The 2023 Spirit Awards are coming...

and nominations are OPEN!

Nominations are now OPEN for the 2023 RBC Spirit of the Capital Awards and we’re looking for 14 young people to recognize! 

The Spirit Awards ceremony is an annual gala hosted by Youth Ottawa and presented by RBC to showcase and celebrate youth achievement. Fourteen young change-makers are chosen to win an award in one of the seven categories: 

  • Arts and Culture
  • Service and Caring
  • Take a Stand
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Academic Perseverance
  • Strength through Diversity
  • Max Keeping for Personal Courage

We’re looking for youth who possess qualities such as perseverance, integrity, and empathy and are leaders in their community.

This year, we are moving our gala back to the spring season and our 2023 nominations are now open until March 31, 2023.  If you know anyone who fits the features of a Spirit Award Winner, we would love for you to tell about them!

Anyone can nominate a young person whether that would be a teacher, friend, parent, mentor, guidance councillor, etc. To learn more about the nominations categories and the selection criteria please visit us here. 

Each recipients will receive:

  • $1,000 Bursary
  • Tickets to the award gala on June 29th, 2023
  • Networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to be featured in CTV Ottawa

*nominees must be between the ages of 14-21*

Our Spirit Award winners have gone on to do wonderful things, and here’s a story about one of them!

The story of a Spirit award winner

Rehani Akenga’s dedication to community service has followed him from across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Growing up, giving back to his community was a core memory for Rehani.

In 2013, he left Congo for a refugee camp in Malawi, where he volunteered in various community initiatives. In 2021, he would arrive in Canada, where he would continue to serve his community. 

The path to success wasn’t easy: Rehani had to face a high cost of living and food insecurity, forcing him to seek employment to support his family. Despite these challenges, Rehani persevered by collecting food and money for prisoners in Maula Prison and by participating in litter pick-ups in the city. 

In 2022, he was awarded a Strength through Diversity award as part of our 25th Annual RBC Spirit Awards

Since then, Rehani has continued to be an active member in the community while studying at the University of Ottawa. He volunteers with Shepherds of Good Hope, Knights of Columbus and has joined the Ottawa Police Youth Advisory Committee. 

Rehani is also currently working with our Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee, a group which aims to engage youth in municipal government decision-making.

The advice and encouragement Rehani received from community members led him to feel even more motivated to support his community, he said.

“It was an extraordinary step in my life,” Rehani said. “Astonishingly, I felt motivated and continued to be active in Ottawa and Canada. Explaining in words how colourful that day was will not be enough.”

How to keep up with Spirit this year

Please visit the link below to nominate a young person:

*nominees must be between the ages of 14-21.

Nominating someone or not, we will keep you updated on everything about the Spirit Awards this year, so keep an eye out for us!