Minister Duclos celebrates National Philanthropy Day by launching Canada's Volunteer Awards call for nominations

Emerging Leader category will recognize the contribution of five young volunteers

GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced today on National Philanthropy Day, that the call for nominations for Canada's Volunteer Awards is now open and will run until February 3, 2017. This is the chance for all Canadians to nominate an exceptional volunteer, a not-for-profit organization that helps to find innovative solutions to social challenges, or a business that demonstrates social responsibility in their community.

National Philanthropy Day is about the love of humankind. By nominating someone for an award, you can recognize the importance of volunteer actions that are creating change in communities.

Canada's Volunteer Awards recipients are nominated by Canadians, for Canadians. This year, 21 awards will be presented, and award recipients will have the chance to identify a not-for-profit organization of their choice to receive a $5,000 or $10,000 grant.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • One (1) national award – Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Emerging Leader, for young volunteers aged 18 to 30.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Community Leader, for individuals or groups of volunteers.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Business Leader, to recognize businesses that demonstrate social responsibility.
  • Five (5) regional awards – Social Innovator, to recognize the contributions of not-for-profit organizations.

The Government of Canada is proud to acknowledge young volunteers. In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Emerging Leader category will be expanded from one national to five regional awards in order to recognize young volunteers' contributions to their communities.

Nominate a volunteer, a not-for-profit organization or a business today! For more information and to submit a nomination, visit


"Volunteers across the country give countless hours of their time to strengthen our communities. As we celebrate our 150th anniversary as an inclusive, diverse country, I encourage all Canadians to consider the volunteers and organizations who are making a difference in their lives, and nominate them for Canada's Volunteer Awards."

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

"Everyone has a role to play in improving our society. We contribute to it in part by investing in our work. However, it is impossible for all the work to be done to be paid work. This means that volunteers are essential to the well-being of their communities. Volunteering provides a sense of great personal satisfaction. Contributing to a cause that is greater than ourselves is rewarding and is a great tool for providing a feeling of personal and collective fulfilment. Beneficiaries of volunteering are often so grateful that they go on to give back to their community when they can. It's the principle of "paying it forward" that, I believe, brings people a lot of hope."

Jean-Marie de Koninck, 2016 Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award recipient

"Volunteering is part of what it means to be Canadian. It's a way to connect with your community and make an impact. Opportunities like this allow us to celebrate those who selflessly contribute to our community. It's important to celebrate the action that you want to see more of as a country."

Victoria Lennox, Startup Canada, 2016 Social Innovator (Ontario) award recipient

Quick Facts

  • Almost 13 million Canadians aged 15 years and over give of their time, and almost twice as many (82 percent) give money to a charitable or not‑for‑profit organization.
  • In 2013, volunteers devoted almost 2 billion hours to their volunteer activities, or the equivalent of about 1 million full-time jobs.
  • In 2015, Canada ranked fourth in the World Giving Index, which aims to provide insight into the scope and nature of giving around the world.
  • In 2013, 66 percent of youth age 15 to 19 had done some volunteer work and 42 percent of youth age 20 to 34 had volunteered.

Further information

Nominate a volunteer
Guidelines for Nominations

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Canada's Volunteer Awards

The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the significant contribution volunteers make to Canada. Canada's Volunteer Awards complement other government activities that engage individuals at the community level to promote partnerships and leverage resources across sectors to address persistent social problems.

The objective of Canada's Volunteer Awards is to recognize annually and bring national prominence to the contributions individuals, not-for-profit organizations and businesses make to their communities through volunteering. This aligns with the Government of Canada's interest in promoting innovative solutions to local problems.

This year's Call for Nominations for Canada's Volunteer Awards runs from November 15, 2016 to February 3, 2017.

There are a total of 21 awards, both at the regional and the national levels.

There are 20 regional awards, four for each of the five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies and British Columbia and the North):

  • Emerging Leader (youth 18 to 30) (in honour of Canada 150, there will now be 5 regional awards in this category!)
  • Community Leader (for individual volunteers or groups of volunteers);
  • Business Leader (for businesses); and
  • Social Innovator (for not-for-profit organizations).

There is also one national award:

  • Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award (generally for those who have volunteered for at least 20 years).

Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award

Thérèse Casgrain was a Canadian senator and social activist. Throughout her life, she chose to defend the cause of disadvantaged members of society, denounce social injustice and lend a voice to those who had none. Thérèse Casgrain was the founder and president of the Quebec League of Women's Rights and helped Quebec women gain the right to vote in 1940. The Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award recognizes the lifelong voluntary contributions of men and women from communities across Canada whose pioneering spirit, social commitment and persistent endeavors have contributed significantly to the advancement of a cause and the well-being of their fellow citizens.

Recognition package for recipients:

Award recipients are invited to attend a ceremony where they are recognized by the Government of Canada. In addition, regional award recipients are eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $5,000 grant, and the recipient of the Thérèse-Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award is eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $10,000 grant.

Recipients are selected through a three-step assessment process:

  1. Department officials screen nominations to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Regional reviewers (volunteer representatives from across the country) assess eligible nominations based on the assessment criteria and develop a list of top‑ranked nominations for the National Advisory Committee.
  3. A National Advisory Committee comprising up to 15 volunteer members from various regions of Canada is selected by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. The National Advisory Committee assesses the top-ranked nominations and advises the Minister on final decisions.

Canada 150

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation at special events and activities that are being planned across the country. From local and community events to national celebrations in 2017, there will be plenty of ways to get involved and celebrate all that makes us who we are as a country. More excitement to come, stay tuned! The clock starts now. We're celebrating 2017 in a big way with events happening across the country all year long. Be part of it.

Follow @Canada150th on Twitter use #Canada150 and help countdown to this milestone year.


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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