If you and your team have a project that exudes communication excellence, why not apply to be recognized for your great work? The Silver Leaf competition is open to all communication professionals, students, suppliers and partners in the Canadian communication, advertising, journalism and marketing industries. All work must originate in Canada and be implemented, published or broadcast within the previous two years of the day of submission. You do not have to be an IABC member to apply for the Silver Leaf Award.

Detailed Instructions

The resources on IABC’s Gold Quill website guide entry preparation; check your work against the criteria before you submit it.

Entry fees

Entrant Early-bird deadline Final deadline
Members $125 $150
Students $25 $35
Non-members $175 $200


Important Dates for 2022

Early-bird deadline: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 (5 p.m. EST)

Final deadline: Thursday, June 30, 2022 (5 p.m. EST)

  • All work must be implemented, published or broadcast between January 2020 and the day of submission.  If a long-term strategy was developed prior to January 1, 2020, and hasn’t been entered in this competition, it is eligible for entry.
  • If a long-term strategy developed before January 1, 2020, has been entered in a previous Silver Leaf competition, only new information and progress will be evaluated.
  • Materials produced or broadcast outside this market are eligible as long as they originated in Canada.
  • Include original material for the work sample. Syndicated, borrowed, reprinted or stock materials are not eligible.
  • You must include written permission to submit any entries that were produced on behalf of clients on the company letterhead of those granting permission.
  • All entries must conform to IABC’s Code of Ethics.
  • Work done for IABC chapters or regions is eligible for this competition.

Work plans for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 are limited to four pages using a font size no smaller than 10 points and margins no less than ½ inch. For Division 4, Communication Skills, you will need to submit a brief entry form, answering the following questions:

  1. Describe the organization and project. (800 characters, including spaces)
  2. Why was this project undertaken? (600 characters, including spaces)
  3. Who was the audience(s) for this project? What do you know about the audience(s)? (600 characters, including spaces)
  4. List up to three key measurable objectives for the project. How well did the project meet the objectives? (600 characters, including spaces)
  5. List up to three key messages for the project. (600 characters, including spaces)
  6. Describe the resources (budget, time, others) available for the project and how effectively they were managed. (600 characters, including spaces
  • Evaluation is based on IABC’s global seven-point scale of excellence for strategic planning and execution. An entry is considered to be competent if it scores at least 4. Entries must receive a score of 5.25 to 5.74 to receive a Silver Leaf Award of Merit.
  • Entries scoring 5.75 or higher receive a Silver Leaf Award of Excellence.
  • For Communication Management, Communication Research Management and Communication Training and Education entries, 50 per cent of the score will be based on the work plan and 50 per cent on the work sample. For Communications Skills and student entries, 35 per cent of the score will be based on the work plan and 65 per cent on the work sample.

Your entry will be disqualified if:

  • Payment is insufficient for the total number of entries.
  • Your entry includes mainly syndicated, borrowed, reprinted or stock material.
  • Your entry is the work of another person and you had no direct involvement.
  • The work plan exceeds the required length.

The Silver Leaf Awards program accepts entries submitted by a student or a group of students. Entrants must have been either full-time students at a college, university or other educational institution, or part- time students working toward a degree, during the time the entry was created.

Entries should reflect work performed in a student, not professional, capacity. Student categories recognize the work of those about to enter the professional communication field. If you were enrolled as a student but have professional communication experience or are employed in the communication profession, please enter the main Silver Leaf Program.

Work produced for educational courses, a club or volunteer association, an internship or other non- commercial activities while you are a student are eligible for submission. Work done for IABC or the IABC Research Foundation at the international level is not eligible. Work done for IABC chapters and districts or regions is eligible. Professors or advisers may not enter on behalf of a student.

Questions? E-mail iabcsilverleaf@gmail.com. To submit your entries electronically, please follow these general guidelines:

  • Work plans may not exceed four pages; work samples may not exceed 100 pages.
  • Clearly label all elements in your entry.
  • Include all required elements of the submission and work plan.
  • Meet IABC’s Code of Ethics.