Everyday Political Citizens


EPCitizen 2015 launches June 24th!

The Everyday Political Citizen project celebrates positive political role models and builds a culture of positive politics in Canada. 

Conducted coast to coast to coast, the EPCitizen project aims to recognize the diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowd-sourcing hundreds of nominations for political citizens and celebrating some of the many thousands of ordinary people engaging in big and small ways in this country's rich political culture. Each year, adult and youth winners and finalists are chosen by a jury of prominent Canadians like Rick Mercer.

EPC winners

In this year of the federal election, EPCitizen will be expanding in exciting ways to include engagement activities across the country. While the media’s tendency will to be to focus on political leaders, EPCitizen will include many more Canadians in the story, making the election about democracy broadly and the work being done at a grassroots level in communities across Canada.

Nominations for the 2015 Everyday Political Citizen project open on June 24th! Stay tuned!

Partner with Samara on EPCitizen 2015

Nenshi and LeesFor 2015, Halifax is joining the ranks of municipal partners and we're developing new resources to help organizations across the country make EPCitizen their own.

Municipal partners like Mayor Naheed Nenshi in Calgary and Councillor Michael Walters and Mayor Don Iveson in Edmonton (check out all the Edmonton nominees in this great document that the city prepared!) have given the project a huge boost in the past, hosting events in their respective cities. 

If you have suggestions for cities or other partners—or if you want to be a Samara ambassador leading the project in your community or municipality—please let us know by emailing Communication Coordinator Mark Dance.

EPCitizen Sponsors

The Everyday Political Citizen project would be impossible without contributions from generous sponsors. Funding helps us run our website, create promotional materials, convene events around everyday political citizenship and build the community of Canadians who are passionate about positive politics.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of EPCitizen, please get in touch with Samara co-director Kendall Anderson at [email protected]

Project sponsors have included:


2014 Everyday Political Citizen Winners

Thank you to all the nominators and nominees for making the second instalment of Everyday Political Citizen so great, with more than 350 nominees from coast to coast to coast. You can check out all the nominees by clicking this link and you can watch Rick Mercer announce the 2014 Everyday Political Citizen winner below: 

Adult winner Tim Halman is a high-school political science teacher who was nominated by MP Robert Chisholm. Chisholm was impressed by Halman’s leadership in inspiring young Canadians to take an interest in democracy. Read Tim's nomination here. 2014 youth winner Nessa Deans is not your average grade six student. At only eleven years of age, Nessahas volunteered countless hours to her community and local political campaigns. Read Nessa's nomination here.

Runners up this year are Patti Melanson, a registered nurse from Halifax, NS, Anubha Momim, a community blogger from Iqaluit, NU, and Benoît Langevin, a youth outreach program director from Montreal, QC.  Youth runners up this year are Tia Carey of Guelph, ON and Wes Prankard of Niagara Falls, ON.

See the 2014 Adult Shortlist here, and the 2014 Youth Shortlist here. Also thank you to this year's Jury who made this very tough decision! 

Media impact

Part of the purpose of EPCitizen is to share the stories of everyday political citizenship across the country in an effort to shift the perception of Canadian political culture.

In that spirit, we do our best to connect EPCitizens with the media and have their voices heard. You can mine some of our mountain of 2014 EPCitizen media here:  

Teacher and shortlist member Neeta Kumar-Britten appeared in both the Herald and the Cape Breton Post. Youth worker Benoit Langevin, a runner-up, made it into the pages of the Montreal Gazette. The Edmonton Journal interviewed shorlister Nicole Chatterton and the Calgary Herald profiled Wendy LeesPostmedia covered the whole shortlist here while our director of research Jane Hilderman took to the pages of Huffington Post to write about the value of the projectCBC Vancouver talked to Eddie Tang, Metro Morning in Toronto chatted with Kevin Vuong, CBC Calgary featured Wendy Lees, CBC Cape Breton covered Neeta Kumar-BrittenCBC Kitchener-Waterloo interviewed Tia CareyMetro Edmonton talked to youth winner Nessa Deans while the Chronicle Herald caught up with adult winner Tim Halman.

The Process

EPCitizen developed out of Samara research. In the case of EPCitizen, our report Lightweights shed light on the diversity of forms of political participation and the need for Canadians to more fully appreciate what democracy looks like beyond the ballot box.

After receiving over 350 submissions from Canadians across the country, seventeen jury members, including CBC personality Rick Mercer, NHL defenseman Grant Clitsome, Edmonton Councillor Michael Walters and former mayor of Iqaluit Madeleine Redfern, selected a shortlist from the nominations collected coast to coast to coast. With Chief Electoral Officer Dave Meslin's help they voted, using the Borda method, on the winners (read more about the Borda method).

Riding Map

Yellow: #EPCitizen found!
BlueNo nomination


We're pleased that the 2015 edition of the Everyday Political Citizen project will be expanding past the the contest that we've run for the last two years to include a new collaboration with National Post and Postmedia.

CitizenSPARKS will be a set of engagement experiments and democracy initiatives with a national scope and grassroots depth, running concurrently with the Everyday Political Citizen project. More details coming soon!

NP logo

More on EPCitizen

To find out more about EPCitizen or to get in touch about any questions you might have, don't hesitate to write to our Communications Coordinator Mark Dance right here.

#EPCitizen on the blog

  • April 15, 2015

    Samara's Exciting April News

    So far April has been a great month for Samara: we were recently awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant and the search has begun for three exceptional individuals to join the Samara team!
  • December 05, 2014

    Friday Fill(ibuster): EPC finale!

    This week's democracy news roundup looks at political leadership in a variety of ways, with spotlight on the finale of our Everyday Political Citizen project.
  • November 26, 2014

    Choosing how we choose: Selecting a ballot process for the Everyday Political Citizen

    We are so excited to have Dave Meslin return as the Everyday Political Citizen contest's Chief Electoral Officer! Learn about the Borda voting method he'll use to choose a winner.