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This award was created by the Lithuanian Canadian Foundation. It honours the testamentary intentions of the late Aldona Dausa-Empakeris to establish a literary prize which promotes Lithuanian literature.


Aldona Dausa-Empakeris was born on April 24th, 1930, in Riga, Latvia where her parents lived at the time. Aldona was raised in a family dedicated to charitable activities and maintaining Lithuanian identity.

As the Second World War drew to a close, Aldona and her parents moved to Germany, where she graduated from the Hanau Lithuanian Gymnasium. In 1948, the family emigrated to Canada and settled in Schomberg, near Toronto.

Aldona Dausa enrolled at the University of Toronto and received a degree in pharmacy. She continued to work in this profession throughout her life. In 2010, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Circle Medal for her 55-year membership in the University of Toronto alumni association.

Continuing her family’s tradition, Aldona was active in the Lithuanian community, participating in charitable works and contributing donations.

The Lithuanian Community was saddened by Aldona’s passing in Toronto on May 21, 2012. The wishes of the Dausa family were immortalized in her bequest to the Lithuanian Canadian Foundation supporting Lithuanian activities in Canada and other Lithuanian communities around the world, as well as certain cultural activities in Lithuania. This prestigious literary prize is a noble testament to the charitable activities of the Dausa family.

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