Trailblazers for Culture Change Awards

Coast to Coast initiatives that are changing the culture of aging in Canada 

The Trailblazers for Culture Change Awards recognizes changemakers across Canada who are contributing to changing the culture of aging through initiatives, programs or day-to-day practice. This could include any individual, team or organization involved in senior care or support across the continuum of care, such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, day programs, community centres, and other programs encouraging engagement in the community.

Application Timeline

  • Application due date: January 31, 2024 
  • The Trailblazers for Culture Change Awards will be awarded early March, 2024. All applicants will be notified of their status.
Award recipients will receive:
Top 5
  • Recognition at a national conference: Opportunity to highlight and showcase their contributions. Featured as a Top 5 Trailblazer for Culture Change at the conference (May 1-3, 2024 in Ottawa, ON) and on the Walk With Me 2024 conference website. 
  • Complementary conference registration: Receive one free conference registration (*for 1 person if submitting as a team).
  • Complementary ticket to the evening dinner event at the National Arts Centre.
  • Certificate of Recognition: Receive certificate of their “Top 5” achievement.
    Eligible Nominees:
    • Recognition at a national conference: Mentioned as an award nominee at the conference (May 1-3, 2024, in Ottawa, ON) and on the Walk With Me 2024 conference website.

    Certificate of Recognition: Receive a certificate congratulating person/team on their nomination.

    Eligibility Criteria 

    Applications should exemplify at least ONE of the culture change values: 

    • Demonstrate that personhood of individuals within the program/service is high level priority; 
    • Outline how individuals are maintaining primary authority of his or her life and personal choices are respected and supported; 
    • Demonstrate how the focus is on living life to the fullest is a a major component of the service or program;
    • Show how accessible and enabling environments are being supported as well as continued engagement and connections in community; 
    • Show how the body, mind and spirit of each person is being nourished; 
    • Demonstrate how close relationships and authentic partnerships involving collaborative decision-making are at the core of service or program as part of a compassionate communities; and 
    • Indicate how care partners are provided/have the knowledge and information, skills, resources, authority and accountability to provide respectful, flexible and life-affirming care and support.


    • An educational program that supports team members to focus on relational, person-centred care.  
    • An individual or team that exemplifies authentic partnerships with older adults. 
    • Communities working together to share knowledge and make decisions.
    • Organizations offering resources/products/services that support older adults to live life to the fullest.
    • Creation of accessible and enabling environments or systems of support.

    Application Process

    Application must include:

    • Name and contact information (phone and/or email) of nominator
    • Name and contact information of nominee (must have 1 person represent the award, please include their organization, job title, city, province)
    • A description (500 words maximum) that includes the details of the program/initiative/practice, how the nominee exemplifies at least one of the culture change values listed above, and how it has created a positive impact in the community.
    • 1 letter of support from a client, care partner, or others from within the aging community sector.
    • Declaration that the nominator has permission from the nominee to make the nomination and the details included are accurate.
    • Consent to having this information shared publicly on the Walk With Me website, in social media, and/or at the conference.
    • Declaration that person, program, or organization is in good public standing with a positive reputation in the community.
    • Links to more information about their program/initiative/practice if applicable.
    • Top 5 awardees will be given a free conference registration and a free ticket to a dinner at the National Arts Centre where they will be recognized for their achievement. We strongly encourage them to attend both the conference and the dinner event.
    • Walk with Me is pleased to accommodate individual needs in accordance with the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) within the application process. If you require accommodation at any time throughout the application process, please contact

    Selection Criteria

    A person, program, or organization must be in good public standing with a positive reputation in the community.


    • Demonstrates alignment with at least one culture change value.
    • Show how the initiative is addressing a concern related to the culture of aging.
    • Describe the initiative in detail of the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, why).
    • Provides evidence of active engagement of older adults.
    • Show how the initiative is “Trailblazing” as an inspiring, forward-thinking idea and applicability to practice that is new to the aging community sector and/or new to the region they are part of.
    • Shows how the initiative will sustain and make a positive impact on the community for a duration.
    • Application must be presented with Quality, clarity, and thoughtfulness (e.g., coherence, logical flow, grammar/spelling, etc.) of submission.
    • 1 letter of support from a client, care partner, or others with experience in aging communities.

    • Self-nominations will not be considered.
    • A total of up to 5 applications will be chosen as the Top 5 Trailblazers for Culture Change. All eligible nominees will be recognized (see above).
    • The selection committee is composed of members from the 2024 Walk with Me Conference Partnership and Advisory committee, culture change champions from across Canada. Representatives will include residents, family members, providers, associations, and partners.

    Online Application Form

    The 2024 Walk With Me conference is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion within its community and organization. We recognize that racism and discrimination have and continue to result in disparities within research and health systems for equity-deserving communities. We strongly welcome and encourage applications from Indigenous Peoples, racialized persons, women, 2SLGBTQI+ people, persons with disabilities and people from other equity-deserving groups.

    Any issues or questions please contact 

    Nominations are now closed

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