Aurora Awards

Last updated

The Aurora Awards (French: Prix Aurora-Boréal) are a set of primarily literary awards given annually for the best Canadian science fiction or fantasy professional and fan works and achievements from the previous year. [1] The event is organized by Canvention and the awards are given out by the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association and SFSF Boreal Inc. [1] Originally they were known as the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards which was shortened to CSFFA and nicknamed the Casper Awards based on that acronym, but this name was changed to the Aurora Awards in 1991, because the Aurora is the same in English and French. [2] The categories have expanded from those focused on literary works to include categories that recognize achievements in comics, music, poetry, art, film and television.

A literary award is an award presented in recognition of a particularly lauded literary piece or body of work. It is normally presented to an author.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.


Originally, the CSFFA gave out both the English-language and French-language versions of the awards, with the French-language version known as the Prix Aurora. However, the French-language section of the awards is now known as the Prix Aurora-Boréal and was created through an agreement between SFSFBI and the CSFFA in November 2010, which combined the independent Prix Boréal and the Prix Aurora into a single award affiliated to the English-language award. The awards are selected by member vote, in a similar style to that of the Hugo Awards. [3] [4]

The first award was granted in 1980 at Hal-Con 3, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which was in turn the first convention to be named Canvention, a name which rotates to the convention hosting the awards that year in addition to its regular name. [5]

Hal-Con Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Comic Convention, commonly known as Hal-Con, was founded in the 1970s and revived in the 2010s. It is traditionally an annual weekend event held in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada during the middle of Fall.

Halifax, Nova Scotia Provincial capital municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, officially known as the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), is the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The municipality had a population of 403,131 in 2016, with 316,701 in the urban area centred on Halifax Harbour. The regional municipality consists of four former municipalities that were amalgamated in 1996: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, and Halifax County.

For lists of winners and nominees for each category, see the list of award categories below.


The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) and the SFSFBI give out the Aurora and Aurora-Boréal Awards for the best science fiction and fantasy works in each of the categories. CSFFA handle the anglophone Aurora Awards and the SFSFBI handle the francophone Aurora-Boréal Awards, though both organizations co-sponsor the other award. Nominees are only valid if they were produced or completed in the previous calendar year.

For the Aurora Awards, the official nominees are chosen by the awards committee from all of the works that have received at least 5 nominations by CSFFA members throughout the year, and then the shortlist is voted on by every member of the CSFFA. [6] This is obtained through a $10 membership fee [7] , and can be voted in person with a voting card at the annual general meeting of the CSFFA at that year's Canvention, or online through a portal set up by the CSFFA. A member must have been a member for at least 1 month before Canvention to be eligible for voting. The deadlines for voting are set by the CSFFA at the previous year's Canvention. [6]

For a category to not have an award given for it, usually there has to be less than three eligible nominees in that category before the start of voting, or enough people have voted for the No Award option on the ballot, and this wins a majority. [6]

The voting uses the instant-runoff voting method, where the voters rank their choices and the lowest scorer is eliminated until one nominee has a majority. [6]

Instant-runoff voting (IRV) is a type of preferential voting method used in single-seat elections with more than two candidates. Instead of voting only for a single candidate, voters in IRV elections can rank the candidates in order of preference. Ballots are initially counted for each elector's top choice, losing candidates are eliminated, and ballots for losing candidates are redistributed until one candidate is the top remaining choice of a majority of the voters. When the field is reduced to two, it has become an "instant runoff" that allows a comparison of the top two candidates head-to-head.

For the CSFFA Hall of Fame, the inductee must have been nominated for the trophy, and then selected by a 4 person jury, which is selected by the CSFFA each year. [6]

Current award categories

MediumEnglish-language AwardFrench-language Award
Professional Awards
Novels Best Novel Meilleur roman
YA Novels Best YA Novel
Other Literature Best Related Work Meilleurs ouvrages connexes
Comics Best Graphic Novel Meilleure bande dessinée
Short Fiction Best Short Fiction Meilleure nouvelle
Poetry Best Poem/Song
Music Création artistique audiovisuelle
Film & Television Best Visual Presentation
Art Best Artist
Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Trophy
Fan Awards
Writing/Publication Best Fan Writing and Publications Fanédition
Convention Organization Best Fan Organizational
Other Works Best Fan Related Work


CSFFA is a federally recognized Canadian non-profit, since 2011.

Related Research Articles

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, or SFWA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. While SFWA is based in the United States, its membership is open to writers worldwide. The organization was founded in 1965 by Damon Knight under the name Science Fiction Writers of America, Inc. The president of SFWA as of 2015 is Cat Rambo.

Guy Gavriel Kay Canadian author of fantasy fiction

Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian writer of fantasy fiction. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid. Those works are published and marketed as historical fantasy, although Kay has expressed a preference to avoid genre categorization.

A strong element in contemporary Canadian culture is rich, diverse, thoughtful and witty science fiction.

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards award

The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards (1999–present) are given to works of science fiction, fantasy and horror that explore LGBT topics in a positive way. Established in 1998, the awards were initially presented by the Gaylactic Network, with awards first awarded in 1999. In 2002 the awards were given their own organization, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Foundation.

Solaris is a Canadian francophone science-fiction and fantasy magazine.

61st World Science Fiction Convention

Torcon 3 was the 61st World Science Fiction Convention, held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 28-September 1, 2003. The convention was held in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, as well as the Fairmont Royal York and Crowne Plaza hotels. Torcon 3 was also the site of the 2003 Canvention.

67th World Science Fiction Convention

The 67th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Anticipation, was hosted in Montréal, Québec, Canada, on 6–10 August 2009, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. The organising committee was co-chaired by René Walling and Robbie Bourget.

Nebula Award literature prize for science fiction and fantasy works from the United States

The Nebula Awards annually recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States. The awards are organized and awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), a nonprofit association of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. They were first given in 1966 at a ceremony created for the awards, and are given in four categories for different lengths of literary works. A fifth category for film and television episode scripts was given 1974–78 and 2000–09, and a sixth category for video game writing was begun in 2018. The rules governing the Nebula Awards have changed several times during the awards' history, most recently in 2010. The SFWA Nebula Conference, at which the awards are announced and presented, is held each spring in the United States. Locations vary from year to year.

CAN-CON (convention)

CAN•CON, or more completely "CAN•CON: The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature", is a periodic science fiction and fantasy convention in Ottawa put on by The Society for Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature. Founded in 1991 by James Botte and Farrell McGovern in response to a perception that there were no dedicated public venues that featured primarily Canadian speculative fiction writers, editors, and artists. In addition to the focus on Canadian content, it was also an attempt to bring a focus on the book back to Ottawa science fiction and fantasy events. It ran from 1992 through 1997, and again in 2001 before taking a hiatus of several years due to financial constraints; it was then relaunched in 2010.

Hugo Award set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year

The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953, at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories, and include both written and dramatic works of various types.

Boréal is an annual French-language science fiction and fantasy convention in Canada, held in a number of different cities since its founding in 1979, though all of them, save Ottawa in 1989, were located in the province of Quebec. Major events of the convention include the panel discussions, the Guest of Honour presentations, the dealer's room, and the awards ceremony. Other events on the convention program typically include a writing contest, readings and videos, as well as book, magazine, and fanzine launches.

Barb Galler-Smith is a Canadian science fiction and fantasy author living in Edmonton, Alberta.

Sad Puppies

Sad Puppies was an unsuccessful right-wing anti-diversity voting campaign intended to influence the outcome of the annual Hugo Awards, the longest-running prize for science fiction or fantasy works. It was initiated in 2013 by author Larry Correia by means of a voting bloc to get his own novel nominated, and then through suggested slates in subsequent years.

The Dragon Awards are fan-voted awards that "recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy literature, comics, gaming and filmed entertainment". They are given out annually at Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia since 2016. The award process consists of two steps: a nomination step where each voter nominates one work of choice in each category, and a voting step where the finalists selected from the nominated works are voted on by each voter. The nominations and votes are collected electronically. Participation is available to everyone, requiring no membership or other fees to vote.

The Canadian SF and Fantasy Association Hall of Fame Trophy is an award given to Canadian science fiction and fantasy writers for their contributions over their entire career, and is presented as part of the Aurora Awards. The award was first given out as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1980. Its name changed to the Hall of Fame Trophy in 2014.

The Aurora Awards are granted annually by the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association and SFSF Boreal Inc. The Award for Best Short Fiction, was first recognized in 1986 as a separate category from Best Long-Form and was first granted as the Award for Best Short-Form, one granted to an English-language work and one to a French-language work, but did not become a dedicated category until 1989. In 1997 it was renamed to the Award for Best Short-Form Work and then again in 2012 it became the Award for Best Short Story, when the Prix Aurora and Prix Boreal combined, before adopting the name Award for Best Short Fiction a year later.

The Aurora Awards are granted annually by the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association and SFSF Boreal Inc. The Award for Best Related Work, was first recognized in 1983 as a separate category from Best Long-Form and was first granted in 1989 as the Award for Best Other Work one granted to an English-language work and one to a French-language work. In 1999 it changed its name to Best Work (Other), and when the Prix Aurora and Prix Boreal combined, the awards adopted the name Best Related Work in 2012.


  1. 1 2 "Literary glow of Auroras lures galaxy of sci/fi stars". Edmonton Journal , June 6, 1991.
  2. Mallett, Daryl F.; Reginald, Robert (1993). Reginald's Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. Borgo Press. p. 27. ISBN   0-8095-1200-9.
  3. "It's almost time for sci-fi awards". Sudbury Star , September 11, 1999.
  4. "Speculative fiction seriously coming of age". Edmonton Journal , September 13, 1998.
  5. van Belkom, Edo (1999). Aurora Awards: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Science Fiction and Fantasy. Quarry Press.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "FAQ". CSFFA.
  7. "Become a new member". CSFFA.