Humanist Canada sponsors an annual essay contest to encourage students in their education and in learning more about humanism. The Humanist Canada Essay Contest is intended to engender the critical thinking and communication skills that are valued by humanists.
Humanism is a non-theistic philosophy of life that encourages the use of science, logical reasoning, and critical thinking in defining goals and seeking solutions. It affirms the inherent dignity and worth of each human being as well as the ethical principles of truth, fairness, and compassion necessary to govern human actions for the improvement of our world. Secular humanism encompasses a wide spectrum of themes. Several ongoing social issues fall squarely within the purview of secular humanism such as freedom of thought and expression, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, abortion, medically assisted dying, poverty, and environmental concerns. Humanists are heartened by the increasing number of young people adopting secular humanism as a life philosophy.
Students may submit an essay in English or French.
First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $750
Third Prize: $250
Honourable mention: $50 each
A committee of Humanist Canada volunteers administers the essay contest. All copyrights will belong to Humanist Canada.
2020 Call for Essay Submissions
2020 Essay Contest Rules – PDF
Deadline – Wednesday September 30, 2020
2019 Winning Essay
Joshua Soifer was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up Jewish in a predominantly Christian community, where he is attending a Lutheran high school in order to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Joshua will pursue legal studies as well as the study of the humanities, including philosophy and political theory, in order to achieve his life goal: “ to place myself in a position where I have the ability to help shape society, as I believe that the most crucial changes come through the ability of those with authority to recognize the needs of the majority.” Joshua was on the highest-finishing Saskatchewan team at the 2019 High School Debate National Championships in Halifax. He also participated on his high school soccer, basketball, frisbee, and track teams during the most recent academic year and was the highest scorer on Team Saskatchewan at the under-15 National Basketball Championships.