Prix d’Excellence

Recognizing outstanding achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, communications, marketing, development, advancement services, stewardship and overall institutional advancement.

2022 Prix d’Excellence Celebration & Results

Thank you to Tempo Framing Systems for their continued support of the Prix d’Excellence Award program for over 20 years!

Special thanks to our 2022 Emcee!

Ben Chapdelaine

Associate Director, Annual Giving, McMaster University

Categories & Award Winners

Category Gold Silver Bronze
CATEGORY 1: BEST ALUMNI EVENT Wilfrid Laurier University - Virtual #LaurierHomecoming 2020 McGill University - At-Home-Homecoming Queen's University - SmithConnect Live Goes Virtual
CATEGORY 2: BEST DEVELOPMENT EVENT University of Manitoba - Front & Centre Campaign Wrap Concordia University - Shuffle 31 Algonquin College - Ciena Lab Recognition Event
CATEGORY 3: BEST SPECIAL EVENT Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning - Virtual Convocation Wilfrid Laurier University - Black Women in Leadership Concordia University - Virtual launch of Applied Science Hub
CATEGORY 4: BEST ALUMNI INITIATIVE Concordia University - CU at Home St. Francis Xavier University - Alumni Chapter Challenge British Columbia Institute of Technology - BCIT Alumni Holiday Market
CATEGORY 5: BEST FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE St. Francis Xavier University - The Circle of Abundance - Coady Institute St. Francis Xavier University - Point After Club Northern Alberta Institute of Technology - NAIT COVID-19 Student Relief Fund
CATEGORY 6: BEST DONOR RELATIONS INITIATIVE No Award - No Award Queen's University - Mitchell Hall Anniversary Videos University of British Columbia - Holiday Extravaganza
CATEGORY 7: BEST COMMUNITY OUTREACH INITIATIVE Neighbours Helping Neighbours - St.Francis Xavier University Ask a Scientist - McMaster University CU Cares - Concordia University
CATEGORY 8: BEST VOLUNTEER INITIATIVE Dalhousie University - Dal Insight Circle Mount Allison University - AVATARS Queen's University - Arts & Science Student Outreach Initiative
CATEGORY 9: BEST INDIGENOUS RELATIONS INITIATIVE Cape Breton University - Learning About the L'nu Way University of Saskatchewan - māmowi āsohtētān Internal Truth and Reconciliation Forum University of Manitoba - Indigenous Scholar Profile and Speaker Series
CATEGORY 10: BEST MEDIA RELATIONS INITIATIVE No Award - No Award St. Francis Xavier University - CJFX Radio Interviews with StFX President No Award - No Award
CATEGORY 11: BEST PUBLIC RELATIONS/MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE University of Manitoba - Spring Convocation 2020 University of Waterloo - Pharmacy on the Frontlines Université de Montréal - #RestonsChezNous
CATEGORY 12: BEST STUDENT AND/OR YOUNG ALUMNI INITIATIVE Wilfrid Laurier University - Laurier welcomes first-year students virtually McMaster University - Creating Class to Class Connections McGill University - Welcome Class of 2020 Campaign
CATEGORY 13: BEST ANNUAL GIVING INITIATIVE University of British Columbia - We are at a turning point in history - Annual Alumni Appeal Dalhousie University - Giving Tuesday: Increasing food security for Dalhousie students Wilfrid Laurier University - Our Laurier Campaign 2020
CATEGORY 14: BEST ADVANCEMENT SERVICES INITIATIVE McGill University - Advancement U: Fundraiser's Core Bootcamp Queen's University - Briefcase Report Initiative Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning - Implementation of Blackbaud Award Management
CATEGORY 15: BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA Algonquin College - Algonquin College Convocation Ceremonies Cape Breton University - A Life of His Own - CBU Caper University of Toronto - Stay At Home Club
CATEGORY 16: BEST NEW IDEA: CREATIVITY ON A SHOESTRING University of Victoria - UVic: Engaging students in philanthropy in a virtual world. University of Toronto - Back to Skule Wilfrid Laurier University - Laurier Rezoomions – a reunion, on zoom!
CATEGORY: 17 BEST WEBSITE McGill University - Made by McGill microsite University of Victoria - UVic Website Redesign McMaster University - Digital Delight: Re-imagining the Online Student Experience in a Pandemic
CATEGORY 18: BEST ONLINE PUBLICATION Wilfrid Laurier University - Laurier Campus Magazine University of Toronto - University of Toronto Magazine (online) Northern Alberta Institute of Technology - NAIT -
CATEGORY 19: BEST USE OF MULTI-MEDIA Western University - Western University Virtual Tour McGill University - Made by McGill Alumni Webcasts Ryerson University - The Forefront: Ideas for Cities
CATEGORY 20: BEST USE OF VIDEO/FILM (5 mins or less) University of Victoria - UVic: A cookie recipe - the university budget and why donations matter University of Toronto - The Twelve Days of Skule University of Waterloo - The Arts First program at University of Waterloo's Faculty of Arts
CATEGORY 21: BEST USE OF VIDEO/FILM (5-45 mins) University of Alberta - Let’s Powwow with the Faculty of Native Studies! University of Waterloo - Campus Tour McGill University - Marc Bieler: Portrait of a Donor
CATEGORY 22: BEST PRINT MAGAZINE University of Toronto - University of Toronto Magazine Université de Montréal - Tous contre la COVID-19, une mobilisation sans précédent University of Manitoba - UM Today The Magazine, Spring 2020
CATEGORY 23: BEST REPORT TO DONORS McGill University - McGill University Report on Giving 2019 University of Toronto - Fletcher-Clark Scholarships in Science and Economics "Thank You" Report Queen's University - 2020 Fund Reporting
CATEGORY 24: BEST PRINT BROCHURE, NEWSLETTER, OR FLYER Ryerson University - Elevation Concordia University - Momentum Dalhousie University - Better Together
CATEGORY 25: BEST FEATURE WRITING - ENGLISH University of Toronto - "The Truth Saved My Life," University of Toronto Magazine Queen's University - This is what nurses do Western University - The Forgotten Ones: Untold and unseen consequences of COVID-19
CATEGORY 26: BEST FEATURE WRITING - FRENCH McGill University - L'humour, c'est du sérieux! No Award - No Award No Award - No Award
CATEGORY 27: BEST ADVERTISEMENT OR POSTER No Award - No Award University of Saskatchewan - Maclean's University Rankings Discoverers Ad Fall 2020 University of Windsor - University of Windsor "Made in Windsor Maclean's Magazine Ad"
CATEGORY 28: BEST PHOTOGRAPH Saint Mary's University - Introducing Charisma Grace, SMU's first African Nova Scotian/Black Student and Community Liaison Acadia University - Bulletin cover "Five Deans" No Award - No Award
CATEGORY 29: BEST FUNDRAISING MATERIALS Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning - The Canadian Music Theatre Project: The Next 10 Years Concordia University - Canada's Next-Gen Hub of Interdisciplinarity Queen's University - Isabel Bader Chair in Art Conservation Pro
Category 30 : Best Fundraising Materials No Gold Awarded -  Campaign for Acadia - Acadia University Landmark Paver Mailing - University of Toronto
Category Gold Silver Bronze
Category 1 : Best Alumni Event Wilfrid Laurier University - 15th Anniversary Criminology Dinner Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning - Humber Film at 50 St. Francis Xavier University - Homecoming 2019
Category 2 : Best Development Event McMaster University - Juravinski Gala: Celebrating a Philanthropic Journey & Lasting Legacy McGill University - Made by McGill Campaign Launch University of Saskatchewan - RBC Learn to Work, Work to Learn Program Gift Announcement
Category 3 : Best Special Event Trent University - Celebrating 90 Years Carleton University - Welcome Home Dominion-Chalmers Pipe Organ Event Queen's University - Bader International Study Centre 25th Anniversary
Category 4 : Best Alumni Initiative St. Francis Xavier University - Celebrating 50 years of Women Athletics McMaster University - How a Free Trial Led to a Big Welcome Queen's University - Queen's Venture Network & Supporting the Ecosytem for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Category 5 : Best Fundraising Initiative University of Saskatchewan - One Day for Students University of Toronto - FY20 ALG Fall Campaign Queen's University - MBA Legacy Fund
Category 6 : Best Donor Relations Initiative St. Francis Xavier University - Mulroney Liaison Officers McGill University - Centralized Annual Fund Stewardship Dalhousie University - 2019 Thankathon
Category 7 : Best Community Outreach Initiative University of Saskatchewan - Food For Thought Film Screening and Forum Algonquin College - Estetics Program for Syrian Refugees Queen's University - Queen's University Canada Day Celebration in England
Category 8 : Best Volunteer Initiative University of Alberta - Alumni Student Support & Engagement Team (ASSET) McGill University - Leaders Alliance Lunch and Workshop No Recipient
Category 9 : Best Indigenous Relations Initiative St. Francis Xavier University - Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Alumni Gathering Trent University - Michi Saagiig Protocol Guide Book Université de Montréal - Cérémonie des réussites autochtones
Category 10 : Best Media Relations Initiative Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics - Black hole breakthrough St. Francis Xavier University - Mulroney Institute and Mulroney Hall Grand Opening Leaving a legacy: $100 million research gift for three institutions
Category 11 : Best Public Relations/Marketing/Communications Initiative Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning - Blown Away - Partnering on a Netflix Reality Show to Highlight Sheridan's Expertise in Glass Education University of Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Rush Fan Appreciation Night Honouring U of S Alumni University of Manitoba - Peebles - Our Nobel Laureate
Category 12 : Best Student and/or Young Alumni Initiative No Recipient Holland College - Earn a Car Lakehead University - LUSAA is Born - The building of a team
Category 13 : Best Annual Giving Initiative Wilfrid Laurier University - Making Space for Music Giving Day University of Waterloo - Calendar Year-End Appeal 2019 University of Victoria - Giving Tuesday - Add Sprinkles UVic
Category 14 : Best Advancement Services Initiative No Recipient University of Toronto - ALG Campaign CUBE Carleton University - Behind the Scenes on Giving Tuesday
Category 15 : Best Use of Social Media Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics - Science trip contests McMaster University - Encouraging Students to Think Global University of Manitoba - @umstudent
Category 16 : Best New Idea: Creativity on a Shoestring Wilfrid Laurier University - Our Contest Doesn't Suck University of British Columbia - Alumni UBC Career Development Webinar Series - Career Planning for UBC Alumni, By UBC Alumni Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics - Physics wallpapers
Category 17 : Best Website McGill University - Giving website McMaster University - Discover McMaster website University of Waterloo - Waterloo-Connecting imagination with impact
Category 18 : Best Online Publication Université de Moncton - ALLUMEZ - votre magazine web St. Mary's University - 2019 Report to the Community University of Alberta - Folio: Building a better brand journalism platform
Category 19 : Best Use of Multi-Media University of British Columbia - alumni UBC VR video Dalhousie University - Sciographies University of Guelph - The Why & How Podcast
Category 20 : Best Use of Video/Film McGill University - Made by McGill in Motion Picture University of Guelph - The Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics Announcement Concordia University - "Concordians: take pride in your alma mater" - video
Category 21 : Best Print Magazine University of Toronto - UofTMed Magazine - The Art of Dying Issue (Winter 2019) University of Manitoba - UM Today The Magazine St. Francis Xavier University - 2018-2019 Donor Impact Report
Category 22 : Best Report to Donors University of Waterloo - 2018-19 Report on Giving University of Toronto - Boundless: Final Campaign Report - University of Toronto Acadia University - The Giving Report
Category 23 : Best Print Brochure, Newsletter, or Flyer Queen's University - Gift Planning Flyer for the Isabel Bader Centre McGill University - Legacy Giving Newsletter 2019 McMaster University - Brighter World: Research Excellence Brochure, Times Higher Education 8-Page Insert
Category 24 : Best Feature Writing - English Queen's University - A decade at the helm University of Saskatchewan - Truth and doubt Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning - Fifty Years at the Forefront of Teaching Art in Motion
Category 25 : Best Feature Writing - French Université de Montréal - Pas de vacances pour la recherche! McGill University - Cinéma québécois : Le vent dans les voiles (McGill News) Université Laval - Stéphan La Roche Un homme et son musée
Category 26 : Best Advertisement or Poster Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics - Black hole posters University of Waterloo - Waterloo Innovation Summit University of Manitoba - Peebles Airport Execution
Category 27 : Best Photograph University of Manitoba - Dorthe Dahl-Jensen: Below the Surface Branksome Hall School - On the Frontlines Acadia University - The Giving Report
Category 28 : Best Fundraising Materials McGill University - Made by McGill Campaign Materials McGill University - The McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection & Immunity: Solving Humanity's Deadliest Puzzles Mohawk College - Giving The Gift of Education - How the gift catalogue
Category 29 : Best Photograph Momentum - Mount Allison University Skule Bnad Pride - University of Toronto University of Toronto Magazine - University of Toronto
Category 30 : Best Fundraising Materials No Gold Awarded -  Campaign for Acadia - Acadia University Landmark Paver Mailing - University of Toronto

Entry Info

Applications are closed for 2022


Is there a file size limit for online entries?

The CCAE Office can accept any size file sent electronically via a file sharing URL. If using the online form there is a maximum of 20MB. However, we recommend that submitters compress file submissions to under 10MB. Larger files may be rejected by your school’s server and / or may require excessive time to upload. Please verify your institution’s server capacity before attempting to send files electronically. 

What are the submission information requirements?

1. Entries are limited to 3 pages. NOTE: No appendices will be accepted for any category. Categories 16 – 28 require additional creative materials, beyond the 3-page entry form, to be used in judging. There is a maximum of 2 supplementary creative materials allowed.

2. Each submission entered into any category must include a budget. Submissions that do not include a budget will be considered incomplete.

3. Submissions must include an indication of return on investment (ROI). This indicates impact on the school and / or shop, regardless of size of institution or budget. Not necessarily a financial measure, ROI may include enhancement of reputation, increased attendance at events, or other types of return.

In which categories are hard copies required?

None. Hard copy materials will NOT be accepted. For categories 16-28 creative materials are required. Please submit all creative materials in PDF, jpg, or png format. For images resolution must be a minimum of 200dpi and the image must clearly show the item. There is a maximum of 2 supplementary creative materials allowed.

Must I work at a CCAE member institution to enter the Prix d’Excellence?

Yes. It’s easy and very beneficial to join CCAE. Find out how to become a CCAE member.

Can I be invoiced for my entry?

Yes. Choose the “pay by EFT” option, and forward a copy of your confirmation e-mail to CCAE ( with a request for an invoice.

I'm having trouble submitting my entry online. Who can I call for assistance?

Call the CCAE Office at 613-531-9213; or e-mail

Please note, the office will not accept calls after 3 p.m. ET on February 7, 2023.

May I include additional materials with my entry?

ONLY categories 16-28 require additional creative materials. The judges will evaluate your submission based on the content of your 3-page entry form, AND in categories 16-28 the creative materials are used for judging. There is a maximum of 2 supplementary creative materials allowed in addition to the 3-page entry form.

How do I demonstrate to judges the uniqueness and innovation as it relates to my entry?

Institutions should provide context and background information that demonstrates why this initiative/event is unique, innovative and how it relates to your advancement shop.

What is the distinction between quantifiable and qualitative goals or outcomes?

Quantifiable refers to amounts that can be measured:
1. Dollars spent or raised;
2. Number of event attendees or website click-throughs;
3. Number of media mentions, awards or recognitions resulting from an initiative.

Who are the Prix d’Excellence judges, and how do they make their decisions?

All judges are volunteers with some level of professional expertise in the category they are judging. They are instructed to review and consider all the factors outlined in their category criteria and requirements.

The judging rubric serves as guidance to our judges and to provide consistency (in scores) across the categories.

In order to ensure consistency in the value of the CCAE Prix d’Excellence Awards, awards are not awarded to entries that receive less than a certain threshold and only one winner per category is assigned.  Once all entries are scored, judges are tasked with determining the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in each category and reserve the right, not to assign awards at every level. If scores in the category are low or there are a small number of entries in each category, judges will work to ensure the integrity of the program.

Can I submit my entry individually and then have my institution pay all at once for all our school’s entries?
Yes. Your institution can pay by EFT or online via credit card. Please ask your institution to include a copy of all confirmation e-mails with any EFT payment. All payments must be received by February 7, 2023 – the submission deadline date.
I didn't get a confirmation email. How do I get one?
Check your junk e-mail box. If the confirmation e-mail is not there, contact CCAE and provide the following information:
  • the first and last name of the submitter;
  • the e-mail address of the submitter;
  • the title(s) of the submissions (e.g. Annual Report of XYZ University, etc.)
I submitted an entry for my institution, can I still volunteer as a Host or a Judge?

 Most certainly! The Prix d’Excellence Program needs volunteers in order to run and each year between 80-90 professionals take the time to review entries and assign winners. CCAE will ensure you assign you on a category that is not conflicted with any submissions from your Institution. If you would like to volunteer, please contact us.

When will we find out the results?

There will be no advance notice of winners prior to the awards ceremony. The Prix d’Excellence awards will be celebrated in May 2022, exact details will be shared closer to this date. All recipients are encouraged to attend the online celebration and join in the recognition of their colleagues.

Top Ten Tips for Successful Entries


Flag great advancement work throughout the year, track your past and potential submissions, and brainstorm with other advancement shops at your school to select Prix-worthy work. Designate one person to compile and proofread all submissions.


This webpage contains useful resources. Comb through the past Prix d’Excellence recipients for ideas, and to ensure you are submitting a unique, innovative entry. Check the Frequently Asked Questions list for guidance.


Select the best category for your submission. Your odds may increase if your work fits in a less-populated category.


Look at the judging rubric and take care to follow all criteria for your entry. Read through all the 2022 categories, as there are changes from previous years.


Go with your best data, both qualitative and quantitative. Your entry should answer not just what and how, but also “so what?”


Don’t assume judges are familiar with jargon or your school’s / shop’s culture and context.


Be succinct. Limit your entry form to three pages, and do not provide the judges with supplementary material, unless submitting in categories 16-28, where supplementary creative materials are required. There is a maximum of 2 creative material files permitted for categories 16-28.


Check out what your peers are doing and what’s new in your industry, to assess if your work is truly leading-edge.


Clearly state your project’s objectives, and how these dovetail with both your outcomes and your school’s overall goals.


Submit your entry early. Don’t wait until the deadline date, when the CCAE staff and host coordinators will be extremely busy.