What is the "Elsie"?

The Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award (the “Elsie”) 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. The award is named after Elsie MacGill, a Canadian 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 on 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.