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Nomination writing tips

Make sure to read the eligibility criteria for the honour or award carefully. You need to clearly explain and include evidence of why you think your nominee deserves to be recognized.

Show how they:

  • impact other individuals or their community
  • encourage and represent good citizenship
  • touch and enrich the lives of others
  • display ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication
  • devote themselves to volunteering
  • earn the respect of their peers and are role models in their field
  • are innovative and creative

Use specific and concrete examples to show how your nominee is outstanding and a deserving candidate for the honour or award.

You must show how and where they have made a difference.

Your nomination should not be:

  • an extended resume
  • a list of educational achievements or transcripts
  • a list of appointments, awards or posts
  • a job description showing what the person has been hired to do

See some examples of nominations.

Testimonial writing tips

Testimonials help to paint a complete picture of the nominee.

The testimonials should:

  • be written by people who can speak to the nominee’s achievement and/or contribution from first-hand experience
  • be current and for the specific honour or award
  • provide examples from different perspectives

They can be written by anybody, not just an influential or high-profile person.

Testimonials should not be a simple statement that the writer supports the nomination. They must include more information about the nominee’s achievement.

See some examples of testimonials.

Nomination examples

Here are some well-written excerpts of past nominations.

He organized the Student Activist Association to reach out to other newcomer students and his desire was to give an opportunity to newcomer students to experience community engagement in Canada to gain their self-esteem and confidence. I was impressed by his altruism in promoting social justice issues in a broader level and engage many newcomer students who are marginalized in the school. I consider this initiative as a tangible step where he created a framework and a forum for marginalized students to get involved and it has a lasting impact. This is very important since our school is home to a diverse student population.”

This nominee took the initiative to do something to help his community. He identified a need and started something from nothing, leaving a lasting impact on his peers, school and community.

Her roots run deep as a newcomer who fled Honduras after her husband’s disappearance, torture and murder. From this tumultuous beginning as a refugee in Canada, she has made a commitment to ease the transition for newcomers to Canada. Her 21-year tenure at the health centre has afforded much success in welcoming, supporting, advocating, and mentoring new arrivals to Canada. She spearheaded the Multicultural Health Department at the health centre, when there was no avenue for newcomers to access primary care. Her department provided cultural interpretation services and peer support to newcomers from several countries looking to settle in her area. Over the years, her work has contributed to the successful transition of thousands of families and individuals.”

This nominee touched and enriched the lives of newcomers. Her initiatives had lasting results and impacted thousands of people in her community.

She has subtly and effectively altered the face of Canadian literary culture over a period of 59 years. First, she was a potent force in fostering the study of Canadian literature in high school and university courses during the late 50s and early 60s, before it was regarded an acceptable field for serious study. Second, in 1975, she co-founded an academic journal which established Canadian criticism of Canadian children’s authors, helping this fledging field develop. Third, she has changed how we read early Canadian women writers – especially L.M. Montgomery, who is now seen, thanks to [the nominee’s] work, as a powerful international influence. Finally, she has served as a role model and mentor for several generations of Canadian women who aspired to professional careers. There is no question that she has made a huge difference in many aspects of what now constitutes Canadian “literary history”, as well as in broader aspects of Canadian culture. She has always been Ontario based, but her work ranged far beyond.”

This nominee has achieved excellence in her field of work and made noticeable changes to the Canadian literary landscape. She has broken barriers, became a role model and mentor, and enriched the lives of many generations of Canadian and international writers.

Testimonial examples

Here are some excerpts of past testimonials written about the same nominee.

I was quite impressed by her maturity and dedication at the tender age of eleven. She is now 17, still visits us on a regular basis and has [organized] numerous fundraising events for the CNIB on behalf of our daughter.” parent

I have never, in 36 years of teaching, encountered a young person so prepared to immediately assume a leadership role when a need arises.” teacher

She has truly inspired me to become more involved in the community, reach out to those who are not as privileged as ourselves, and share our talents with those around us in order to make a positive change in our community and our world. I am merely one of the many lives that she has influenced throughout her daily life.” fellow student and friend