Contest Description

Humanist Canada is pleased to sponsor an essay contest to encourage students in their education and in learning more about humanism. Students may submit an essay in English or French

  • First Prize: $1,000
  • Second Prize: $750
  • Third Prize: $250
  • Honourable mention: $50 each

(An identical set of prizes will be awarded to the winning French contestants).

Other prizes, in addition to the monetary prizes, may be awarded, including possibly having some of the winning essays being published in the Canadian quarterly magazine, Humanist Perspectives.

The essay contest promotes the logical thinking and communication skills that humanists value. Humanism is a non-theistic philosophy that encourages the use of science, reason and critical thinking in defining goals and seeking solutions to problems. It affirms the inherent dignity and worth of each human being and asserts that the ethical principles of truth, fairness and compassion necessary in the governance of human actions for the improvement of our world. We are heartened that an increasing number of young people are accepting secular humanism as their worldview.

A committee of Humanist Canada volunteers administers the essay contest. All copyrights will belong to Humanist Canada. Interested students may access application forms and guidelines from the Humanist Canada website, or clicking on the button below.

More information on humanism in Canada is available on our website and on our Facebook page

An original essay of 750-1500 words (not including references) is required, typed, double-spaced, in French or in English. An essay may have only one author. In addition, a parental permission waiver form (Required for students who are less than 18 years of age on March 1, 2019 who live in Alberta, in Saskatchewan, in Manitoba, in Ontario, in Quebec, and Prince Edward Island. and also required for students who are less than 19 years of age on March 1, 2019 who live in British Columbia, in Yukon, in Northwest Territories, in Nunavut, in New Brunswick, in Nova Scotia, in Newfoundland and Labrador), and proof of attendance in a Canadian high school or CEGEP. Students must be born after September 30, 1999.

The Humanist Canada Essay Contest Committee sometimes suggests an essay topic(s). This year the essay contest is open for students to apply their head and heart on any topic related to humanism that the student thinks will be of interest. For topic ideas it may be helpful to visit our website or the easily-searchable websites of other humanist organizations. If you have any questions or require more information please contact us at:

The deadline for essay submission is May 15, 2019. Winners will be announced in the spring or early summer.

Best regards,

Humanist Canada Essay Contest Committee (HCECC)

HCECC Advisors

Henry Beissel, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of English, Concordia University

Goldwin J. Emerson, BA, B Ed, M Ed, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy Dept., Faculty of Education, Western University 

Humanist Canada,

251 Laurier Ave West, Suite 900



Toll Free: 1 877 486 2671 Local: 613 739 9569

Humanist Canada

Additionnal information: 

  • For examples of writing and style guide it may be useful to consult the following link:   (see page 26)