Raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities in the built environment

Rick Hansen receives prestigious Excellence Canada Award recognizing outstanding leadership

Published: October 30 2013

National award presented to Man In Motion at

29th Annual recognition luncheon

(Toronto, ON)
– Canada’s Man In Motion, Rick Hansen, C.C., O.B.C., today received a Special Achievement Award from the Board of Governors of Excellence Canada, presented annually to individuals and private, public, and not-for-profit organizations that have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Quality and a Healthy Workplace®. Through their achievement and results, these individuals and organizations have made a significant contribution to the quality of life of Canadians. The Governor General of Canada is the Patron of the Canada Awards for Excellence, making this one of the most prestigious awards programs in Canada.

Hansen was nominated for his long-time efforts towards raising awareness of the potential of those living with paralysis after spinal cord injury (SCI) and his support for a cure. The award was presented at a luncheon following the 2013 Performance Excellence Summit held at the Westin Harbour Castle in Harbour Square. The Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE), held since 1984, are part of a national recognition program to showcase outstanding achievements of those who show a committed focus on excellence and organizational success.  Past recipients include Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. David Suzuki, and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Excellence Canada selected Hansen as this year’s CAE recipient as an “individual who has demonstrated his outstanding leadership and [for making] a significant contribution to society” and as one of the “most admired figures in Canada.”

“It’s an incredible honour to receive this award,” said Hansen. “Thank you to Excellence Canada for recognising my work towards creating an inclusive society without barriers. The success of the Rick Hansen Foundation is based on the desire of individuals to make a difference and I have been lucky to have had millions of Canadians, and people around the world, support this vision.

“My work began with my original Man In Motion World Tour over 25 years ago and will continue into the future. I hope that this award can inspire a new generation of difference makers who will lead social change and inspire others into action.”

Hansen – the first and only individual to successfully circle the globe in a wheelchair – founded the Rick Hansen Foundation in 1987 to leverage funds raised during his original World Tour to find a cure for paralysis after SCI and promote the values of accessibility and inclusivity. Funds are being raised to improve quality of life and support cutting-edge SCI research through the Rick Hansen Institute (and related organizations such as International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health) to discover treatment protocols that will become best practices in Canada and around the world, and to reach new levels of excellence towards a cure for SCI.


About Excellence Canada

Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is committed toadvancing organizational excellence across Canada. Since 1992, the organization has helped thousands of organizations become cultures of continuous quality improvement and industry role models through its four-level Progressive Excellence Program.

As a national authority on Organizational Quality and Mental Health at Work®, Excellence Canada provides excellence frameworks, standards, and independent verification and certification to organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. It is also the custodian and adjudicator of the Canada Awards for Excellence program, of which His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada is the Vice-Regal Patron.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation

Rick Hansen and his team have been raising awareness of the potential of people with disabilities through ongoing work to build an inclusive and accessible world while continuing to support research and programs to accelerate cures for paralysis after spinal cord injury (SCI).

The Rick Hansen Foundation has an outstanding fundraising record, with $280 million raised in 25+ years. Its efforts have also helped leverage tens of millions more. One funding recipient is the Rick Hansen Institute, a separate and specialized entity focusing on translating and accelerating SCI research into clinical practice.

Another innovation of the Rick Hansen Foundation is planat, an easy-to-use online accessibility information and ratings tool, which offers an opportunity to search and post reviews on the accessibility of buildings and public spaces in communities around the world. planat now contains information for 17,000 venues with 13,500 reviews from 20 countries around the world.

For more information about how we have impacted the lives of those living with SCI and other disabilities, please direct your browser to the following site:



For further details and for general press inquiries, please contact Dan Enjo,Communications Specialist, at 778-296-1571, or by email at denjo@rickhansen.com