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About Us

Creating a culture of innovation in Canada by discovering, encouraging and rewarding Canadian innovators of all ages.

Since 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been telling the stories of Canadian innovators with the imagination to innovate and the stamina to succeed. 

The Foundation was established in 1980 by Alberta Energy Company CEO David Mitchell to recognize and celebrate Canadian innovators of all ages and across all disciplines. Mitchell decided that Canada needed to honour and to support its home-grown innovation heroes. He believed Canadians who turned their creative genius into beneficial technology deserved recognition within their own country.

It was a bright idea and it needed a prominent Canadian who would champion the notion. David Mitchell found the right person in former Alberta Premier Ernest Manning PC OC AOE, who commanded national respect and held a strong belief in recognizing the intelligence of the common person. Agreeing to attach his name to the idea, Mitchell and Manning collectively built a nucleus of highly respected Canadian scientists and business people who became the first trustees of the new Foundation.

In continuing Manning's distinguished and reputable legacy, the awards program is dedicated to rewarding and recognizing deserving Canadians who aspire to "do good for the common good" - a principle foundation of his life.  His ideals of honesty, integrity and sincerity have since been integrated into the mission, vision and values of the Foundation, all of which are conducted in the noblest manner.

Thus, our family was born.

Since 1982, the Foundation has developed:

  • A network of nearly 3,000 young and adult innovators across Canada.
  • A large network of regional leaders committed to Canadian innovators of all ages through its 11 chapters situated across Canada, who donate many hours reaching out to individuals and organizations to find and recognize local innovators.
  • An independent, gold-standard peer review process of submissions.
  • A distinguished network of Canadian business and academic leaders who volunteer their time to serve as Foundation Trustees, Selection Committee members, Chapter Chairs and members.
  • A close working relationship with the Canada-Wide Science Fair as well as teachers and students participating in the Fairs. Since the Young Canadian program was introduced in 1992, an average of 75 students self-nominate their projects each year to be considered for one of eight Young Canadian Awards. To date, more than 120 students have received the Foundation’s Young Canadian Award.

Our Foundation celebrates and rewards Canadian innovators whose innovations are commercially viable, support our provincial and national economies by creating jobs and wealth, and position our country as a global competitor. Our innovators are leaders and visionaries who are positively impacting the Canadian economy while improving the human experience in its various dimensions around the world. 

We invite you to become a part of our family