Ingenious+ National Winners and Finalists posing with their certificates alongside Christian Bagg and Teresa Marques

The 2024 Ingenious+ Youth Innovation Challenge National Ceremony

June 19, 2024

On May 15th, the third national Ingenious+ youth innovation awards ceremony took place at Ingenium’s Digital Innovation Lab in Ottawa. The ceremony celebrated the challenge’s eight national finalists and five national winners. From advancements in drone technology to agricultural applications, these industrious youth have proved to be brilliant examples of Canada’s passion for innovation. The national event marked the culmination of months-long celebrations of innovation at the community level, including six regional ceremonies held across the country in partnership with the vice-regal community.

Teresa Marques, President and CEO of Rideau Hall Foundation, speaking at a podium with an Ingenious+ banner behind her
Teresa Marques, President and CEO of Rideau Hall Foundation, Photo: Justin Tang

Powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), the Ingenious+ challenge gives youth in Canada aged 14 to 18 the opportunity to innovate for good, and to share strategies for improving our world. In her opening speech at the event, Teresa Marques, President and CEO of RHF, expressed that the ceremony served as “a wonderful opportunity to recognize the creativity, ingenuity, and enthusiasm of young Canadians, and the ways in which innovation can help to make our communities, our provinces and territories, and our country a better place”. 

This year’s national winners of the Ingenious+ Youth Innovation Challenge are:

Equity and Inclusion

Innovation: Tech for Community 

Community and Civic Engagement

Innovation: Calmos 

Health and Well-being

Innovation: Portable and Individualized Air Quality Monitor for Outdoors and Wildfires 

Climate Change and the Environment

Innovation: AI-QUA Savior: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence in Subaquatic Rescue Operations 

Technology and Entrepreneurship

Innovation: LifeHeat:  The Self-Heating Survival Pack that Works in Water 


Kendra Nayanka answering a question while Liam Pope-Lau and Natalie Mitchell watch and listen in the background
Kendra Nayanka, Liam Pope-Lau, and Natalie Mitchell, Photo: Justin Tang

“There have been so many improvements [within our communities], but we also want to see what can be improved even more!”

Kendra Nayanka, Ingenious+ 2024 National Winner

After each national finalist and winner received an Ingenious+ certificate, the ceremony included a panel discussion with the five national winners who discussed their innovations and aspirations in more depth, as well as the passion for making change felt by their generation. When addressing the growing multitude of passionate youth creators in Canada, national winner Kendra Nayanka expressed how “there have been so many improvements [within our communities], but we also want to see what can be improved even more! I can confidently say that everyone here created something for the betterment of society”.  

Christian Bagg discussing innovation with the event's host Jill Clark
Event Host Jill Clark with Bowhead Reach Inventor Christian Bagg, Photo: Justin Tang

The event’s guest speaker, Christian Bagg, is a recipient of the 2024 Governor General Innovation Awards for his innovation the Bowhead Reach, an adaptive bike tailored to enable individuals with disabilities to explore the outdoors independently. When discussing the importance of the social connection behind innovation, he noted that one of the most salient driving forces behind an invention is “how important it is within your community and to other people”. Following this insightful conversion, Melissa Allen, Executive Director of League of Innovators, provided high-level mentorship to the finalists and winners. 

Melissa Allen providing mentorship to the Ingenious+ winners and finalists around her
League of Innovators Executive Director Melissa Allen providing mentorship, Photo: Justin Tang

After an incredible day of recognition of innovation, the RHF would like to thank everyone involved in making the Ingenious+ program and events possible throughout these past years, including its official partner the League of Innovators as well as its generous supporters, Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation, the Barrett Family Foundation, Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Jackman Foundation, Power Corporation of Canada, the Taylor Family Foundation, and Thomson Reuters.  

To learn more about the winners, finalists, and their innovations, visit the Ingenious+ Submission Gallery. To watch the complete livestream of the ceremony, check out the RHF’s Youtube channel.