On October 28, 2004 the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the TD Bank Group announced the establishment of a brand-new annual children’s book award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. The award recognizes excellence in Canadian children’s literature by awarding two cash prizes of $50,000 each to an English-language book and a French-language book which are deemed to have made a significant contribution to excellence in Canadian children’s literature. The celebration of diversity is an equally significant element in achieving excellence. A work of excellence in Canadian children’s literature should also be successful in making people feel a sense of belonging in their communities.
In addition to the winning prize, $10,000 will be divided among the honour book authors/illustrators. If the winning book or honour book(s) is a picture book or graphic novel, the prize is divided equally between the author and the illustrator. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotion and publicity purposes.
The award-winning books are selected by an uneven number of judges, either three or five. The jury will include individuals from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g., Black, Indigenous and People of Colour; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Agender, Two-Spirited plus other identities; and those with different abilities). The lived experiences of the jurors will ensure that authenticity and balance will be achieved.