Canada’s Volunteer Awards

April 29, 2021

We’re most fortunate to have many, many outstanding volunteers here in Dufferin-Caledon who selflessly give their time and energy to the phenomenal community groups and organizations who also dedicate themselves to serving our community. They’re our unsung heroes who never expect recognition for their work; however, it is important that it be acknowledged and that we show our appreciation. One program which recognizes the considerable contributions of individual volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses across Canada that help communities is the Canada’s Volunteer Awards program.

            The 2019 Call for Nominations of Canada’s Volunteer Awards is now open and will remain open until June 21, 2021. There are eligibility requirements for these awards. Nominees can be individuals or groups, businesses, social enterprises, or non-profit organizations, and must meet specific eligibility criteria. Political and public advocacy work isn’t eligible. Individuals or groups must:

  • be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • be between the ages of 18 and 30 for the Emerging Leader category and 18 years of age and over for all other categories
  • have contributed to addressing social challenges in their community.


Businesses or non-profit organizations must:


  • be Canadian (for example, registered non-profit organizations or businesses registered in Canada). For the purposes of the administration of the Canada’s Volunteer Awards, non-profit organization means entities incorporated under either federal or provincial non-profit legislation or registered charities that do not have transferable ownership interests and are organized and operated exclusively on a non-profit basis for a variety of purposes including social, educational, professional and charitable purposes
  • have contributed to addressing social challenges in their community in Canada.


Employment and Social Development Canada asks that anyone intending to make a nomination review the Guidelines for Nominations before submitting a nomination. The guidelines may be found at:

Once you’ve reviewed the Guidelines for Nominations, you can submit a nomination online by creating an account or logging in as an existing user at: or you can also download the PDF versions of the nomination applications at:

The Canada’s Volunteer Awards program is managed through a nationally administered call for nominations and a three-step process:

1)      departmental officials review the Canada’s Volunteer Awards nominations to ensure nominees are eligible for consideration for an award

2)      volunteer representatives of award category areas from across the country review nominations. These regional reviewers include individual volunteers and representatives of non-profit organizations and businesses that use innovative approaches to address social challenges. The regional reviewers assess nominations based on the set of established nomination criteria and create a list of top-ranked nominations for assessment by the National Advisory Committee

3)      up to 15 volunteer National Advisory Committee members selected by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development evaluate the top ranked nominees (as determined by the regional reviewers) and advise the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Members of the National Advisory Committee represent the voluntary, private and non-profit sectors, and various regions of the country.


During the second and third steps of the assessment process, nominees will be assessed based on six criteria. Nominators are required to supply clear evidence that the nominee has excelled in all six criteria: role, impact, reach, engagement, challenges, and inspiration.

For more information on Canada’s Volunteer Awards, please visit You may also contact the program by telephone at 1-877-825-0434 or by e-mail at

If you know of an extraordinary volunteer, community group, organization, or local business that’s made an immensely positive impact on our community, consider nominating them for Canada’s Volunteer Awards. It’s a terrific way to show our deep appreciation for the exceptional contributions they give to our community, which strengthen our country as a whole.