Show your support for emerging designers through one of three RGD programs
Through sponsorship or event hosting, you can recognize excellence and encourage emerging designers as they pursue careers in the design industry.


"RGD's Designathons, Student Awards and DesignThinkers' scholarships all encourage emerging designers to get involved within the RGD design community. In addition to encouraging participation, these programs, created by the Education Committee, ensure that new designers are able to advocate for their own work, hone and expand their skill sets and grow their industry-related knowledge. It's been fantastic to watch so many young designers flourish with the support of these programs, and we are excited to see how these programs continue to positively influence the careers of many more designers in the months and years to come."

- Saskia van Kampen, Chair of RGD's Education Committee & VP of Education, Assistant Professor at OCAD University


"Pound & Grain is grateful to have the opportunity to sponsor an emerging designer to attend DesignThinkers. We're committed to fostering the continued strength of the design community in both Toronto and Vancouver."

- Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner at Pound & Grain, DesignThinkers Scholarship Sponsor


"I think it is the responsibility of every successful designer to support emerging talent. Sponsoring a Student Award is one of the ways q30 gives back to our community. A monetary award can mean a lot to someone who has not yet begun to earn a salary. We have had the privilege of awarding it to many talented, earnest and happy recipients. It has been a real joy for us to be a part of this important program."

- Glenda Rissman RGD, Principal at q30 design, sponsor of the q30 Award for Brand Design since 2006


"The Designathon is a tremendous experience, not only for the designers and the host studios, but more importantly for the not-for-profit clients that are involved. Even though the parameters are intense, client briefing to final deliverable in 12 hours, it is incredible to watch a team come together and work toward a polished, inventive and professional design solution within the accelerated time frame. "

- Dominic Ayre RGD, Creative Director at Hambly & Woolley, hosted during RGD's second Designathon and confirmed Toronto host of RGD's third Designathon


Currently, RGD is seeking support from creative agencies for three programs for emerging designers.


1. Help an emerging designer to attend DesignThinkers

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RGD invites companies to sponsor a Scholarship to DesignThinkers 2018 TO on October 24-25 in Toronto and for DesignThinkers 2019 VAN on May 28-29 in Vancouver. The cost to sponsor a Scholarship is $500 with all of the money going directly to the Scholarship Winner.


Confirmed Scholarship Sponsors for DesignThinkers 2018 TO are Arcane, Davis, Design de PlumeFusion Design Group and Pound & Grain.

Sponsors receive the following:

- Recognition on the DesignThinkers and RGD websites announcing the program and then announcing the winners

- Recognition in the printed DesignThinkers program

- Recognition at the event in opening remarks and on-screen

- Recognition on articles about the recipients' experiences

- 15% off registrations to DesignThinkers


2. Sponsor a 2019 RGD Student Award

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RGD's annual Student Awards Program recognizes the hard work, creativity and talent of Canadian design students. In the 20 years RGD has been organizing these Awards, we have distributed more than $290,000 in cash provided by industry sponsors of the program.


The 2018 Awards presented 18 - $1,000 Awards and garnered 549 submissions from design students attending 33 schools across Canada. Judging is currently taking place and the winners will be announced in early September. 


RGD is currently seeking sponsors for the 2019 Student Awards, which will launch in January 2019 with a submission deadline in early May. Awards can be for the type of work or an Area of Specialty, such as editorial design, logo design or digital product design, or an Award of Excellence, such as for UX, use of colour or typography. 


The cost to sponsor an Award is $1,250 with $1,000 going directly to the Student Winner and $250 going to RGD to help cover the costs for the program.


Benefits of sponsoring a 2019 Student Award include:

- Recognition in a PDF document featuring all of the winners

- Recognition on the RGD website

- Recognition on an Awards Certificate given to the Winner and any Honourable Mentions

- Opportunity to participate in the Judging of the Award (with recognition for the Judge)

- 1 complimentary registration to DesignThinkers (Toronto or Vancouver)

- 15% off additional registrations to DesignThinkers


3. Be an RGD Designathon host

A group of people sitting around a table in an industrial style work space. They\'re talking and working on laptops.




















RGD Designathons are an opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain experience working on real projects for non-profit organizations. In teams of 3 to 4, participants are mentored by a Creative Director as they complete projects over a 12-hour period.


RGD's second Designathon took place this past June with 5 studios across Canada hosting over 40 emerging designers, who designed projects for 15 non-profit organizations.


RGD is currently seeking location hosts for a Designathon, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 29, 2018.


As a host, you would:

- allow participants to use your space from 8 am-9 pm on Saturday, September 29, 2018

- arrange catering for the participants (RGD to cover cost)

- help organize the day's activities at your space

- ensure at least one staff person is available to coordinate the day


Want to get involved?


Parties interested in any of these opportunities can contact Hilary Ashworth, Executive Director, by email at or by phone at 1.888.274.3668 ext. 23.