Youth Ottawa is looking for exceptional young people to honour at the upcoming Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards. If you know, or are, a young person helping to make your community a better place, Youth Ottawa wants to hear from you. Awards are presented in the following categories: Academic Perseverance, Arts & Culture, Entrepreneurship & Innovation,  Service & Caring, Strength Through Diversity, Take a Stand, and the Max Keeping Award for Courage. These categories are meant to broaden our appreciation for what is being done in our community from the smallest gesture to international efforts.

Arts and Culture

Awarded to a local young artist building community through one or more of the following areas: vocal, visual arts, music, dance, and theatre/drama. (1) Helps others through a passion for the arts, (2) demonstrates commitment and drive while pursuing the arts, and/or (3) displays exceptional creativity and inspiration through the chosen art medium.

Strength Through Diversity

Awarded to an individual who has played a key role in addressing issues of equity and inclusivity in school or the greater community. (1) Showed strength and resilience in overcoming personal experiences of being treated inequitably, (2) raised community awareness about issues of inequity and intolerance, and/or (3) demonstrated leadership in working to overcome discrimination and inequity in the community.

Academic Perserverance

Awarded to an individual who has shown a passion and demonstrated perseverance for their academics. (1) Has gone above and beyond to succeed in academics, (2) shares their passion of academics to benefit others, and/or (3) has overcome obstacles to persist in education.


Awarded to an individual who has utilized his or her talents and efforts to make a difference in society, locally, nationally or globally. (1) Demonstrates innovation and initiative in working towards an entrepreneurial or social change goal, (2) exhibits inspirational leadership in project management, and/or (3) managed an entrepreneurial or innovative project for profit or for a charitable cause.

Take A Stand

Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated leadership, courage, and creativity while advocating for social justice and positive change locally, nationally, or globally. (1) Mobilizes peers to stand up for the rights of vulnerable peoples, and/or (2) uses creative means, including the arts and technology, to engage youth in advocacy.

Service and Caring

Awarded to an individual who helps others and their community. (1) Volunteers their time throughout the community, (2) acts in good will to help others, and/or (3) promotes community compassion in personal way.

Max Keeping for Personal Courage

Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated a tremendous passion for life by overcoming personal obstacles. (1) Demonstrated hope and determination in the face of personal challenges, (2) is a vibrant and optimistic member of the community, and/or (3) serves as an inspiration of persistence for all those around them.

The Spirit Awards Selection Committee is reviews all nominations and additional information. In each of the seven award categories, the Selection Committee will select two recipients for each category.  Each winner will receive a bursary. Each recipient will also be provided with three tickets to attend the event, one for themselves and two for guests of their choice.

Any additional tickets can be purchased at a later time.