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Congratulations 2020 Core Values Award Winners!

Each year, IAP2 Canada presents the Core Values Awards, honouring the “best of the best” in public engagement. Due to travel and gathering restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Core Values Awards Gala was adapted to an online celebration, via Zoom. Click here to see a recording of the celebration.

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National Award Winner: Organization of the Year

The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), for its five-year journey towards a culture of full public participation across the provincial agency.

When the NSHA was created in 2015 out of the amalgamation of nine District Health Authorities (DHAs), it was deemed necessary to promote a culture of engagement across the entire province. Only one of the former DHAs, formalized engagement through an engagement policy to improve the quality and experience of patient care, dedicated staff and financial resources to support good engagement practices. The challenge was to instill the same culture of engagement across the entire provincial authority.

What the judges said:

“NS Health had recognized that it was not enough simply to have a good P2 policy, but to have commitment at the highest level to incorporate patient feedback in policy making. The fact that public engagement is integrated into two strategic plans shows the leadership has made that commitment.”

“Quarterly ‘listening’ sessions are a big deal because they’re integrated into the process (not just a one time thing), which makes leaders more accountable for doing something with what they hear.”

“Strong program of internal capacity building aimed at building organizational competency in P2 is evident along with a commitment to track performance (survey). I particularly liked the idea of a monthly engagement hour as it not only provides training but also helps to keep profile of engagement high within the organization.”

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Read the submission

ational Award Winner: Project of the Year

The City of Guelph and the Guelph Community for “A United Vision: Guelph’s Community Plan”. 

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Read the submission

Extending the Practice through Creativity, Contribution & Innovation in the Field

WINNER: The City of Guelph and the Guelph Community for “A United Vision: the Guelph Community Plan”.

Over 18 months, the City of Guelph engaged some 15,000 residents to co-create a roadmap for what they would like their city to look like in 20 years’ time. They worked closely with the community to design a city-wide process that included hard-to-reach and marginalized groups, as well as businesses, community groups and other organizations. The input has since guided the development of the City’s Strategic Plan, “Guelph: Future Ready”.

What the judges said:

"The project demonstrated fundamental trust that given time, space and freedom, community members could make sense of their current state and aspire to creating a better future for all."

"Appreciate the language they use “be balanced and representative”. and continually asked “who have we missed?” Also did not see this process as a one time event but ongoing."

"Acknowledging the  successes of the past and bringing these into current processes to continue to listen and learn contributes to the shared vision and sustainability."  

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Read the submission

RUNNER-UP: The City of Burnaby, BC and the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, for “Your Voice - Your Home: Meeting the Housing Needs of Burnaby Residents”.

Housing prices in Metro Vancouver are considered the second most unaffordable in Canada, and one in five Burnaby households is facing overcrowding, poor upkeep, or unaffordable costs. This project, a partnership of the City of Burnaby and the Morris J, Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University, was a six-month undertaking, involving the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing. The over-arching question was simple: “What are the housing experiences and needs of Burnaby residents and what are their recommendations in terms of housing policies and programs?”

To help with the answer, more than 2,600 residents took part, either in-person or online -- the largest engagement in Burnaby’s history -- and 42 resident recommendations were brought forward, which directly informed the Task Force’s final report.

What the judges said:

"Great project name. This alone would encourage participation."

"Exemplary demonstration of integrating community engagement and decision-making through a process that effectively deepened mutual understanding of the needs and aspirations of multiple stakeholders."

"The project was designed to generate actionable recommendations rather than ideas or challenges, in order to create real accountability."

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Read the submission

HONORABLE MENTION: The Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) for “Deconstruction of the Champlain Bridge”.

JCCBI was given the task of dismantling the Champlain Bridge: a 3.4 km, 6-lane structure, involving close to 300,000 tonnes of material, and doing so sustainably, in a way that benefited the people in the area.

The challenge was met through consultations with the general public and all the stakeholders involved. Specifically, public input was sought on what to do with all that material and how to manage the riverbank spaces that would be vacated by the removal of the approaches to the bridge. JCCBI identified and brought into the conversation a diverse range of interests, including environmental, cultural, heritage and scientific. This consultation helped determine what parts of the bridge would be preserved and get ideas about shoreline redevelopment. 

What the judges said:

“The process looked for ways to manage the public space along the river’s edge, commemorate the original bridge and re-use the materials. On the bigger picture, the project can serve as a model for future projects involving dismantling major infrastructure.”

“Strong campaign to build awareness led to exceeding quantitative engagement targets by a lot.”

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Read the submission

HONORABLE MENTION: The Simon Fraser University Student Experience Initiative for “Building Community and a Sense of Belonging -- Ideas to Action”.

Over 18 months, the Student Experience Initiative held consultations with students to engage in creative ideation using diverse methods. There were creative idea lounges, pop-ups at the campus fire pits and games lounge, empathy mapping, idea jam partnerships with undergraduate and graduate classes, as well as online social media discussions, polls and an idea submission form. Some of the ideas generated are already being implemented, and others are under consideration, subject to availability of resources. 

What the judges said:

“The student- to-student approach increased opportunities for inclusive participation … customized outreach to anyone who was missed in previous consultations.”

“Great use of partnerships and existing assets to develop the engagement objectives, loved the use of a decision rubric and cross referencing to ensure alignment with overall goals. Creating a  leadership role for students to enable the dialogue and support safe and accessible conversations with peers ensured interest and support of the community.”

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Respect for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture

WINNER: Maximum City, Esri Canada and Toronto Children’s Services for “The KidScore Pilot Program”.

The KidScore pilot uses a “child’s lens” to look at a neighbourhood and its amenities to determine how “child-friendly” an area is. Children were brought to the table to help develop the criteria, and then were sent with hand-held devices to rate areas according to those criteria. “What’s important to an adult is not necessarily important to a child,” says Josh Fullan, principal of Maximum City. “You could have a neighbourhood with a high median income and fine houses, but if there are no parks or playgrounds with a variety of activities, or there’s a six-lane arterial road running through it, it won’t score high for children.”

What the judges said:

“The submission was clear that the audience was kids and they developed a useful P2 tool to help engage kids in the planning and policy development process.” 

“Clear criteria was identified to engage with kids that represented the diversity of the City and included the inclusion of two communities identified.”

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Read the submission

RUNNER-UP: Delaney - The Engagement People & the Provincial Language Service, Provincial Health Services Authority, for “Engaging Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing British Columbians for Better Access to Medical Care.”

Despite a 1997 Supreme Court judgment that Deaf, Deaf-Blind and hard-of-hearing people have a right to sign language interpretation for access to medical services, the Provincial Language Service, Provincial Health Services Authority (PLS) learned in 2016 that members of that community were dissatisfied with service delivery. The consulting firm of DELANEY - the engagement people - was hired to facilitate engagement with the community, in order to meet the community’s needs and improve health outcomes.

Using a variety of methods, including in-person sessions and online surveys with questions interpreted on video, DELANEY identified values and principles which became the foundation of a Service Delivery Framework -- including the determination that service delivery had to be deaf-led. Already, the engagement is showing results, in improved and increased access to medical information for hearing-impaired people and an increased awareness of the barriers to health care people in this community experience.

What the judges said:

“Process was responsive to participants by expanding the engagement’s geographic reach and to include those who provide support to system users (e.g. Deaf Interpreters).”  

“The project team partnered with community champions and connectors to seek their ongoing advice on how to draft communications and then share them. Given the audience, information needed to be visual (info-graphics) and in ASL. Early on, special recognition was given to the unique needs of the Deaf and Blind and a customized process built for this specific user group.”


Watch the video

Read the submission

Indigenous Engagement

WINNER: The City of Winnipeg, for “Welcoming Winnipeg: Reconciling Our History”.

This project aims to reconcile Winnipeg's history to ensure the city's future, and “Welcoming Winnipeg” is just one aspect of the Journey of Reconciliation the City has embarked on. Dialogue across the country on shared history in various cities specific to markers, plaques and names prompted action in Winnipeg and is one aspect of the Welcoming Winnipeg initiative.

In the engagement process, more than 1100 residents were engaged, and many more were informed, to gather input on how to provide a more balanced representation of Winnipeg’s history, particularly through monuments, signage and street naming. The engagement also considered ways of properly paying respect to the history of Indigenous peoples in the region. This resulted in a Council adopted Welcoming Winnipeg policy, and the Committee of Community Members announced in September 2020.

What the judges said:

"... recognized the potential polarizing nature of the topic and actively involved the Indigenous community in the co-design of the process. The submission also clearly identifies how the input was used to shape the Welcoming Winnipeg policy."

 "Good variety of information sharing and methods to support meaningful engagement."

"The process clearly recognized that the process needed to be grounded in the “truth of our shared past”. As a result, the initial public workshop included a panel of Indigenous leaders, historians and academics that delved into Winnipeg’s local history which was recorded and posted."

Watch the video

Read the submission

Visual Engagement

WINNER: TransLink -- the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, for “Transport 2050: Shape the Future of How We Move and Live.”

This project was designed to encourage people to take part in formulating a long-term vision for transportation in the Metro Vancouver region.

Transport 2050 went beyond the often-used methods of taking out newspaper ads and sending mail-drop flyers. The Transport 2050 team was challenged to reach beyond the usual voices and inspire an entire region to imagine a very different future.The team developed a clean, futuristic brand, and through the summer of 2019, people in Metro Vancouver could not miss the invitation to get engaged. 

What the judges said:

“Interesting and compelling visuals supported project outreach and was likely a strong contributor to the high participation rates.” 

“I LOVED that the promotional materials included trade-offs. I think this was a bold move and really effective to get people thinking about why they should engage (because they presumably have an opinion about option A or option B)”

“The results have been used to directly influence goals for the next Transportation strategy.”

Watch the video

Read the submission

Our 2020 judges!

Susanna Haas Lyons

Susanna is a civic engagement specialist, who designs participation strategies, facilitates complex meetings and provides training for better conversations between the public and decision makers.


Mireille Brosseau

Mireille dedicates her professional life to strengthening connections between those who experience, organize and provide healthcare services so that collective efforts improve who we are, what we do and how we progress on our health improvement journeys.

Jane Newlands

Jane is a Senior Vice President at Argyle, one of Canada’s largest engagement and communication firms, with full-time employees in seven Canadian cities. At Argyle, she leads a national team of engagement specialists with the belief that meaningful engagement is grounded in inclusivity, values and respectful dialogue.

Anne Harding

Anne is a former president of IAP2 Canada, recipient of the 2015 Core Values Award for P2 for the Greater Good and a Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3). Her specialties include the energy industry and Indigenous engagement.

  • Belinda Boyd

  • Belinda is Leader, Community Engagement, at Vancouver (BC) Coastal Health, specializing in Patient Public Engagement (PPE), ensuring a voice for people most affected by changes or decisions.

    VCH has received numerous Core Values Awards on Belinda's watch: Organization of the Year (2006), Creativity and Innovation, and Project of the Year (2014), and P2 for the Greater Good (2016). 

  • Core Values Awards Around the World

    Check out Core Values Award winners from around the world, in the IAP2 Federation's Core Values Awards Showcases. Read about winners going back to 2007, and learn some of the techniques they've used to ensure proper engagement!

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