Submit a nomination for Canada’s Volunteer Awards

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Application period

You can submit nominations until May 10, 2023 Eastern Standard Time.

Description of the awards

National award

Each year we present 1 national award.

The Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award

This category is open to individuals who have volunteered for 20 years or more and who:

  • inspired other volunteers
  • made a difference through volunteering

Regional awards

We present 20 regional awards in the following categories.


One recipient is awarded in each of the 5 regions:

Recognition of award recipients

Canada’s Volunteer Awards recognizes recipients at a national ceremony. Recipients also take part in a session to share best practices in volunteering.

All award recipients receive:

Recipients also choose a registered not-for-profit organization in Canada to receive a grant:


Nominees can be:

Only 1 nomination will be accepted per nominee.

Political and public advocacy work is not eligible.

Individuals or groups

Businesses or not-for-profit organizations


The nominator and the nominee must consent to permit the Canada’s Volunteer Award program to collect, share and disclose all information related to the nomination with:

Letters of support

You will need to submit at least 1 letter of support and no more than 3 with your nomination.

All letters must:

Letter of support template

(The use of this template is optional)

Date (must be dated and written within the past 6 months).

Dear Canada’s Volunteer Awards,

This is your opportunity to explain why you support the nomination.

Please include your nominee’s name in the letter. The letter must not exceed 2 pages (1000 words).

Explain how you know the nominee (how did you learn about the nominee’s volunteering? How long have you known the nominee?)

Provide examples of how the nominee’s contributions have made a difference. (You must have direct knowledge of their contributions.) You could describe:

  • the role they played in solving a local issue
  • the impact of their volunteer efforts
  • how they inspire others
  • highlight any challenges they overcame


Your Signature

Your name

Your relationship to the nominee (for example, supervisor, colleague, beneficiary of contribution).

Your contact information (complete address, email address and/or telephone number).

Steps to apply

How we assess your application

Nominations go through a 3-step review process:

  1. we review each nomination to ensure eligibility
  2. Regional Reviewers assess nominations and develop a list of top-ranked nominations
  3. the National Advisory Committee evaluates top-ranked nominations and recommends Award recipients to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Assessment criteria

In steps 2 and 3 of the assessment process, we will assess according to 6 criteria.

All categories

Contact us

Contact Canada’s Volunteer Awards


A for-profit enterprise incorporated under federal or provincial law.
Canadian citizen

A person described as a citizen under the Citizenship Act. This means a person who:

  • is Canadian by birth (either born in Canada or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen who themselves either born in Canada or granted citizenship), or
  • has applied for a grant of citizenship and has received Canadian citizenship (naturalization)
Registered charity
Registered charities are charitable organizations, public foundations, or private foundations that are created and resident in Canada. They must use their resources for charitable activities and have charitable purposes that benefit communities.
Corporate social responsibility
The voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner.
Not-for-profit organization
Associations, clubs, or societies that are not charities and are organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, recreation, or any other purpose except profit.
Permanent resident
Someone who has acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not yet a Canadian citizen.
Social enterprise
A social enterprise is a revenue-generating organization whose objective is to have a social impact. A social enterprise does not have a specific corporate form. Social enterprises include "non-profit organizations" or "registered charities" who operate revenue generating related businesses, and include organizations that operate as "for-profit" businesses with a social goal.
Social innovation

Social innovation refers to a response to a social or environmental problem, which, once adopted, results in better solutions than existing approaches. Social innovations have a transformative impact and improve organizations, communities, regions, or systems. Social innovation can include:

  • new, more effective social programs
  • the use of new technologies
  • the growth of social enterprises
The capacity to endure.
The participation in purposeful helping activities without monetary compensation. It can involve a variety of activities, taking place occasionally over the course of a year, or a more consistent and sustained commitment, such as a weekly commitment to a specific cause. Volunteering benefits groups, persons or the community, and can either be mediated by organizations (formal volunteering) or be direct help without the involvement of an organization or group (informal volunteering).

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