About MCIS

Since its inception in 1989, MCIS has maintained its commitment to vulnerable persons and their rights to access important services and information in their respective languages. Newcomers with limited language skills in English and/or French face everyday challenges to full participation in Canadian society. This is especially true for certain groups including refugees, victims of domestic violence, and seniors. Frontline staff in organizations providing critical information and services to newcomers struggle equally in serving these groups.


About the Challenge

The MCIS Language Impact Challenge is a grant ($25,000) intended to address gaps in funding for language advocacy in Ontario. This grant seeks to support innovative proposals that incorporate creative and unique ways through which people of diverse backgrounds can be engaged to advocate for change.

The MCIS Language Impact Challenge 2017 will fund the development of a LANGUAGE ADVOCACY KIT. The kit will be a tool for newcomers, non-profits and decision-makers to advocate for change in their communities.  The kit should be designed to help influence policy change in regards to language access rights and help those interested in improving language accessibility in their communities to understand how to create an effective advocacy campaign.

The Toolkit

The toolkit should include at a minimum:

I. LANGUAGE RIGHTSGeneral, compelling information on language rights and the importance of overcoming language barriers to ensure access to critical information and services

II. ADVOCACY METHODSUseful information on various methods of advocacy, when to use each, and how to voice concerns most effectively (e.g. developing and implementing policy campaigns, coalition building and maintenance, influencing decision makers, engaging grassroots support, communications and media, telling your story, funding)

III. COMMUNITY OUTREACHA comprehensive outreach plan for making the toolkit available to communities across Ontario

How to Apply

Individuals, non-profits, grassroots organizations and social enterprises are invited to submit their entries between September 1st and October 1st, 2017. MCIS will shortlist the entries to 3 finalists, and a panel of judges will select a winner who will be announced at our Annual General Meeting.

Community Advisors


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Selection Process

A team of MCIS stakeholders will form the selection committee, with the top 3 projects selected as finalists.

The selection committee will evaluate each application based on the following criteria:

  • LANGUAGE ADVOCACY IMPACT: How will the proposed project improve understanding of language as a medium to improve access to critical information and services?

COMMUNITY IMPACT: How will the project improve the lives of local newcomers?

INNOVATION: Does the project tackle the issue of language advocacy in a new and creative way?

APPLICABILITY: How/whether the proposed toolkit can be a model and applied to other communities and in other circumstances that what the proposers may be envisaging. Can this proposal serve as a model for other communities? A comprehensive outreach plan for making the toolkit available to communities across Canada will need to be included with the proposal.

FEASIBILITY: Is the proposal well developed with a solid plan for execution?

Please email zoya@mcis.on.ca if you wish to be alerted when applications are open.