News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards: Minister Bergen Announces New Deadline to Submit Nominations

Ottawa, Ontario – Employment and Social Development

The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) today announced that Canadians now have until June 23, 2014 to submit nominations for the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards to recognize businesses, volunteers, and not-for-profit organizations that give generously of their time and find innovative ways to help their community.

The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards in total: 15 regional awards – three awards for each of five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia and the North), and two national awards. Find out the award categories and submit a nomination today through the Prime Minister’s website: http://pm.gc.ca/awards.

On February 27, 2014, the latest award recipients were recognized at a ceremony in Toronto, where they were presented with a medal and certificate by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. Recipients had the opportunity to identify an eligible not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).

Quick facts

  • Businesses contribute to their communities in many ways. In 2010, over half of employees who volunteered said that they had received support to do so from their employer.
  • 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.

Quote

"Canadians now have until June 23, 2014 to nominate deserving businesses, not-for-profit organizations or volunteers for a Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award. The tireless efforts and innovative approaches of our volunteers help produce innovative local solutions, as well as build strong communities across the country."

– Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)

Associated link

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Office of the Minister
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Backgrounder


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. 

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  Employment and Social Development. Members are from various regions of Canada. The National Advisory Committee assesses the top-ranked nominations and advises the Minister of Employment and Social Development.

Information about the second award recipients, celebrated on February 27, 2014, can be found at http://pm.gc.ca/awards

Volunteerism and Social Innovation

Recently in Canada, the concept of social innovation has gained greater attention.

According to Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation, social innovation refers to new ideas that resolve existing social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges for the benefit of people and planet. Social Innovation is also about applying existing ideas in new ways. Ideas come from individuals, groups, and organizations and emerge from all sectors, including the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors, to ensure that communities are healthy and sustainable. 

Volunteerism and the participation of Canadians is one of the essential elements of social innovation because it represents community-mindedness by individuals, not-for-profit organizations and businesses. More and more, these sectors are coming together to voluntarily innovate in their communities and as such, tackle local challenges.

Social innovation is also about partnerships. It focuses on communities and the good things that people and organizations do together in communities and recognizes that collective efforts will result in innovative and lasting change. There are many examples across the country where people and organizations are working together to develop creative and successful ways to tackle complex social issues.

In light of this, the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards recognize not-for-profit organizations that use innovative ideas and approaches to address social challenges. These innovations can take many forms: implementing creative approaches to programs and services, developing and delivering resources, and building relationships with socially responsible businesses or other NFP organizations.

Employment and Social Development Canada is the lead federal department on volunteerism, and works towards enabling individual Canadians and multiple sectors to maintain their commitment and contributions to healthy communities, ensuring that the evolution of volunteering will be sustainable and prosperous. 

 

 

 

 

 

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