The Canadian Shield Named Recipient of Two Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

The Canadian Shield Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award
The Canadian Shield Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year Award

The awards hosted by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce recognize business excellence and community impact in the Waterloo Region

WATERLOO, ON | April 23, 2021 — The Canadian Shield, a Waterloo Region-based medical device manufacturer, is proud to announce it has been named the recipient of the Large Business of the Year Award presented by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. The Canadian Shield's President & CEO, Jeremy Hedges, was also the recipient of the prestigious Young Professional of the Year Award.

The Large Business of the Year Award is presented to outstanding businesses or organizations in the Waterloo Region with over 50 full-time employees, who have demonstrated innovative and proactive leadership within their business or industry. Award recipients have also demonstrated measurable success as a business and/or as an employer, practiced good corporate citizenship, and made exceptional contributions by promoting community betterment.

The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who have tackled the challenges of entrepreneurship and/or have demonstrated professional growth and success in their respective field of work. Recipients demonstrate an exceptional level of leadership internally and within the community, while contributing to the community through active participation in community initiatives. Individuals who receive this award embody entrepreneurial ability and innovation in several areas including new products, customer service initiatives, technology, management, and processes.

As the recipient of these awards, Jeremy Hedges and The Canadian Shield are recognized for making a significant contribution to the Kitchener-Waterloo community through their novel efforts to meet the demand of PPE supply during the pandemic and build a stable, domestic manufacturing industry in Waterloo. The challenges overcome and resilience, led by Hedges, has created a lasting impact in the Waterloo Region.

Founded in March 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 global health pandemic by Waterloo-based education technology company InkSmith, the company pivoted its operations to address the shortage of protective gear for frontline staff in hospitals and medical facilities.

Today, The Canadian Shield is one of the largest manufacturers of medical-grade face shields and ASTM procedural face masks in the county. Under Jeremy’s leadership as CEO, The Canadian Shield has helped lead a domestic, made-in-Canada revolution when it comes to the production of medical devices and PPE. The company’s vision is to create a sustainable domestic medical manufacturing industry in Canada, so that our country will no longer need to rely on global supply chains.

In addition to helping to establish new standards and expectations for Canadian-made products, The Canadian Shield is the first Canadian manufacturer to develop their own cutting-edge advanced automation and vision systems for the production of medical devices. Through this new era in Canadian manufacturing, domestic companies like The Canadian Shield are able to compete directly with overseas producers.

“We’re honoured to receive this award for the part we’ve played in Canada’s COVID response. I really believe that what we did wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else in Canada. Waterloo Region is a powerhouse of innovation and this community is just built different,” says Jeremy Hedges, President of The Canadian Shield. “This is a great milestone for our team that wouldn’t have been possible without support from Communitech, the Chamber, groups like BestWR and so many other great people that have supported us every step of the way.”

Throughout this time, the company has prioritized community initiatives and has made an active effort to donate millions of masks to frontline workers across the country, in addition to fulfilling various contracts with government bodies and health authorities.

The company’s success has enabled them to heavily invest in IP and automation with the vision of building a sustainable medical device manufacturing industry in Canada. The Canadian Shield is continuously investing to become a world leader in medical equipment design and manufacturing and looks forward to extending its reach internationally and building a sustainable medical device manufacturing industry in Canada for years to come.

For a complete list of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award winners and more information about the awards program, visit


The Canadian Shield is a Waterloo Region based advanced manufacturing company that specializes in the design and production of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and the public.

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Shannon Dodangoda