Nomination Process

The 2020 Call for Nominations is Now Closed.

Up to $3 million will be awarded across three prize categories – including one $1 million prize.

In 2020, the Arctic Inspiration Prize (AIP) will award up to $3 million which will be shared by up to 10 winning teams in three prize categories. One $1 million prize may be awarded to one exceptional team, up to four teams will be awarded up to $500,000 each, and up to seven teams with members 30 years of age or younger will be awarded up to $100,000 each. The Youth prize category seeks to inspire the next generations of Arctic innovators to develop projects and plans that address issues and opportunities relevant to them.

For more information about the Arctic Inspiration Prize and submitting a nomination, watch the webinar here.


Optional Letter of Intent:
September 8, 2020 11:59 p.m. PT

Submission of Nomination Package:
October 14, 2020 11:59 p.m. PT


The AIP is for the North and by the North, with generous support from the South. It encourages, enables and celebrates achievements of the peoples of the North.

The AIP inspires team building and encourages these teams to develop innovative projects that provide a near-term benefit to Arctic communities. It enables teams to carry out projects, celebrates their achievements and, in so doing, inspires others to follow suit.

Relevance to the North

The AIP covers any opportunities or challenges that are of importance to the Canadian Arctic and its peoples. A project can have one or more focus areas such as, but not limited to, education, training, health and wellness, environment and climate change, recreation, tourism, culture and economic development.

Team Building

The AIP brings together people from different disciplines and backgrounds to break down barriers, collaborate and harness collective strengths. These diverse teams can consist of Northerners and Southerners, Youth and Elders, Northern communities, grassroots groups, industry, governments, and the research, philanthropy, culture and education communities.

Knowledge to Innovative Action

The AIP transforms knowledge into immediate, impactful and innovative action with a direct and lasting effect in northern communities.

  • Knowledge can be traditional knowledge, scientific research and/or practical knowledge, e.g. from a small pilot project.
  • Outcomes are secular, non-ideological and have a direct and lasting impact in Northern communities.
  • Actions are innovative and not simply a continuation, expansion or repetition in another location of an already established project/program or a one-time event such as a conference. If building on an existing initiative, the proposed expansion needs to bring substantial new team members, partners, objectives and deliverables.
  • Geographically, the impact of the proposed action plan needs to take place in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.

Cause Instead of Symptoms

The AIP addresses the cause of an Arctic issue rather than its symptoms. For example, a project that aims to prevent an oil spill addresses the cause, and therefore would qualify for the prize. Alternatively, a project that intends to clean up an oil spill would not qualify, as it seeks to address the symptoms. This also applies to socioeconomic and human health issues.


This chart provides an overview of the differences between the three prize categories. It will help you to choose which category best fits the scope of your project. For a more detailed description of each category, please review the Nomination Guides.

  $1 Million AIP Youth
How many prizes will be awarded? Up to 1 Up to 4 Up to 7
How much can a team apply for? $1 million CAD
(no more, no less)
Up to $500,000 CAD Up to $100,000 CAD
Do all team members need to be Northerners? No, but Team Leader and majority of team members are Northerners No, but Team Leader and majority of team members are Northerners No, but Team Leader and majority of team members are Northerners
Are there any age restrictions for team members? No, all ages can apply No, all ages can apply Yes, the Team Leader and majority of the team are required to be 30 years of age or younger
How diverse does the team need to be in terms of background, disciplines etc? Broadly diverse Diverse Preferably somewhat diverse
What kind of impact will the project have in Northern communities? Long term impact across a large geographic area or a profound impact in a smaller area Impact in a larger or smaller geographic area, preferably in the long term Impact at the community level or beyond. Submissions in this category can also be for activities that would prepare a team to submit a nomination for a $1 Million or AIP prize in 2021.
Are in-kind or financial commitments from other partners and team members expected for project sustainability? Yes, significant support from partners and preferably from team members is expected Yes, support from partners and preferably from team members is expected Some support from team members and potential partners is preferable


  1. Teams need to be nominated by an official AIP Ambassador independent from the team. Nominators must not be team members, belong to organizations or groups connected to the project, nor be in any way connected to the activities, outputs, funding or management/administration of the proposed plan.
  2. An application can be submitted to only one prize category. Nominators and Team Leaders are encouraged to carefully choose the most appropriate category to apply for in terms of budget and stage of development of the proposed project. Altering or inflating your project to fit into a specific category is not recommended.
  3. For the AIP and Youth AIP categories, smaller scale projects are encouraged as much as larger ones. The scale of a project does not influence selection. The AIP is awarded on merit and potential impact.
  4. Arctic Inspiration Prize Trustees, staff, and Selection Committee members and Rideau Hall Foundation staff and Board members are not eligible to be nominees or nominators for the Arctic Inspiration Prize during their terms, and for six months following the end of their term.
  5. The $1 million prize will be awarded to only one exceptional team. In the event that the Selection Committee deems that no team merits this prize category in a given year, it will not be awarded.
  6. The AIP Selection Committee is under no obligation to award the maximum number of prizes in the AIP or Youth AIP categories in a given year if, in its opinion, the quality or number of nominations do not warrant it or the amount of funds is not available.
  7. Where there is uncertainty about the requirements or processes for the prize, the Arctic Inspiration Prize organization retains the right to interpret the contents of the nomination and guidelines.
  8. Decisions of the Selection Committees are final. There is no appeal process.
  9. Nominations are not carried over from year to year, therefore they need to be revised and re-submitted annually to be considered.
  10. A Nominator may submit more than one nomination for any category in a given year. Also, nominating a team does not prevent an individual from being part of a team nominated by someone else.
  11. Team Leaders and Nominators should not expect the Arctic Inspiration Prize office to assist in the preparation of a Nomination Package beyond general advice concerning the regulations and proper use of the nomination materials. The Arctic Inspiration Prize office will not offer opinions as to a nomination's chance of success.
  12. Submitting a Letter of Intent is the only means by which your team can receive feedback on eligibility. You can find details about the Letter of Intent submission process in each Nomination Guide.


  1. Distinct eligibility and selection criteria for each category are further defined in the respective Nomination Guides. Carefully review the eligibility and evaluation criteria for each category, and be sure that you understand what you need to submit to be considered eligible and to increase your chances of being selected.
  2. Meeting the eligibility criteria only allows teams to be eligible for an Arctic Inspiration Prize and to enter the selection process. It does not, however, guarantee that they will receive a prize.
  3. Once the Nomination Guide has been reviewed, please download and complete the appropriate Nomination Template for the category you wish to be nominated for. Completed sections may be shorter, but not longer, than the proposed maximum pages. All sections must be completed for nominations to be considered eligible.
  4. The first step in getting prepared for a nomination is to download and carefully review the Nomination Guides and choose the one that fits your project so that you can clearly understand:
    • How to prepare and submit an optional Letter of Intent
    • The eligibility criteria
    • The selection criteria
    • How to prepare and submit your Nomination
    • How the selection process works
    • What is required from winning teams

Download the Nomination Guides:

$1 Million AIP Youth


Only after you have downloaded and reviewed the Nomination Guides and confirmed which category applies to your project, should you download a Nomination Template.

These templates are in Microsoft Word format and provide specific details on the information to include in your Nomination. The templates are designed as a step-by-step guide to help you easily complete your Nomination.

Download the Nomination Templates:

$1 Million AIP Youth