.

2019 Rick Green The creation and operation of the Canadian Rockies Earth Science Resource Centre in Canmore, Alberta featuring multiple aspects of the history and development of the Canadian petroleum industry
2018 Cameron Treleaven

Facilitating The Preservation Of Books, Other Publications And Related Memorabilia  Connected To The History Of The Petroleum Industry Through Various Commercial Avenues Associated With “Aquila Books” store

2017 Ian MacGregor For facilitating the preservation, interpretation and display of equipment related to the early days of the Canadian Petroleum Industry through the Canadian Museum of Making
2016 Oil Museum of Canada, Oil Springs, Ontario For facilitating the preservation and understanding of artifacts related to the earliest days of the Canadian petroleum industry through audiovisual presentations, outdoor exhibits, a driving tour and internet-based documentation
2015 Calgary Heritage Authority For encouraging and supporting the identification, preservation and awareness of historically-significant buildings and land uses in Calgary, including those that have played a role in the evolution of the Canadian petroleum industry
2014 Petrolia Discovery Foundation Inc. For its initiatives in preserving the historical legacy of the Canadian petroleum industry through the establishment and maintenance of the Petrolia Discovery Oil Museum and related programs at Petrolia, Ontario
2013 Oilfield Technical Society For its initiatives to preserve the historical legacy of the Canadian petroleum industry through the establishment and maintenance of the OTS Historical Oilfield Equipment Park
2012 The Norman Wells Historical Society For your efforts to preserve the historical legacy of the petroleum industry in the Norman Wells region, including the CANOL pipeline and trail, through your exhibits and research support at the Norman Wells Historical Centre
2011 Charlie Perry and Demille Books For the support provided to historical preservation through the sale of books and related merchandise related to Canadian petroleum history
2010 Pixcom Group and Discovery Channel For capturing the essence of the Canadian upstream drilling industry in the documentary series "Licence to Drill"
2009 James Kinnear For his support for the recording and publication of Canadian petroleum history through sponsorship of the publications of Aubrey Kerr.
2008 Imperial Oil and Robert D. Taylor-Vaisey For outstanding achievement in the building of Imperial Oil's corporate archives and ensuring their permanent preservation.
2007 Micky Gulless For keeping Canadian petroleum history alive through the creation and expansion of the Petroleum History Society website.
2006 Anaid Productions Inc. and the Outdoor Life Network For “The Rig”- a thirteen-episode look at life on a modern drilling rig in Alberta.


The Canadian Drilling Rig Museum, Selkirk, Ontario
2004 Not awarded  


Dennis Teskey For his initiative in assembling a great collection of Turner Valley-related memorabilia.
2002 National Film Board of Canada
2001 Evelyn DeMille Long term support for publications dealing with the history of the oil industry at her store, DeMille Technical Books.
2000 The Arctic Institute of North America Preserving the engineering design and operational experience related to petroleum exploration and production drilling in the Mackenzie Delta and the Beaufort Sea
1999 Ron Carey Long-term dedication to the collection, preservation and display of oilpatch memorabilia
1998 Provincial Archives of Alberta Archives in Edmonton
1997 Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and Leduc-Devon Oilfield Historical Society
1996 National Archives Archives in Ottawa
1995 Glenbow Library and Archives Archives in Calgary
1994 PanCanadian Petroleum Limited Archives in Calgary


Lifetime Achievement Award

2023 Micky Gulless For tremendous dedication to the preservation and communication of the history of the Canadian petroleum industry through numerous aspects of her involvement with the Petroleum History Society including its establishment, its website and its continued operations over four decades.
2022 Raymond P. Sorenson

For dedicated service to the petroleum history community through the compilation of references to the occurrences of petroleum in North America prior to the Drake discovery of 1859.


Satinder Chopra

For dedication in the recording, communicating and preservation of the experiences of those involved in the Canadian geophysical industry as published in the Recorder Magazine of the Canadian Society Of Exploration Geophysicists. 

2020 Gary May

Outstanding contributions, through research and publications ,to our understanding of the early history of the petroleum industry in Ontario and its roles in the growth of its global counterparts.

2019 Dan Claypool For his dedication as a creator of and driver for the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre, subsequently the Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre, and now the Canadian Energy Museum, as well as for being a critical member of the  Leduc/Devon Oilfield Historical Society
2018 Randal Kabatoff

A Prolific Career Including The Publication Of Numerous Editions In
Soul Of Canada’s Comprehensive “Canada’s Petroleum Pioneers” Calendar Series And The Creation Of Montages Featuring Historical Petroleum-Related Photographs

2017 Bert MacKay For undertaking numerous initiatives related to the preservation and communication of the history of development of Canada's oil sands including the celebration of its numerous pioeering individuals and companies
2016 Brian Brennan For making numerous contributions to the body of literature concerning the Canadian petroleum industry including many focused on its colourful personalities and significant events
2015 Graham Chandler For creating numerous contributions to the literature concerning the Canadian petroleum industry including many focussed on its history and evolution
2014 Bill Whitelaw For Leadership in Preservation, Recognition and Communication related to the History of the Canadian Petroleum Industry
2013 Doug Cass For excellence in archival preservation, research support and communication related to the history of the Canadian petroleum industry
2012 Not awarded
2011 Paul Grescoe For excellence in research, documentation and communication related to the history of the Canadian petroleum industry
2010 Peter McKenzie-Brown For excellence in research, documentation and communication related to the history of the Canadian petroleum industry
2009 Tammy Nemeth For excellence in the documentation and interpretation of Canadian and international energy history
2008 Charlie Fairbank For his continuing support for the recognition of Ontario's petroleum heritage through preservation, education and communication
Not awarded
2004 Fred Stenson
2003 Frank Dabbs
2002 Robert D. (Bob) Bott
2001 Not awarded
2000 Gordon Jaremko
1999 David Finch
1998 Peter Foster
1997 Earle Gray
1996 David Breen
1995 Jack Porter
1994 Aubrey Kerr

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Petroleum History Society
Calgary, Alberta