Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

December 20, 2012 13:00 ET

Nominations Sought for Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2012) - Canadians across the country have an opportunity to show appreciation for extraordinary volunteers in their communities. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced a new call for nominations for the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards.

"Our government is proud of all the Canadians whose voluntary work enriches our communities and exemplifies all that makes Canada such a great country," said Minister Finley. "The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards are a celebration of their leadership, dedication, innovation and expertise."

The call for nominations is open between December 20, 2012, and March 1, 2013. The regional component recognizes individual volunteers or groups of volunteers, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The national component is divided into two categories: one for lifelong achievement and one for new volunteers.

Award recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony and can identify an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).

The first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were recognized at an award ceremony held on December 14, 2012, in Ottawa.

Visit for more information about the awards and for access to an online nomination form.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

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Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards

The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada. The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were created as a way to annually recognize those who make exceptional voluntary contributions, including individuals, not-for-profit organizations and businesses.

Almost half of all Canadians (47 percent) volunteer their time, energy and skills to benefit their communities, with the replacement value of their work estimated to be around $14 billion, or the equivalent of nearly 1.1 million full-time jobs. Volunteers are crucial to Canada's not-for-profit sector, which includes 161 000 registered charities and not-for-profit organizations. Businesses contribute to their communities in many ways as well. For example, in 2010, over half of employees who volunteered said that they had received support to do so from their employer.

The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards in total.

Fifteen regional awards - three awards for each of five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia and the North):

  • Community Leader recognizes individual volunteers or groups of volunteers who have taken a lead role in developing solutions to local challenges.
  • Business Leader recognizes businesses that demonstrate social responsibility in their business practices.
  • Social Innovator recognizes not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate innovation in addressing social challenges.

Two national awards:

  • Emerging Leader recognizes new volunteers who help build stronger communities through leadership and have made a positive difference in their community in a short period of time. This award is for those who have volunteered for no more than three years.
  • Lifelong Achievement recognizes individuals who have dedicated their life to volunteering and have inspired other volunteers, led volunteer groups or made other exceptional achievements through volunteering. This award is for those who have volunteered for a period of at least 20 years.

Recipients are selected through a three-step assessment process:

  1. The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards Secretariat screens 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. National Advisory Committee: Up to 15 volunteer committee members are selected by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Members are from various regions of Canada. The National Advisory Committee assesses the top-ranked nominations and recommends the award winners to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development for final decision.

Information about the first award recipients, announced on December 14, 2012, can be found at

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada