Since 1936, membership in the Vancouver Historical Society has been open to everyone who has an interest in the sharing and preservation of local history.

Recipients - Historical Award of Merit

The VHS Historical Award of Merit is given annually to one or more persons who have made significant contributions to the understanding and appreciation of Vancouver history. The non-monetary awards are usually presented at the Society's annual observance of Incorporation Day, commemorating Vancouver's incorporation as a city on April 6, 1886.

2016Diane Switzer for her leadership and development of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and its promotion of the city’s history and built heritage.
2015Jim McGraw for his outstanding service as educator and communicator for the Vancouver Historical Society, including his work as newsletter editor.
2014Les Mobbs for his achievements in making the rich collections of the City of Vancouver Archives open and accessible to all. Joan Seidl for her work in developing the Museum of Vancouver’s extensive collection and presenting it creatively to the citizens of Vancouver.

Colin Preston for his tireless efforts to enhance the public’s interest in and awareness of the history of Vancouver as recorded in moving images.

2012Charles Hou for his work as author, educator, and trail explorer, all of which have enriched the public’s interest and awareness of the history of Vancouver and its surrounding region.
2011Andrew Martin for his tireless and invaluable research over the years through the Vancouver Public Library Special Collections which has provided not only the Vancouver Historical Society but also the public at large much-needed information and illustrations related to the city’s history.
2010Daniel Francis for his significant contributions to the history of Vancouver and British Columbia through his prolific writing both in print and on the internet.
Larry Wong for his considerable efforts to instill a wider appreciation of the contributions of Canadians of Chinese ancestry to Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.
2009James C. Johnstone for his exhaustive research into house histories which has unearthed fascinating details about and has thrown new light on the lives and social conditions of families who have lived in Vancouver.
Henry Ewert for his meticulous research into the operation, route, equipment and personnel of the B.C. Electric Railway Company and the generous sharing of his knowledge through his books and lectures and freely given time.
2008Chuck Davis, local historian extraordinaire, for uncovering the stories that give life to our city's history and with loving care and boundless enthusiasm, passing them on to all of us.
2007John Atkin for his rich understanding of Vancouver’s past, shared with the wider public through his tours and talks, books, broadcasts and the internet.
2006Jacqueline Gresko for outstanding contributions to local and regional history through her scholarship, teaching, and organizational leadership.
2005Sue Baptie for enhancing the scope and accessibility of the City Archives, and greatly increasing public awareness of this vital historical resource.
2004Dr. Wallace B. Chung for his outstanding contributions to the library and museum collections of Vancouver in support of historical research.
2003Dr. Jean Barman for her contributions to Vancouver and B.C. historiography.
2002Nancy Knickerbocker for her book, No Plaster Saint - The Life of Mildred Osterhout Fahrni.
2001Ivan Sayers for preserving and presenting the social history of Vancouver through the means of clothing.
2000Donald Luxton and Lilia D'Acres for their book, Lions Gate.
1999Elizabeth Walker for her book, Street Names of Vancouver.
1998Morag Maclachlan for her contributions to local historical education and writing.
1997Dr. Robert A. J. McDonald for his book, Making Vancouver, and other historical research and writing.
1996Vancouver Women's Musical Club for 90 years of bringing music to Vancouver audiences.
Jean Crowley for her contributions to the preservation of our local history.
John Spittle for the preservation of heritage trails in B.C. and service to the VHS.
1995Melva Dwyer for contributions to local history and service to the VHS.
Cyril Leonoff for contributions to Jewish history and service to the VHS.
1994Elek Imredy for his distinguished contribution to sculpture in Vancouver.
Irene Howard for her book, Helena Guttridge: Struggle for Social Justice in B.C.
1993Bruce Macdonald for his book, Vancouver - A Visual History.
1992Leonard McCann for the historical conservation of maritime history.
1991Esther Birney for exceptional services to the VHS.
1990Martin Rogers for the creation of the B.C. Sugar Company Museum.
1989Guy Faint for his work towards the Hastings Park Restoration.
1988Anne Yandle, Jill Rowland and Peggy Imredy for overseeing the production of the Vancouver Centennial Bibliography.
1987Joe Swan for historical research on the Vancouver City Police history and museum.
1986Elizabeth Walker and Helen Boutilier for exceptional service to the VHS.
1985Evelyn Atkinson for the historical preservation of CPR Locomotive #374.
1984Canadian Pacific Railway Co. for the historical preservation of the CPR Train Station.
1983Grocery Hall of Fame for the historical preservation of 1241 Homer St.
1982Edmond and Garry Colchester for historical research on Vancouver architecture.
1981Gerald Rushton for historical research on Union Steamships.
1980Janet Bingham for the historical preservation of Roedde House.
Ron D'Altroy for the creation of the Vancouver Public Library's Historical Photos Section.
1979Anne Yandle for exceptional service to the Vancouver Historical Society.
Rhona Fleming for exceptional services to the Vancouver Heritage Advisory Committee.
1978Douglas & McIntyre for interest and support of local history writers.
Elizabeth O'Kiely for efforts to preserve many local buildings.
John Gibbard for the historical preservation of Fraser Valley heritage.
1977Norman Hacking for the historical preservation of B.C. maritime history.
Dr. Wallace B. Chung for the historical preservation of 427 Powell St.
Actors' Workshop Society for saving from demolition #2 Firehall at 199 Main.
City of Vancouver for the historical preservation of the Orpheum Theatre.
1976Dr. Harry Hawthorn and Prof. Audrey Hawthorn for the collection and preservation of historical artifacts for the U.B.C. Museum of Anthropology
Marks and Spencer for the historical preservation of 556 Granville Steet.
C. Lefevre for the design of the façade at 556 Granville Street.
Larry H. Killam for the historical preservation of Gastown.
1975Joseph Oberhoffer for the historical restoration of the Army and Navy Store.
1974University Women's Club for the historical preservation of Hycroft Manor.