History - Dundurn


Our History

Founded in 1972 by Kirk Howard, Dundurn Press was named after Hamilton’s historic Dundurn Castle, located near where Mr. Howard grew up. At first a small publisher of Canadian non-fiction, the company expanded into other genres over time, acquiring Hounslow Press, Simon & Pierre, Boardwalk Books, Natural Heritage Books, XYZ Publishing, Napoleon and Company, Blue Butterfly Books, and Thomas Allen Publishers. Now, having published over 2,600 titles in over five decades of bringing Canadian stories to the world, Dundurn Press is recognized for producing high quality, award-winning books across multiple genres.

Dundurn’s deep and layered backlist includes standouts in Canadian history, politics, biography and memoir, lifestyle, mystery and thriller, middle grade, teen fiction, and more. Building on its history and strengths, Dundurn Press has grown into one of Canada’s largest and esteemed independent publishers publishing in a variety of genres with a focus on “Canadian authors telling Canadian stories.” Publishing authors from all corners of the country, the company is deeply rooted in the history, culture, and people of this land.

Dundurn Press remains committed to publishing debut and underrepresented voices in trade publishing. We invite you to step through the Dundurn portal, wherein we warmly welcome readers and writers — to our press, to our community, to the stories we publish.

Notable Awards and Milestones

  • Dundurn Press has been twice nominated for the Libris Award for Publisher of the Year, presented by the Retail Council of Canada
  • In 2017, in celebration of 45 years of publishing and Canada’s 150th anniversary, Dundurn Press donated a 150-book collection each to ten libraries across Canada
  • Founder and Publisher Emeritus Kirk Howard has been recognized with the President’s Award of the Association of Canadian Publishers and in 2018 was named a member of the Order of Canada “for his commitment to Canadian authors and to a domestically-owned publishing industry.”
  • In 2019, Kwame Scott Fraser was named Dundurn's second-ever publisher and president.
  • In 2021, a new literary imprint Rare Machines was founded to publish literary works that are playful, unusual, daring, or innovative.
  • In 2022, Dundurn Press celebrated 50 years of book publishing in Canada.
  • In 2024, Meghan Macdonald was named Dundurn's chief publishing officer (publisher) and Chris Houston was named chief operating officer.