Innovation is one of the primary driving forces behind Canada’s prosperity, standard of living and quality of life. And while Canadians are some of the world’s most accomplished innovators, we seldom recognize ourselves as such or celebrate our outstanding contributions to our society and to humanity as a whole.

In today’s competitive and interconnected world, increasing productivity through the creation of new products and services, improving public sector performance, and building an inclusive, compassionate society will be the keys to Canada’s success as a caring, efficient and prosperous nation. The purpose, therefore, of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards is to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative, entrepreneurial risk-takers who have developed new or better ways of creating value and who are having a meaningful impact on our quality of life. As innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit are fundamentally important to all Canadians and can have a transformative, positive impact—regardless of whether it is in the private, public or not-for-profit realms—the awards encompass all sectors of Canadian society.

Objectives of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards:

  • Celebrate excellence in innovation across all sectors of Canadian society
  • Inspire Canadians, particularly Canadian youth, to be entrepreneurial innovators
  • Foster an active culture of innovation that has a meaningful impact on our lives

Each year, up to six award winners will be identified through a two-stage, merit-based selection process. This process is managed by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Our aim is to have at least one young innovator among the winners who is 30 years of age or younger and who, individually or as leader of a team and/or organization, has been undertaking exceptional transformative and innovative activities.

The program operates on an annual cycle, with an awards ceremony held each spring. The inaugural awards ceremony was held in May 2016.

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General oversees the execution of all aspects of the program.

In order to meet the objectives of inspiring Canadians and fostering a culture of entrepreneurial innovation, the awards program partners participate in communications and outreach activities. These activities will help build national awareness of the goals of the program and foster a culture of innovation in the country by celebrating the accomplishments of awards winners as broadly as possible. The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General oversees and coordinates the communications and outreach activities of core partner organizations.


For high-resolution images of the Innovation Awards logo, please download the following file: