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Elsie MacGill Awards

The Elsie MacGill Award, otherwise known as The Elsie was established in 2009. It is an annual award that honours outstanding women in aviation and aerospace in Canada. The purpose of the award is to celebrate the achievements of women and to motivate and inspire other women to pursue opportunities in these industries.

Through a nomination and judging process, honourees are named each year and recognized at the Northern Lights Aero Foundation Elsie MacGill Awards Gala. The event highlights the honourees’ life history through a combination of visuals, display materials and speakers who have known the recipient throughout her personal and professional life. Find out more about past Elsie MacGill recipients.

The Elsie is named after Elsie MacGill, who was a Canadian woman who is acknowledged to have been the first female aircraft designer in the world. She designed the Maple Leaf II and was pivotal in the production of the Hawker Hurricane in Canada during the Second World War. MacGill also served in Canada’s Royal Commission on the Status of Women. Despite having a disability as a result of polio, MacGill went on to make very significant contributions to aviation and for women in Canada.

When is the next Elsie Gala?









Date & Location

The 15th annual awards gala will be held at the Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton, Ontario on Saturday, October 5, 2024.

This gala will recognize eight inspiring women in aviation and aerospace. Tickets, sponsorship and event information to come.


Do you know an inspiring Canadian woman in aviation or aerospace? Each year, Northern Lights Aero Foundation honours up to eight women for their contributions in specific aviation and aerospace disciplines through the Elsie MacGill award. Find out more.

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