Awards of Excellence - How to Enter

Registration for the 2022 Awards of Excellence is now closed. 

Do you have an amazing interpretive program? Engaging exhibit? Out-of-this-world Facebook Live session? Awe-inspiring guided hike?

New this year: if you have programming occurring in December that you wish to submit for consideration, please contact to ask for an exemption to the deadline.

Each year, Interpretation Canada provides the Awards of Excellence program which highlights inspiring thematic interpretation all across Canada. 

The Awards of Excellence program is not a competition. Entries are judged based upon individual merit and are not compared against each other. 

Each product that meets the benchmarks for its category will be recognized. 

All entries should fit within the broad definition of heritage interpretation: 

"Heritage interpretation is any communication process designed to reveal meanings and relationships of cultural and natural heritage to the public, through first-hand involvement with an object, artifact, landscape or site."
(Interpretation Canada, 1976)

The Categories

Personal Interpretation:

Interpretation facilitated by a live interpreter that allows audience interaction in real time and can include, but is not limited to, face-to-face interpretation, live-streamed programs, webinars, prop talks, evening programs, costumed interpretation, theatrical programs, guided hikes, historical reenactments, etc. 

Please note that the 2019 categories of Personal Interpretation (Non-Theatrical) and Personal Interpretation (Theatrical) have been combined into this category./p>

Non-personal interpretation:

Interpretation that does not rely on the physical presence of an interpreter and does not allow the audience to interact with the interpreter in real time. This type of interpretation uses communications media such as text panels, exhibitions, video, digital media, pre-recorded programs, trail signage, activity booklets, podcasts, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, etc. 

Please submit one interpretive product per entry, not a compendium or collection, and not a marketing or outreach product featuring multiple programs. If you have questions regarding this, please contact

Why you should submit an entry:

On the fence about submitting an entry? Here are the benefits of submitting an entry:

All entries will receive detailed feedback on their program from the judges
    • Judges provide feedback on what worked well and where you can improve for the future. 

All entries that meet the criteria for an award will receive:
    • A certificate for each interpreter involved and for their organization (up to a maximum of 5 copies; additional copies upon request for a small fee)

    • Promotional materials that can be used to advertise your entry as an award winning program/product

    • Your entry will be featured on Interpretation Canada’s website, social media platforms and highlighted during Interpretation Canada’s Annual General Meeting. 

  • Our Awards program is one of the ways that Interpretation Canada strives to advocate for our profession. By showcasing high quality interpretation and developing standards, we are able to demonstrate what best practices in our field should look like. By entering our Awards, you are helping to raise the profile of, and standards for, our profession.

  • The awards program aims to recognize the high quality of interpretation in Canada and provide up and coming interpreters with feedback in order to raise the profession in Canada. 

Have questions? Contact

Submission Guidelines – How To Enter:

Document your interpretive programs/products.

Gather good-quality video, images, scripts and/or outlines of your work. It’s helpful for the judges panel to see the interpretive products in context—to be able to see and appreciate how your audiences interact with your work.  

Upload videos onto a video sharing platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. Please ensure the viewing permission is open (i.e. does not require a password) and does not exceed 1 hour in length.

Personal Interpretation: videos of your entire program are required for this category. Videos should include the introduction, body, and conclusion of your program. It is helpful if the video also captures some of the audience's response. For live virtual programming on platforms such as Facebook, please provide a link to the video on the original platform.
Non-Personal Interpretation: you can include photos, .pdf's of your projects, and/or videos of people interacting with your material. All images must clearly show all images and text, and be legible to the judges. Please provide high quality images. For virtual content, please provide the link to the relevant platform.
Not sure where your program/product fits? Contact to help you determine the category and how best to document your interpretive program or product. 

Complete the Awards registration form

  1. Go to the registration form
  2. Select "Register" at the bottom left-hand corner of the page and follow the prompts to complete your entry. 
  3. You may upload any additional files or provide web links to videos within the event registration form. Please provide additional files in PDF format and keep supplemental information brief.
  4. Within the registration form, you will be asked to answer the following:
    1. State your program/product theme.
    2. State the goals and objectives of the program/product.
    3. How does the program/product relate to your agency's or site’s mandate or mission statement? (max 200 words)
    4. Who is the target audience for this program/product? (max 200 words)
    5. What is the call to action for this program/product? (max 200 words)

Pay the administration fee.

You will receive a confirmation email with a receipt of payment and acknowledgement that your entry was received. 

$15 (plus GST) for members 

$45 (plus GST) for non-members. (Note: the administration fee for non-members includes a one-year individual professional membership.)

If you have issues uploading your submission files, please email the files to 



Incomplete entries may be disqualified. Refunds will not be given for incomplete entries.

Evaluation Criteria

The following is a general overview of the evaluation criteria for Interpretation Canada’s Awards of Excellence:

Personal Interpretation

  • Incorporation of theme
  • Purposefulness of program as it relates to goals and objectives
  • Identification of target audience
  • Call to action
  • Best practices and interpretive principles
  • Organization of presentation
  • Support materials
  • Delivery techniques
  • Audience Engagement

Non-personal Interpretation

  • Incorporation of theme
  • Purposefulness of program as it relates to goals and objectives
  • Identification of target audience
  • Call to action
  • Best practices and interpretive principles
  • Content
  • Design

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