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 + On Oct 14, you’re invited to tune in the livestream of the award celebration at the Aga Khan starting at 7pm ET.

Our judges read almost 300 submissions before selecting fourteen poems—written by a group of thirteen remarkable Canadian poets—for our longlist.

+ Visit our shortlist and longlist page for poems & bios.


Suzanne Buffam

Shane McCrae (lead judge)

Liz Howard


Scenes from the 2019 Mitchell Prize Award Celebration at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto

Ross and Davis Mitchell

When Ross Mitchell passed away in December 2013, he left behind a legacy of storytelling. Although he was many things—lawyer, entrepreneur, philanthropist—his wife Davis recalls that what most people remembered about him were his stories, and particularly how his faith was expressed through his stories. Davis, with a Masters in Theological Studies and a career as a spiritual director, is no stranger to the powerful role that stories play in spiritual growth, and much of her work has focused on the importance stories and faith play in healthy lives. 

As a graduate of the University of Toronto (with a BA in English literature), Ross went on to Law school at the University of Toronto. After just over half a decade of practicing law, he left to establish Madison Chemical, a company that would grow into a successful, international corporation. Ross and Davis leveraged this success to launch The Mitchell Foundation in 2000, with the goal to sponsor and support faith-based organizations that were seeking to bring their message into contemporary Canadian society. 

Davis is currently president of the family business and chair of the foundation. With a renewed focus on grassroots movements, Davis is excited about the creative ways that faith can enrich the imaginations and lives of Canadians today. “We want to be a part of the discussion around the social architecture of our country,” Davis explained, “and what role faith will play in the coming decades. Canadian writers can be an important part of this discussion!” 

As they raised their three children, Davis spent many happy hours reading to them the stories of C.S. Lewis at their Northern Ontario cottage, seeing how their faith came alive through the power of such tales. “Writing,” she says, “is the great connector. Stories can be the bridge, helping us to connect to one another, which is what we need in a diverse Canadian society.” And Davis is convinced that if we are interested in seeing a secular society that protects religious freedom and is open to the valuable gifts of religion, such stories need to be told, shared, and celebrated. 


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