January 26, 2010 10:00 ET

Katimavik Executive Director to Leave After Ten Years of Innovation and Growth

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2010) - Katimavik Executive Director, Mr. Jean-Guy Bigeau, has officially announced his decision to leave his position. During his tenure at Katimavik Mr. Bigeau steered the organization through some of its most difficult trials and implemented innovative models leading to some of its greatest accomplishments.

Under his leadership as Executive Director, more than eleven thousand young Canadians were able to participate in this unique volunteer service program and as a result, hundreds of non government organizations increased their capacity to deliver essential services in communities across Canada.

Bigeau will leave the organization at the end of January 2010 after successfully leading Katimavik to a multiyear funding agreement.

"While I feel sadness in leaving the organization after so many years, I am extremely proud of the work that has been accomplished. I am especially thankful of the dedication demonstrated by our staff that allowed the many innovations and changes to the program to be successful. The past three years in particular were quite difficult as we operated in a state of uncertainty, not knowing if our funding was going to be renewed one year to the next," stated Bigeau referring to the cycle of moratoriums imposed on the organization by the Federal Government. "Katimavik is now entering a new era. Having navigated through the challenges of the last three years, I feel it is the right time for a change. With the multiyear funding agreement now secured, I believe I have accomplished what I set out to do, and it's time for someone else to build on what we started," he concluded.

"The many accomplishments attributed to Mr. Bigeau in regards to both funding and program development have provided the organization with a steady pattern of growth and innovation over the course of the past ten years," commented Robert Giroux, Chair of Katimavik Board of Directors. "Mr. Bigeau's dedication and acumen led to a major increase in program funding to a level of over 20M$ annually and he has contributed immensely in promoting the merits and value of national youth service to communities all over Canada.

Over the years, Mr. Bigeau has commissioned several impact studies to help demonstrate the many benefits of engaging youth in full time national service. He has written several editorials asking government to articulate and implement an all-inclusive national youth policy in order to encourage young people to be more civically engaged and participate in national civic service programs.

"Driving change and innovation at Katimavik has been a tremendously rewarding experience. There is no doubt that more work needs to be done to ensure that youth be provided with more incentives and opportunities to take up the challenge of civic participation and shape the future they will one day inherit. I will continue to work diligently toward a formal national youth policy so that all interested in youth development can work together more effectively," concluded Bigeau.

About Katimavik

Katimavik promotes civic engagement and fosters sustainable communities through challenging national youth service programs. Since 1977, Katimavik has enabled nearly 30,000 Canadians to be involved in more than 2,000 communities throughout Canada. Participants between the ages of 17 and 21 live with 10 other youth from across the country in 2 or 3 communities. They commit to 6 or 9 month programs where they volunteer 28 to 35 hours a week for a variety of non-profit organizations. Youth also benefit from Katimavik's structured learning program that focuses on the development of lifelong personal, professional and social competencies in the areas of civic engagement, healthy lifestyle, cultural discovery, official languages, communication, environmental stewardship and project coordination. For further information on Katimavik please visit www.katimavik.org or visit our blog at www.gokatimavik.com

Contact Information

  • Katimavik
    Victoria Salvador
    Marketing and communications director
    514-868-0898 (2361)
    Cellular: 514-707-1273