Innovation in Canada


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We believe LIFT has a role to play in supporting social innovation and social change in Canada. LIFT is setting a new standard in philanthropic investment by introducing an innovative approach that applies a business mindset to the social sector. We partner on strategic projects that support people, not-for-profit organizations and businesses across Canada to contribute to the social and economic success of our country.

The Play Exchange

The Play Exchange is a national online challenge that will provide a total of up to $1 million in investments to the most innovative and inventive ideas to get Canadians healthier and more active. The challenge launched in February 2014 and will run through to January 2015. It is open to all Canadians, including schools, students, families, not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, and businesses. The Play Exchange seeks new and established programs, projects and ideas that increase physical activity, inspire children to eat well and be more active, or motivate families to participate in healthier activities.

The top six finalists, selected by a panel of judges, will each receive mentoring valued at $30,000 from LIFT Philanthropy Partners to develop a strategic business plan to enhance and implement the innovation. The finalists will also be featured in a CBC television special. Canadians can vote for their favourite finalist, and the top innovation selected by the judges will be eligible for up to $1 million from the Government of Canada to put their winning idea into action.

The Play Exchange is a partnership of the Government of Canada, Canadian Tire, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and LIFT.


BC Ideas

BC Ideas was an online competition in 2012 that aimed to engage British Columbians in identifying and supporting innovative solutions to address pressing social challenges facing BC communities. In total, BC Ideas sourced 466 innovations from 82 communities across BC. It invested more than $270,000 in the top innovations. BC Ideas was supported by a cross-sector of 25 partners, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, universities and government. The Province of British Columbia provided the initial investment to develop the competition, and LIFT led the coordination and development of the project.