OTTAWA—As part of its commitment to building a stronger culture of innovation in Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), along with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, are calling for groups working to promote innovation across different sectors to come together around an annual Canadian Innovation Week every May. Canadian Innovation Week will shine a national spotlight on innovation-related events and activities, building on the celebration of excellence in Canadian innovation with the annual presentation of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.

“The RHF’s goal is to encourage connections that will help instill and embed in Canadian culture the skills – and the aspiration – to innovate,” said Scott Haldane, President and CEO of the RHF. “We want to help secure Canada’s place in the world as a leader in innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. Canadian Innovation Week will be a way to support this vision and keep innovation top of mind.”

While speaking at the Public Policy Forum’s event celebrating the 2017 winners of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards this morning in Ottawa, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, said he was pleased to see the RHF take on this initiative and build on the momentum created around innovation in recent years.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that the Government of Canada would help support a Canadian Innovation Week as part of a $1.5 million contribution to the Rideau Hall Foundation over two years to foster a culture of innovation. Specifically, this contribution will support a number of events that will set the stage for a Canadian Innovation Week in 2018 as well as other activities that will help engage and excite tomorrow’s innovators, including the development of innovation resources for children.

“At its most basic, innovation is about making things better in ways that benefit everyone. Innovation can create entirely new jobs, markets and industries that never existed before. Now more than ever, we need our country to be at its absolute best. A theme week that’s dedicated to celebrating Canadian innovation is exactly the inspiration we need,” said Minister Bains.

Canadian Innovation Week will be anchored around the annual presentation of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards in May. These awards aim to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and to emulate innovative, entrepreneurial risk-takers who have developed new or better ways of creating value and who are having a meaningful impact on our quality of life. With the generous support of committed private sector innovation donors and champions, including Mr. Tom Jenkins, Mr. John Risley, Power Corporation of Canada and Thomson Reuters, the RHF will look forward to launching Canadian Innovation Week in partnership with organizations from coast to coast to coast.

Innovation is fundamental to Canada’s economic prosperity and our social and environmental progress. The RHF’s vision is to establish a year-round comprehensive suite of activities to support a more deeply ingrained culture of innovation, and to continue to raise the profile of outstanding Canadian innovators while providing them with a unique platform for engagement, connectedness and visibility.


About the Rideau Hall Foundation

The Rideau Hall Foundation is an independent charitable organization that works in close collaboration with the Office of the Governor General and many external partners to support initiatives that strengthen our national identity, build capacity, and promote the advancement of a smart and caring nation. To learn more visit

To learn more about the Governor General’s Innovation Awards, visit


For more information, please contact:

Barbara Gibbon
Director, Innovation
Rideau Hall Foundation

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada