Ottawa Social Impact Awards

Impact Hub Ottawa and the City of Ottawa are thrilled to launch the 2nd edition of the Ottawa Social Impact Awards! After receiving 45 nominations and over 7,000 votes for the inaugural Awards in 2016, we are back to celebrate the leaders in our community who are making our city more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The 2018 Ottawa Social Impact Awards seek to:

  • Highlight Ottawa-based community initiatives, student-led projects, and social enterprises that have significant potential for growth and lasting impact;
  • Emphasize the power of the collective rather than the individual; and
  • Recognize social innovation in our community that is turning the status quo upside down.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and voted in 2018.


We partnered up with GenNext Ottawa to announce and celebrate the winners at their Mix & Mingle: Winter Social on Thursday, February 22.



Catherine McKenney

Prior to being elected City Councillor for Somerset Ward, Catherine was an advisor to the Deputy City Manager, two City Councillors, and two Members of Parliament. She also worked as the Manager, Public Policy for Volunteer Canada and as Regional Manager for VoicePrint, which delivers print media in accessible format to people living with visual impairment.


Albert Wong

We can accomplish more together than we can individually. As a proud member of Impact Hub Ottawa, since inception, I believe in the power of social innovation and enterprise to solve our greatest social challenges. My enthusiasm for social enterprise was sparked upon joining the board of Causeway Work Centre as Treasurer. As the Director of Junior Achievement (JA) Ottawa, with the Ottawa Network for Education, I engage volunteers to empower local youth with entrepreneurial, financial, and real-world job skills.


Leanna Verrucci

Leanna Verrucci has worked in a number of industries - consumer packaged goods, publishing, education, travel and tourism, television and hospitality - in a variety of positions - marketing manager, director of communications, senior brand manager, reporter, publisher, owner and operator. Currently she is a Managing Director at Algonquin College. Leanna is passionate about education and helping youth to ignite their innovation skills and entrepreneurial endeavours through experiential learning.

2018 Award Categories, Eligibility and Prizes

Organizations and groups can be nominated under one of three categories: Social Enterprise, Community Initiative and Future Leaders. For all three awards, individuals are not eligible, but can nominate their own group or organization, and nominees and their impact must be based in Ottawa. The eligibility requirements for each category are as follows:

Social Enterprise

An organization that advances or fulfills a social purpose through a business model or revenue-generating component of their operations (must be incorporated or a legal entity, such as for-profit, non-profit, charity, or cooperative).  

Community Initiative

An organization or group of people collaborating on a project that advances or fulfills a social purpose (does not have to be an incorporated or legal entity).

Future Leaders

Students (up to 2) between the ages of 18-29 currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution in Ottawa, collaborating on a social enterprise or business concept with a social purpose (does not have to be an incorporated or legal entity).

The Ottawa Social Impact Awards aim to elevate the recipients' profiles, expand their networks, and enhance their capacity to do good better.

The winning organization or group in each category will receive:

  • A $1000 CASH PRIZE to support the ongoing impact of the group;
  • A one-year membership to Impact Hub Ottawa, a community of creative and entrepreneurial change-makers;
  • An opportunity to be featured on Apt613, an award winning blog dedicated to uncovering the best of Ottawa’s arts & culture;
  • A $100 gift card to Camp Tech, beginner-friendly, hands-on workshops for adults who want to learn practical tech skills; and
  • A one-year membership to Kind Village, a community for local businesses, professionals and organizations that donate and give back.


  • The Social Enterprise Award and Community Initiative Award recipients will each gain access to the Prototype Innovation Program at MadeMill’s Advanced Digital Media Lab, in-kind digital services valued up to $5,000/award.*
  • The Community Initiative Award recipient will automatically have the opportunity to present at the next Soup Ottawa event, for the chance to win a micro-grant of up to an additional $1000.
  • The Future Leaders Award recipient will receive early entry into Algonquin College’s IgniteAC Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s SUMMIT2018 Summer Intensive Bootcamp. This includes the opportunity to receive a grant of up to $3,000 (up to 2 students).

**The three nominees with the most votes in each category will also win great prizes!**

Partners and Collaborators

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The 2018 Ottawa Social Impact Awards is made possible thanks to the province of Ontario, through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs Social Enterprise Partnerships. The Eastern Ontario partnership is comprised of Impact Hub Ottawa, Invest Ottawa and Capital Entrepreneurs.

*The Prototype Innovation Program provides access to the resources at MadeMill, specifically the Advanced Digital Media Lab (including access to expertise and personnel; equipment and material fees; training, etc.). To qualify, you must have a business number registered in Ottawa and your organization must operate as a social enterprise (including social enterprises delivering on arts and culture, environmental, and/or social missions). The target outcome of the winning project is the production of a minimally viable prototype: a minimum set of features that clearly demonstrate the viability of the design from a user perspective. MadeMill will vet potential winning recipients to ensure projects align with MadeMill services and Prototype Innovation Program requirements. *Must have a business number and be based in Ottawa.  

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