OTTAWA—More than 600 elementary students will learn the importance of having an innovative spirit during a special visit to Fisher Park Public School/Summit Alternative today.

Former governor general of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston, and Mr. Tom Jenkins, Chair of OpenText and of the National Research Council, will be discussing Innovation Nation and Ingénieux Junior, the young readers edition of their popular book Ingenious, with students at the school this morning. The event is the result of a collaboration with the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

“We wrote this book to celebrate the history and spirit of creativity in Canada, and to inspire all Canadians to think of themselves as innovators with a critical role to play in the improvement of everything we do together as a society, both at home and throughout the world,” Mr. Johnston and Mr. Jenkins write in the preface to their book.

The bright, kid-friendly Innovation Nation includes 50 examples of Canadian innovations that changed the world, from canoes to whoopee cushions, chocolate bars to zippers. Mr. Johnston and Mr. Jenkins will talk to the youth about some of these innovations, and about the importance of learning to be innovative at a young age. The conversation will be followed by a question period and some grade seven and eight students will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop using the Education for Innovation resource guide for teachers, that accompanies the book.

Published simultaneously in English and French by Tundra Books (division of Penguin Random House Canada) and Les Éditions La Presse and illustrated by Josh Holinaty, the books have also been developed into a series of educational resources for Kindergarten through to Grade 12. Together with Innovation Nation, they will be invaluable resources for teachers who want to inspire their students to become innovators. The education resources are available for free at


About the Rideau Hall Foundation

The Rideau Hall Foundation was established to amplify and extend the reach of the Office of Governor General in its goals to connect, honour and inspire Canadians. Signature programs fall within four programmatic areas: learning, leadership, innovation, and giving. We work with partners on initiatives that strengthen our national identity, build capacity and promote the advancement of a smart and caring nation. To learn more visit

All proceeds from Innovation Nation and Ingénieux Junior will be directed to the Rideau Hall Foundation for activities and programs that inspire and support innovation by Canadians in every province and territory.


For more information:

Mélanie Béchard, Communications Officer
Rideau Hall Foundation

Neil Wilson, Development Director
Ottawa International Writers Festival

Vikki VanSickle, Marketing and Publicity Manager
Tundra Books

Annie-France Charbonneau, Communications Advisor
Les Éditions La Presse
514-285-7000 ext. 6731