Innovation

Making Canada more innovative is understood as essential to national prosperity for future generations. While Canadians are some of the world’s most accomplished innovators, we seldom recognize ourselves as such or celebrate outstanding innovative contributions to our society and to humanity as a whole.

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is working with partners to establish a more deeply engrained culture of innovation in Canada and to continue to raise the profile of outstanding Canadian innovators while providing them with a unique platform for connecting, celebrating and cultivating innovation in Canada.

“A culture of innovation doesn’t happen by accident, but by countless daily acts and sustained efforts over time. It happens because we make it happen. It happens because we believe that to be innovative lies at the heart of what it means to be Canadian. To ask, ‘How do we do things better?’—and then do just that—is part of the basic makeup of our country.”

– The Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada and Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation

Celebrating Canada's Innovators

The Right Honourable David Johnston, Rideau Hall Foundation Chair, and Tom Jenkins, Founder and Chair of OpenText Corporation, recently launched Innovation Nation. This young readers’ edition of Ingenious focuses on 50 kid-friendly Canadian innovations that changed the world, from canoes to whoopie cushions, chocolate bars to Pablum. Published simultaneously in English and French by Tundra Books and Les Éditions La Presse, and illustrated by Josh Holinaty, this adaptation offers young Canadians a way to celebrate our history and world contributions on Canada’s 150th birthday.

Cover of 'Innovation Nation', a book about Canadian innovators.
Cover of 'Ingenious', a book about Canadian innovators.

All proceeds from Innovation Nation and Ingenious will be directed to the Rideau Hall Foundation for activities and programs that inspire and support Canadian innovation. Visit innovationculture.ca for information on how to purchase the books.

Inspiring Young People to Become Innovators

The RHF is working to connect young people with the idea that they can become innovators. Together with Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education, teams of teachers and teacher candidates and other partners, the RHF has launched three educational resource guides that teachers can use to teach innovation skills in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms. The free resources align with K-12 curriculum requirements across the country and are available to download. The education resource guides focus on innovation skills that can be applied across a variety of subjects and sectors, from science and technology to arts and social sciences.

The RHF would like to thank its partners for their contributions to this initiative:

  • Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education
  • Perimeter Institute
  • PowerPlay Strategies
  • Junior Achievement Canada
  • Skills Canada
  • Ingenium–Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
  • YELL (Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad)

Poster for the Education for Innovators program.

Making Connections in the Innovation Ecosystem

The Rideau Hall Foundation is working with several partners to organize a series of events exploring various aspects of innovation. The focus will be on bringing together individuals who are already working to advance innovation in their own area or field – as well as those who should be part of the innovation conversation. To learn more about events, please visit innovationculture.ca/events.

  • Innovate Now Canada  – October 30-31, 2017, Vancouver, BC
  • Univation: Innovation in University Education – February 5-6, 2018, Ottawa, ON (Please note this event is by invitation only.)
  • Innovation in the health system – Spring 2018

Governor General’s Innovation Awards

The purpose of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards (GGIA) 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. Led by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG), the GGIA recognize and celebrate trailblazers who help shape our society and our future, and who inspire the next generation of innovators.

Governor General's Innovation Awards logo

With the generous support of donors and champions, the RHF is working to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the GGIA program, which is central to the RHF’s efforts to support a culture of innovation.

Nominations for the 2018 GGIA close on November 15th, and winners will be announced in spring 2018 in conjunction with Canadian Innovation Week. Nominations are sought through a national network of organizations that serve as nominating partners. Learn more about the GGIA at innovation.gg.ca.

Arctic Inspiration Prize

Arctic Inspiration Prize logo / Prix Inspiration Arctique

It is too often forgotten that the story of Canada’s North is one of resourcefulness, incredible innovation, and collaboration; when these three forces coalesce, the impact is such that lives can measurably be improved.  The Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP), with its million-dollar award and comprehensive representation of all sectors living and working in the North, joins the ranks of the highest profile awards programs in the country.  

Often referred to as the “Nobel of the North”, the AIP was established in 2012 to recognize ideas-to-impact projects that stand to transform fields of education, health, social-cultural issues, the environment, and the economy. This year, up to $3 million is available across three prize categories: one $1 million prize, up to four prizes of up to $500,000, and up to seven youth prizes of up to $100,000.

Winners and finalists pose for a group photo during the 2016 Arctic Inspiration Prize at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg Thursday December 8, 2016

This year’s prizes will be awarded on January 31st, 2018 in Ottawa. For more information, please visit: www.arcticinspirationprize.ca.