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Rise Awards 2020 Applications

About Rise Awards

The Rise Garfinkel Awards honours and celebrates outstanding achievements by Rise-supported entrepreneurs and Rise volunteers. Each year, a selection committee reads and reviews applications and nominations, and look for individuals who best embody the characteristics of a Rise Award winner:

A Rise Award recipient demonstrates entrepreneurial excellence, whether through running their own business, or helping owners through the critical moments of launch and growth. For a Rise client, we particularly focus on perseverance in the face of the many challenges encountered by entrepreneurs. The recipient uses their small business to build their self-confidence and increase their social inclusion.  For a Rise volunteer, we look for dedication to the mission and vision of Rise. They embody the values that form the basis of our belief that volunteers are fundamental to the success of entrepreneurs. Beyond their respective successes as Rise clients and volunteers, they are also a contributing member of their community, and take actions within their power to improve the livelihoods of those around them. Each recipient has a unique story to share, and we look forward to sharing the Rise Garfinkel Award 2020 recipients with you soon.

In order to be eligible for an Entrepreneur Award, clients must have started their business on or before December 2019. Volunteers must be nominated by an existing Rise client or fellow volunteer. Previous winners of a cash prize will not be considered. However, previous “Honourable Mentions” are invited to apply again.

Award Categories

Entrepreneur of the Year: For the entrepreneur that best exhibits success and growth in their personal and professional lives. They have made smart and sound decisions when it comes to their business planning. Their story is one to be applauded and celebrated, and can stand as an example to follow.

Resilience: For the entrepreneur that has overcome significant pitfalls and challenges (either personal or business). They have grit and perseverance and don’t take “no” for an answer. While every Rise client has their own personal challenges, the Resilience Award winner goes further than others in achieving their goals.

Start-up: For the first-time entrepreneur dipping their toes into small business ownership. They have done their homework and research, and diligently planned their launch. They’ve already had some initial success, and have a clear sightline into where their future lies.

Volunteer of the Year: For the Rise volunteer who has gone above and beyond for Rise clients and the organization. Their tireless dedication to the Rise mission and their contributions to individual clients is a clear example of exemplary service.

Rise Awards 2020 Client Application Form

Rise Awards 2020 Volunteer Nomination Form


  • August 5 to September 8: Application Window open
  • Late October/Early November: Selection Committee picks winners and honourable mentions
  • November: Winners and Honourable Mentions will be notified via email and invited to in-person event in Toronto
  • Early December: In-person Award Ceremony in Toronto


Who is Dr. Garfinkel?


Dr. Paul Garfinkel is a nationally and internationally renowned psychiatrist, researcher, academic leader, hospital administrator, humanitarian, advocate and innovator. He was the founding President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), serving from 1998 to 2009, where he oversaw, led and inspired the creation of Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre devoted to mental illness and addictions – one of the leading institutions in the world. Philanthropists and community leaders Joseph and Sandra Rotman created the Dr. Paul E. Garfinkel Awards for Entrepreneurial Achievement in honour of Dr. Garfinkel upon his retirement in 2009, based on their respect and admiration for him and his many contributions.