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IMPACT Awards recognizes 7 focused areas (employee, customer, supplier, competitor, public, social enterprise, small communities) of innovations in Parry Sound Muskoka.

The winner in each category receives a $1,000 prize.


Awards Night 2019 Gala

Check out the event gallery!

When: April 11, 2019
Time: 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: JW Marriott – The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa


2019 Winners & Finalists


Julie Haist
30pt Design Inc.


Gary Froude & Gayle Dempsey
Muskoka Chautauqua

“Supplier/partner innovation” WINNER

Pascal Garrido
Muskoka Fire Pits


Michele Meadows & Barb
Muskoka Yarn Connection


Hartley Hutchinson, Rita Orr & Kristina Brics
Parry Sound Public Library


Linda J. Howes-Smyth
Shining Water Soap Co.


Johnny “Dungeon Master” Ahsome & Alissa Ahsome
Tea Beards


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


what will winners get?

Winners in each of the 7 categories will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, with supporting media and social media coverage.

Finalists will participate in a 90 second video (worth $3,000) describing their stories that will be posted on the website at least 1 month before the awards, with follow up social media coverage. Each finalists will also receive 2 complimentary tickets (worth $200) to attend the IMPACT awards Gala with a partner to network with other innovators in the community.


Any organization (for profit or non-profit) based in the electoral District of Parry Sound Muskoka. You can nominate your organization or nominate another organization (with their permission!)

can i nominate my own organization?

Yes, you can nominate your own organization or get others to nominate your organization.

what if my story is longer than the max. 1 PAGE?

Your submission will not be considered.

What if my video submission is longer than max. 2 min?

Your submission will not be considered.

who will judge the entries?

The Board of Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network.

what if other family & friends wish to attend the gala?

They can purchase tickets for $100 each (early bird discount $75)

can i nominate my own organization?

Yes, you can nominate your own organization or get others to nominate your organization.

what are some examples of stories you're looking for?

Let’s illustrate how this works with some stories –

"My Starbucks Idea" is perhaps the most famous example of customer innovation. They have received more than 45,000 ideas for coffee and espresso drinks, 22,000 ideas around atmosphere and location, 11,000 ideas around social responsibility, and 23,000 ideas around their Starbucks Card. Only about 3-5% of all ideas actually see the light of day. The company is transparent with the platform and tells customers which ideas are being reviewed, which ones are being launched, and which ones have been tested but didn't work. This site has been an absolutely crucial component to the success of the company.

In 2011 Unilever started a ‘Partner to Win’ programme to achieve “a much deeper level of collaboration with our supplier partners”. Unilever identified 200 of its most important suppliers who it decided to work with “much more closely”. In the first three years, about 70 per cent of the innovations have been contributions from suppliers and significant amount of costs have been taken out of the end-to-end value chain.

Toyota Creative Ideas and Suggestions System (TCISS) was created in 1951 and to date more than 40 million ideas have been contributed to the company from employees at all levels of the organization. If you were to ask Toyota, or for that matter any other company with a successful employee innovation program, they would tell you that even though you don't implement every idea, creating that culture of innovation where employees CAN submit ideas, is priceless. This means responding and providing feedback to employees even if their suggestions are not implemented.

Procter & Gamble launched “Connect & Develop”.  At P&G, their public facing innovation starts with a "needs list" that the company makes available. This list exactly what it sounds like and the focus areas range from beauty and grooming innovations to digital, business, and retail innovations. P&G receives over 4,000 innovation ideas every year. The effectiveness of this open innovation model can be observed by 35% of products originating from outside P&G, R&D productivity has increased by 60 percent and innovation success rate has doubled, while the cost of innovation has fallen.

Samsung and Sony who are constantly battling over creating top quality TV's teamed up to create a new product called S-LCD. This was in response to growing demand for high quality televisions as well as the dramatic changes that were happening in their industry as far as technology development and advancement. Both Samsung and Sony invested $1 billion into this new project and within a few years they were able to more than triple their investment. Both companies were also able to increase their market share over the competition.

Operation Grow a social enterprise driven to address needs identified by women who have experienced violence. The heart of the business is a vertical farm using cutting edge technology to grow pesticide free, non-GMO produce. Through subsequent focus groups Operation Grow identified that their business model had to address the predominant social issues identified by the women they serve: social isolation, food insecurity and poverty. The social goals of this enterprise are all meant to support women in obtaining self-agency and empowerment. With profit being reinvested into the enterprise their social goals are realized and increase in alignment with their business goals.

For example: When the elementary school in Dyess (Arkansas) closed the city officials agreed to accept the school as a donation from the district. Luckily, the community already recognized that its strongest cultural asset is the fact that Dyess was the boyhood home of music legend Johnny Cash. The leadership in this small town of just more than 500 people was able to see how an abandoned school building could play a critical role in its heritage preservation-based plan. The citizens of Dyess transformed the school building into a performing arts auditorium and capitalized on their unique cultural asset. The auditorium has become home to formal and informal events as well as fund-raisers for a planned Johnny Cash Memorial.