Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers.



This honour is administered by the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall.

Eligibility and criteria

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country and celebrates a wide range of voluntary contributions.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes living Canadians who have made a significant, sustained, and unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Non-Canadians are also eligible if their contribution brings benefit or honour to Canadians or to Canada.

Historical notes

On 15 July 2015, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, CC, CMM, COM, CD, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced the creation of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On 12 April 2016, His Excellency presided over the inaugural presentation ceremony of the medal at Rideau Hall. During the ceremony, the Governor General presented 55 medals, including two to CAF members: Lieutenant-Commander James John Balfour, CD, and Captain Alexander John McDonald.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

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