The Distinguished Service Award was inaugurated to "recognize individuals who have made sustained and significant contributions to the Canadian mathematical community and, in particular, to the Canadian Mathematical Society." The first award was presented in 1995.
The Award was renamed the Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service in 2008 in recognition of Graham Wright's 30 years of service to the Society as the Executive Director and Secretary.
The Graham Wright Award for Distinguished Service is a gold etched blue glass award which is presented in a manner that allows full recognition of the individual amongst his/her peers and colleagues. At the preference of the recipient, the presentation will be made either at the recipients' home institution or at a CMS meeting.
Graham Wright served as Executive Director of the CMS from 1979 to 2009. Dr. Wright was a key contributor to virtually all aspects of the Society's operations, including his service as Managing Editor of many of the CMS's scientific publications, his work as an organizer of Math Camps and Mathematics Competitions (notably his work for the 1995 International Mathematical Olympiad held in Toronto), and his tireless efforts in support of the Society's committees and scientific meetings. In addition, he helped to build up the Society's Executive Office in Ottawa and to develop its web-based electronic services. The CMS would not have its current impact on the professional mathematical community, nor its current wide range of programs in research, publication, and mathematics education, without the extraordinary contributions of Graham Wright.