Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

October 14, 2009 13:30 ET

Minister Moore Announces Renewed Youth Program Funding, October 14, 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 14, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced a $60-million investment in youth programs that will give young Canadians more opportunities to get personally involved in activities that strengthen their attachment to Canada. Minister Moore confirmed new investments in the Youth Take Charge* funding program, new funding for Action Canada, and renewed and stable funding for the Katimavik program.

"Our Government firmly believes that a strong attachment to Canada unites Canadians in a common purpose and enables us to succeed as individuals and as a nation," said Minister Moore. "By supporting young Canadians in activities that allow them to be active citizens, our Government is building a strong nation for our future."

Youth Take Charge* will help get young Canadians involved in a range of activities designed to strengthen their knowledge of and attachment to Canada. An investment of $12.3 million over three years will help established youth-service organizations across Canada engage young Canadians in activities that include history and heritage, civic engagement and youth service, arts and culture, and economic activities. Through their active participation, young people will learn to get actively involved in their communities, strengthening our country and shared future.

Katimavik, Canada's national volunteer-service program, empowers young people to make a significant contribution to local communities and participate in nation building. The Government of Canada has committed $45 million over three years to provide Katimavik with the stability it needs to increase private and individual support for its programming.

"This multi-year funding agreement will translate into long-term growth. We are now in a better position to implement our five-year strategic plan, which includes a detailed roadmap for broadening our capacity to strengthen civic engagement and community building across Canada," said Jean-Guy Bigeau, Executive Director of Katimavik. "In these difficult economic times, we are committed to developing an effective funding diversification plan in order to make available more opportunities for youth to serve our communities across the country."

Like Katimavik and Youth Take Charge*, Action Canada provides young Canadians with the opportunity to meaningfully connect with Canada. A $3-million investment over three years will boost Action Canada's significant private sector support to offer young Canadians a concentrated leadership program. This intensive program offers Canada's future leaders an opportunity to address the most pressing public policy challenges facing Canada and to refine their leadership skills.

"Minister Moore's announcement of three years of funding for Action Canada demonstrates the government's commitment to working with the private sector to develop young leaders for Canada's future," said Samuel Belzberg. "As co-founder of Action Canada and its private sector partner, I thank the government for this significant contribution. It will enable us to continue to grow the Action Canada network of emerging leaders across our country."

By supporting our young people in becoming active citizens, the Government of Canada is building a strong nation for our future. For more information about Canadian Heritage's youth programming, visit www.canadianheritage.gc.ca.

* The name Youth Take Charge is a provisional name and may be subject to change.

BACKGROUNDER

The Government of Canada recognizes that in today's fast-paced, globalized world, young people face multiple and often competing demands for their time and attention. This trend, combined with rapid demographic changes brought about by an aging population and immigration, is straining the ties that have traditionally bound youth to country, community and even each other.

Our Government is committed to working with communities, young people, and civic-minded organizations to slow down, stop, and ultimately reverse these trends so that together we can build a stronger, more prosperous nation and foster a deeper sense of attachment to Canada. We firmly believe that a strong attachment to Canada unites Canadians in a common purpose and enables us to succeed as individuals and as a nation. That is why we are proud to invest $60 million in a three-pronged approach that will encourage young people to develop Canadian identity by becoming attached to Canada and involved in the shaping of its future.

Youth Take Charge* was developed following discussions with other federal departments and youth-led youth-serving organizations. Through an investment of $12.3 million over three years, this program will help seasoned youth-service organizations with national or provincial/territorial reach carry out significant work with young people in the fields of history, heritage, civic engagement, youth service, arts and culture, and economic activities.

Support to Katimavik—in the amount of $45 million over three years—will provide that organization with the stability it needs to increase private and individual support for its programming. Katimavik is a national volunteer and training program that provides more than 1000 young people, aged 17 to 21, an opportunity to acquire personal and professional skills by getting them involved in community projects in both French- and English-speaking regions of Canada. Founded in 1977, it is based on the concept of service learning; groups of 11 participants live together and volunteer in community projects. Participants also take part in a learning program with topics that include leadership, official languages, healthy lifestyles, the environment, and cultural discovery. A study prepared for Katimavik indicated that in 2006, the average total value of volunteer work for the 105 communities it worked in was estimated to be $16,138,331. Over its 30-year history, Katimavik has built an impressive track record of engaging young Canadians in volunteer activities with community partners across the country. Through their participation in the program, young people learn first-hand the benefits of a bilingual and diverse society as well as the richness of Canada's cultural and geographic diversity. By providing meaningful experiences to hundreds of young Canadians each year, Katimavik helps them become involved in communities of all sizes and makes a difference to our country today while building lifelong habits of active citizenship.

A $3-million investment over three years in Action Canada will boost its significant private sector support to offer young Canadians a concentrated leadership program. Action Canada's goal is to identify and nurture future leaders for Canada while promoting the active participation of young Canadians, from various disciplinary backgrounds, in the renewal of ideas and the building of our country. Participants learn and interact with current leaders in government, business, NGOs, and academia, and undertake public policy projects of significance to Canada. Action Canada develops innovative and high-quality research on key public policy issues. It fosters the creation of leadership networks spanning the diversity of the country and the development of a renewed spirit of collaboration among the public, private, and voluntary/non-governmental organization sectors. The program is open to Canadians under the age of 30.

* The name Youth Take Charge is a provisional name and may be subject to change.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    deirdra.mccracken@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca