Canada Life Literacy Innovation Award

2020 LIA Award Winners

The 2020 award winners

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 four (4) honourable mention awards in the amount of $5,000 each.

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

The top award winner agrees to be available for an ABC Life Literacy Canada-facilitated online webinar with interested organizations answering questions about their program. 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 30, 2021.


  • 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 Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 5:00pm EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Download FAQs 

If you have additional questions, please contact:

Nnolika Niles
Outreach Manager

2020 Top Award Winner: Receiving $20,000


REP Here in Canada, Victoria, BC


Here Magazine

Here Magazine is a print and digital publication produced by adult learners through community workshops called Here Labs. Here Labs are multi-discipline, hands-on workshops where participants learn and develop storytelling tools suitable to each learner’s language skill level and include writing, photography, podcasting, and videography. Here Lab workshops lay the groundwork for the publication and explore issues relevant to newcomer, immigrant and racialized communities from the perspective of the learners. The goals of the program are for participants to be published in Here Magazine, to be actively involved in the publication process, and to overcome real and perceived barriers to skill development.

2020 Honourable Mention Winners: Receiving $5,000 each


The BSD LINC Literacy Stream Program



The Edmonton Literacy Classroom on Wheels (the COW Bus)



Skills Plus


Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, in partnership with Atlantic provincial partners, PEI Literacy Alliance, Newfoundland & Labrador Laubach Literacy Council and Literacy Nova Scotia


Essential Skills for Atlantic Fisheries (ESAF)

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.