Social innovators from all sectors came together in Vancouver today for the BC Social Innovation Youth Awards, a joint partnership between the government of British Columbia and RADIUS SFU, held at The Imperial Vancouver.

The 12 winners each received $1,000 in prizes to help them forward their efforts in addressing social issues.

The winners, who are between 12 and 29 years of age, were chosen from 48 very strong entries from all backgrounds, diversities and abilities and from all regions of the province. Their innovations range from small-scale such as Santa’s Workshop that helped 20 of Colin’s classmates in Vernon to the one million meals that Andrew Hall and the Mealshare Aid Society have provided to youth in need. Some innovators have a broad impact, such as Abbey Jones and the CANsave program which has impacted 80 distinct communities across Canada, while Anna Migicovsky focuses on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in the work she does through Knack.

Social innovation is about finding new ways to address challenging and complex social problems, and the winners’ submissions were assessed, along with innovation and creativity, for the demonstrated impact of the social innovation. The winners are:

  • David Cameron, Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL), Vancouver
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  • Colin Charlton, Santa’s Workshop, Vernon

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Albert Cherng, Tech Easy Foundation, Vancouver

      
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  • Andrew Hall, Mealshare Aid Society, Vancouver
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  • Abbey Jones, CANsave, Kelowna
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Raven Lacerte, The Moose Hide Campaign, Victoria

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Brandon Laur, Social Media Safety and Digital Literacy, Victoria

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Anna Migicovsky, Knack, Vancouver

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Carmen Moreira, SQx Dance Company, Castlegar

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Marc Schutzbank, Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, Vancouver

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Krystian Shaw, The Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter, Kamloops

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Khelsilem Tł’aḵwasik̕an, Kwi Awt Stelmexw, Squamish

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Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, presented the awards and joined the youth winners afterwards for a panel discussion centred on the dynamic area of youth social innovation.

The awards were part of the BC Summit on Social Innovation, a day-long event that brought together businesses, investors, universities and non-profit organizations to share ideas and engage in panel discussions on how to grow more successful partnerships across sectors. The event partners were Vancity, RADIUS SFU, BC Partners for Social Impact, Vancouver Foundation, and the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.

Keynote speakers at Summit were Tamara Vrooman, president and chief executive officer of Vancity, and Raven Lacerte, youth award winner and co-founder and youth ambassador for the Moose Hide Campaign.

Over 200 attendees had numerous opportunities throughout the day to discuss issues and brainstorm innovative solutions through new partnerships.

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Quotes:

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –

“After a day spent immersed in discussion surrounding social innovation in the province, I feel energized by all of the progress we are making. The youth award winners, in particular, have innovative solutions to issues that we are facing. I hope the opportunity to connect and form new partnerships will help them to accomplish even more. By working together, we can create a better British Columbia for all.”

Shawn Smith, director of RADIUS SFU –

“British Columbia has a rich history of social innovation and an incredible number of talented people and organizations working to create new solutions to social problems. Today is a beautiful reminder of just how strong we can be we when we work together. We are clearly in good hands, with today’s Social Innovation Youth Award recipients representing a wave of committed youth bringing new perspectives, ideas and energy to the table.”

Tamara Vrooman, president and chief executive officer of Vancity –

“Today’s summit is an opportunity to reflect on our progress, share our stories and aspirations, and be inspired by the passion and creativity of the next generation of social innovators. I think we will emerge feeling that B.C. is rich in the resourcefulness we need to develop innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions to complex social and environmental challenges.”

Raven Lacerte, co-founder and youth ambassador for the Moose Hide Campaign –

“I am honoured to share the work that we’ve been doing with the Moose Hide Campaign and excited to be on stage with the incredible recipients of the BC Social Innovation Youth Award. I am so grateful that young people are being honoured and awarded for the amazing work that is being done across British Columbia. The Social Innovation Summit creates a space to highlight and share outstanding work and connect folks to continue the good work.”

Quick Facts:

  • Part of the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation’s mandate is to work with partners in the business and community sectors to support social innovation and enterprise in B.C.
  • B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to create the Community Contribution Company — a corporate entity recognized by people who want to use their purchasing dollars to support a positive social impact, and by investors who are interested in both a social and financial return.
  • In 2014 the government provided $184,000 to fund a University of British Columbia study on B.C.’s social venture sector. The study, released in 2015, found the sector has grown by 36% over the last five years with businesses seeing the highest rate of growth at 89%. The sector generates an estimated $533 million annually and employs more than 12,700 people.
  • As an active member of the BC Partners for Social Impact, government works with social innovation leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors to promote and support social innovation and enterprise throughout the province.

Learn More:

Learn more about the youth winners: http://www.radiussfu.com/social-innovation-awards-winners/

Discover more about RADIUS SFU: www.radiussfu.com

Explore www.hubcapbc.ca, B.C.’s online social innovation tool.

Learn about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/social-innovation/index.htm