"Irena Szpak, Hyman Yanofsky and Adam Leclerc's lives are all open books, literally. Irena, Hyman and Adam have joined nineteen other people from the Ottawa region to volunteer as 'living books', sharing with the public their personal stories as they relate to conflict.
At age 14, Irena trained with the Polish Resistance and was later taken by cattle train to a work camp in Germany. She survived to have a family and emigrate to Canada; Hyman joined the Canadian army to fight Hitler by intercepting messages from the enemy as he travelled through Europe; and Reservist Adam Leclerc spent seven months with the POMLT (Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) training Afghan police to deal with security issues.
The Canadian War Museum, in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library and CBC, brought the Human Library program to Ottawa. The Museum featured one-on-one conversations with individuals who have fascinating personal life experiences and stories.
For their innovative and inspirational project that redefined the meaning of the term "living history", the Canadian War Museum for "Human Library" is the recipient of the 2012 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! Presented by the Canadian Museums Association.
"We are extremely honoured to be the recipients of this prestigious award," said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation which operates the Canadian War Museum. "The Human Library concept was a dynamic and engaging way to help our visitors understand the personal stories that have shaped and continue to shape Canada's military history."
On December 10, 2012, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will honour the Canadian War Museum for their achievements and contributions to furthering interest in and understanding of our history and heritage.
Announcements continue throughout the coming week and profiles of all the recipients, will be available at Canada's History Magazine at http://www.CanadasHistory.ca/GGAwards