Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards Program is Now Accepting Nominations

In January 2011, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards (PMVA) to recognize the exceptional contribution volunteers make to Canada.

Seventeen Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards will be presented to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions of volunteers, local businesses and innovative not-for-profit organizations that make a difference in their communities.

The goal of the awards program is to inspire Canadians from all walks of life to find new ways of making a difference in their communities.

Regional award recipients will be eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $5,000 grant, and national award recipients will be eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a $10,000 grant.

It is now accepting nominations until September 9, 2011.

What types of awards are available?

The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards program consists of a total of 17 awards at the regional and national levels.

Two national awards will be presented for:

  • Lifelong Achievement; and
  • Emerging Leader.

Fifteen awards will be presented in five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, and British Columbia and Northern), with three awards given in each region, one for each of the following:

  • Community Leader (for individuals or groups of volunteers);
  • Business Leader (for businesses); and
  • Social Innovator (for not-for-profit organizations).

Who is eligible to receive the awards?

Nominees can be individuals or groups, businesses or not-for-profit organizations. Nominators may be any person or organization with direct knowledge of the nominee’s contribution.

Nominees in all award categories must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Individual nominees must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and at least 18 years of age.
  • Eligible organizations must be Canadian (e.g. registered not-for-profits or businesses registered in Canada).
  • All nominees must have contributed to addressing social challenges.
  • Political and public advocacy work are excluded.

The two national awards have additional guidelines linked to the nominee’s years of community contributions. Those nominated for Lifelong Achievement will generally have contributed to their community for a period of at least 20 years, while those nominated for Emerging Leader will generally have volunteered for no more than three years.

Eligible individuals and organizations must also meet all the mandatory criteria in the nomination guidelines.

For examples of eligible nominees for each of the award categories, please visit

When is the call for nominations?

The first Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards call for nominations will open on July 12, 2011, and close on September 9, 2011.

How can individuals, groups, businesses or organizations be nominated?

Information on the nomination process will be available on starting July 12, 2011.

How will recipients be selected?

The Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards program will be managed through a nationally administered call for nominations and will follow a three-step assessment process.

All nominations will be reviewed to ensure they meet eligibility criteria. Volunteer representatives of award category areas from across the country will review nominations received for the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards and develop a list of top-ranked nominations for assessment by the National Advisory Committee. The national advisory committee that will recommend award winners to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

When will the award recipients be announced?

Award recipients will be announced each year at an award ceremony, the first of which will be held in early 2012.

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