Closing the gap between what we know and what we do

What is SPARK?

It can take up to 17 years for evidence-based knowledge to be translated into best practice. SPARK stands for Supporting the Promotion of Activated Research and Knowledge training program. It helps participants who work, or volunteer, in the mental health or substance use and addiction fields apply techniques for moving ideas into practice. SPARK brings together professionals, researchers, policy-makers, and volunteers from across Canada for training with KT experts, networking, ongoing group mentoring, and post-workshop assignments.

How does it work?

Selected applicants will be invited to attend a two-and-a-half-day workshop.  During this workshop, participants will work alongside an experienced mentor and other individuals interested in Knowledge Translation (KT) to further develop their idea.

By the end of the two and a half days, each participant will be equipped to move their ideas from a light bulb moment to a plan that can be put into action

Following the workshop, mentorship will continue for one year to support participants in following through on their KT plans and create positive change in the area of mental health.  Meet our Spark mentors!

Applying the Innovation to Implementation Guide: SPARK is built around the concept of innovation—developing new actions, services and relationships with the potential to improve mental health outcomes. Innovation to Implementation is a practical, step-by-step guide for creating an effective knowledge exchange plan. It highlights the importance of using a wide range of perspectives so that knowledge can be jointly identified, created and applied.

SPARK provides resources to:

  • Plan an effective knowledge translation plan using a simple, easy-to-use framework
  • Identify key stakeholders and design appropriate knowledge translation strategies to reach your audience
  • Connect with other people working on knowledge translation projects

Application process

The SPARK Winter 2020 Application Guide will lead you through the application process.

Complete your application to the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) SPARK training program by December 5th, 2019.

If you would like to apply for a subsidy, please ensure you complete the Subsidy Application Form in addition to the SPARK Application Form. Each application form will be reviewed based on criteria that will ensure an equitable distribution of subsidies.

If you have any questions about the application form and process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

Fees (one-year training program)

  • Regular participant fee: CAD $1,165.00
  • Canadian organization with limited resources/students (limited spots): CAD $395.00

Please note, there are also a small number of fully subsidized spots available for people with lived experience or individuals with limited resources. If you are interested in one of these spots, please indicate that on your application.

Key dates:

  • December 5th, 2019: Application deadline
  • January 2020: Selection of the participants
  • February 11th-13th, 2020: SPARK Training Workshop - Ottawa



Join the SPARK training program and connect with a network of over 200 SPARKies who have positively impacted communities across Canada through knowledge translation.  #mhccspark


Frequently Asked Questions


What is knowledge translation (KT)?

Who is SPARK for?

What is the review process for applications to SPARK?

Is there financial support offered to those applying to attend the workshop?

Related Documents

Past SPARK projects

Learn how past SPARK participants and their organizations have used the SPARK program to drive change within the mental health community.