Introducing the 21 Under 21 Awards

A New Chapter for Youth Recognition

Youth Ottawa, in collaboration with RBC, proudly introduces a newly revitalized Youth Awards Gala marking a significant milestone in our journey of celebrating youth achievement!! Formerly known as the Spirit of the Capital Awards, this ceremony has been dedicated to honoring youth for the past 26 years. Each year, the community is brought together to recognize the profound positive impact youth have on our community. 

In previous years the event shined the spotlight on youth nominated in one of seven categories. The categories included were Service and Caring, Max Keeping Award for Personal Courage, Academic Perseverance, Arts & Culture, Strength Through Diversity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Take a Stand. Historically, these were used to capture qualities and attributes that commended outstanding service to others, personal growth, academic achievements, and creativity, with 14 youth being honoured annually.  

RBC Spirit Of The Capital - Youth Awards 2023

What to Expect this Year

Now, in its 27th year, the Spirit of the Capital has experienced an evolution, bringing forward newness and a fresh perspective. After years of planning and discussion, we are happy to introduce our Youth Awards Gala known as 21 under 21, dedicated to youth, re-vamped, and transformative. The new event will recognize 21 youth under the age of 21 who can nominate themselves or are nominated by individuals who have witnessed their dedication firsthand.

At its heart, the 21 Under 21 Youth Awards Gala will always remain true to the spirit of honoring the remarkable contributions made by local youth who have left an indelible mark on their communities, both locally and/or globally. These extraordinary individuals embody qualities of initiative, enthusiasm, and caring. They lean into the spirit of positive change and are a source of inspiration to others. By keeping our promise to honour them, and to reflect our dedication to inclusivity we have made the decision to remove award categories as we are committed to capturing the holistic recognition of young achievers, free from barriers.

In embracing this rebranding, Youth Ottawa reaffirms its core values of appreciating the spirit of youth, action, and the diverse journeys and achievements of young people, transcending conventional labels. We wholeheartedly believe in recognizing the full spectrum of youth accomplishments that bring about change, personal growth, or positive action and are committed to including every story and impact a youth may have had to make this world a better place.

An Unforgettable Gala Night!

Scheduled to grace the Shaw Centre on October 24th, 2024, this year’s gala also promises an engaging, inspiring, and elevated experience for all attendees. The Gala will include a vibrant mocktail hour and a plated dinner to reserve a space for community connection. We will also be adding photo booth installations to capture memories, youth performances, and a heartwarming awards presentation. This year we would love to extend the opportunity for attendees to get to know the 21 youth and their important contributions, so we are also including multimedia displays showcasing the impactful work of our city’s young talents. The stage is set for a truly unforgettable evening! We will be opening ticket registration for the event in August so keep an eye out on our socials! 

Nominations Opening May 7, 2024!

Every young person has something truly unique to offer, and we want to celebrate it all!
We extend an open invitation for nominations across all fields, inviting individuals to celebrate and honor the multifaceted talents of young leaders who have made significant contributions to their communities. If you are or know a young person who embodies the spirit of giving back, inspiring change, or demonstrating exemplary qualities, we encourage you to submit an application.

The nomination period for the 21 Under 21 Awards runs from May 7, 2024, to June 14, 2024. For more information and to apply please visit our events page. Join us as we embark on this exciting journey of recognizing and celebrating youth excellence in all its forms!