Ingenious+ Youth Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony — Rideau Hall Foundation. Thursday May 18, 2023.

Do you know a young Canadian making positive change? They could win $10,000 and access to a prestigious mentorship network through Ingenious+, a national youth innovation challenge led by the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF). The submission period for challenge entries recently opened with a virtual launch party connecting youth and innovation leaders from across the country.

“We are looking for driven young innovators from coast to coast to coast,” says Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the RHF. “This challenge is all about recognizing opportunities to improve lives through creative thinking. By empowering our youth with the capital and connections to take their projects to the next level, we are growing Canada’s next generation of changemakers.”

By empowering our youth with the capital and connections to take their projects to the next level, we are growing Canada’s next generation of changemakers

Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation

One of last year’s Ingenious+ National winners, Thivya Jeyapalan, shared her story at the launch event. Her project, “The Key of Sight” Music Program provides specialized workshops to empower vulnerable people through music. “If you have a great idea, that is already the first step. If you have the motivation, the drive, and the passion within you to be able to identify a problem within our society, you need to bring that to life.” Winning an Ingenious+ award enabled Jeyapalan to invest in research for her program and connect with leaders in music education. She states, “There is this huge community of people that are here to support me that I was not aware of. That is what is so great about Ingenious+ and the Rideau Hall Foundation, they are giving us access to even more connection and networks.”

There is this huge community of people that are here to support me that I was not aware of. That is what is so great about Ingenious+ and the Rideau Hall Foundation, they are giving us access to even more connection and networks.

Thivya Jeyapalan, 2023 Ingenious+ National Winner

Ingenious+ is open to 14- to 18-year-olds anywhere in Canada who are leading positive change in one of the competition’s five categories: Community and Civic Engagement, Climate Change and the Environment, Equity and Inclusion, Health and Well-being, and Technology and Entrepreneurship.

The Rideau Hall Foundation is offering over $160, 000 in award money to youth innovators through Ingenious+. Applicants must submit their project online in written or video format. Up to 100 regional winners will be awarded $1,000 along with mentorship and learning opportunities and   may proceed to a national competition. There, they could receive one of up to 13 national finalist awards of an additional $1000 or one of five national winner awards of an additional $10,000. Past national winners range from the invention of an eco-friendly ice melter to a campaign protecting student journalists from censorship. Submissions of all kinds are welcomed and celebrated.

“Some young people may not see themselves as innovators or entrepreneurs yet. We hope to change that, so all young people recognize the power they have to create change,” says Marques. “We hope to receive submissions from youth in rural and remote communities, as well as from big cities. From students who have been inventing since they were in primary school and others who are just getting started.  True innovation happens when different ideas and perspectives come together. Our hope is to encourage submissions from across the country that reflect the diversity of the Canadian experience.

Applications can be submitted online at ingeniousplus.ca until February 22, 2024. National award recipients will be celebrated during Canadian Innovation Week, May 13th to 17th, 2024.