Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

The Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award honours innovation in the development, implementation and delivery of adult literacy or adult-integrated family literacy programs delivered by a community organization in Canada. The adult-focused literacy program makes a positive contribution to the lives of the participants as well as the community, and could serve as a model for other organizations to adopt. 

The awards are as follows:

  • one (1) top award of $20,000
  • up to two (2) honourable mention awards in the amount of $10,000 each.

The awards as granted can be invested into the program and/or applied to operating funds.

The award winners agree to participate in ABC Life Literacy Canada-facilitated Innovation Learning Labs online webinars, to talk about their programs. Please note that application content and accompanying letters of recommendation may be used to create community/learner profiles for ABC’s e-newsletter. Winners will be notified by July 29, 2022.


  • Applicants must be a not-for-profit or registered charitable organization based in Canada
  • Nominated programs must:
    • focus on helping adults improve their literacy and essential skills
    • show demonstrated results (qualitative and quantitative) in helping Canadians live a fully engaged life
    • offer an educational training experience for adults, teaching skills that enhance their engagement in life, community, workplace and family
    • demonstrate innovation and creativity in adult literacy
    • be in existence for at least 12 months
    • be able to serve as a model for other communities in Canada
    • serve adults (ages 18 and up) as the primary recipients of the educational experience
  • Past award winners (either Top Award or Honourable Mentions) are welcome to submit other programs for consideration, but winning programs from past years will not be accepted.
  • Please note: if your program is not currently running due to COVID-19, it is still eligible for the award. Likewise, if you’ve had to make major changes to your innovative program to adapt to the changing situation, we want to hear about it!

How To Apply:

Submit your application via the online application form. You must include two (2) letters of support or impact statements. One of the two letters must be from a participant/learner in your program, but can be written with the help of your staff. The other letter of support could be from an external partner, volunteer or staff member involved with the program.

For tips on how to prepare a strong application, watch our webinar.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 5:00pm EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Download FAQs

If you have additional questions, please contact:

Nnolika Niles
Outreach Manager

Innovation Learning Labs

This year we’re hosting four Innovation Learning Labs, thanks to the support of Canada Life through the Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award. In each webinar we will discuss one topic that is important and relevant to the literacy field in 2022. Learn more.

2021 Top Award Winner: Receiving $20,000



Trauma-Informed Community English Class for Immigrant and Refugee Women

Trauma-Informed Community English Class for Immigrant and Refugee Women is designed to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee women with low English levels who are new to Canada, and with low income. Most families have several children and cannot afford childcare, which means that women take care of children at home. The Program aims to provide an environment that is safe, welcoming, and accessible (regardless of immigration status) that addresses women’s needs, with convenient location(s), and childcare to facilitate learning.

This program supports the development of basic and intermediate English for use in community interactions, builds awareness of and connection to available community resources so immigrant and refugee women can learn about, access, and successfully navigate the services they need to address settlement issues. It also aims to foster connections and nurture relationships amongst participants in order to build a sense of community, build cross-cultural awareness, and reduce isolation.

2021 Honourable Mention Winners: Receiving $5,000 each



Digital Skills for Entrepreneurship



Family Book Club



Youth in Trades


Project READ Literacy Network, Waterloo-Wellington, Kitchener, ON


Get Set Learn Family Literacy Peer Program

About Our Sponsor:

Canada Life logoCanada Life has been a major supporter of ABC Life Literacy Canada since 1999. Through their involvement with ABC Life Literacy Canada and other national literacy programs across the country, they are helping promote literacy and lifelong learning – key needs in helping many Canadians realize their potential at work, at home and in the community.

As an Imagine Canada Caring Company, they’ve supported the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada for more than three decades. In this time, they’ve contributed over $200 million in support of Canadian non-profit, charitable and community organizations.