The Canada Council for the Arts announces the 2023 Molson Prize Winners: Joséphine Bacon and Françoise Baylis

The 2023 Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize winners are poet Joséphine Bacon in the arts category and philosopher and researcher Françoise Baylis in the social sciences and humanities category.

Every year, the Canada Council awards two Molson prizes of $50,000 to distinguished figures from Canada—one in the social sciences and humanities and the other in the arts. Funded from the income of a $1 million endowment given to the Council by the Molson Foundation, the prize encourages recipients to continue contributing to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada. The Canada Council administers the awards in conjunction with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).


Joséphine Bacon

The Canada Council for the Arts awarded a 2023 Molson Prize to Joséphine Bacon for her notable contributions to literature.

Joséphine Bacon is an Innu poet from Pessamit, born in 1947. A filmmaker and speaker, she is considered a beacon of Quebec literature and a great cultural ambassador for First Nations. Heavily involved in the Indigenous literary and artistic scenes, she has inspired younger generations to take pride in their Indigenous heritage and to defend their languages and their culture. She has published four collections of poetry with publisher Mémoire d’encrier: Bâtons à message · Tshissinuatshitakana (2009), Nous sommes tous des sauvages (2011, written with José Aquelin), Un thé dans la toundra · Nipishapui nete mushuat (2013) and Uiesh · Quelque part (2018). In collaboration with Institut Tshakapesh, she has also published the anthology Nin Auass · Moi l’enfant (2021, written with Laure Morali). Joséphine Bacon has received numerous awards and distinctions.

Françoise Baylis

The Canada Council for the Arts awarded a 2023 Molson Prize to Françoise Baylis as one of Canada’s most influential researchers of philosophy and bioethics.

Françoise Baylis is a bioethicist, professor and philosopher who holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. She is currently with the International Science Council and Distinguished Research Professor Emerita at Dalhousie University. She is renowned for her academic research in healthcare ethics at the intersection of policy and practice. Her advocacy and activism are grounded in a commitment to “make the powerful care.” Baylis is the author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing. In 2022, she was awarded the Killam Prize for the Humanities.

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