Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 14, 2009 16:42 ET

Minister Moore Greets Encounters With Canada Participants

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2009) - Understanding Canadian history, identity, and institutions can help young people develop a stronger sense of pride in their country. The Historica-Dominion Institute's Encounters with Canada program provides young people with a unique opportunity to connect with Canada by giving them first-hand experiences with Canadian institutions and accomplished Canadians, all in a bilingual environment. That is why the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, was pleased to meet with Encounters with Canada participants during their visit to Parliament Hill. He spoke to them about the Canadian parliamentary system, as well as some of his own experiences as a Member of Parliament and as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

"By participating in Encounters with Canada, you have been given an invaluable opportunity to discover your country through each other, learn about Canadian institutions, develop civic leadership skills, and live an extraordinary bilingual experience," Minister Moore told the students. "You are future leaders of this great country, and I hope your experience in Encounters with Canada deepen your knowledge of and attachment to Canada, our shared history, and our key national institutions."

"On behalf of the Historica-Dominion Institute, the Encounters with Canada program, and particularly on behalf of the thousands of young people who have benefited from the program over its 27 year history, I wish to thank Minister Moore for the opportunity to visit Parliament Hill today and for the significant support his government has shown our organization," said Linda Brunet, Director General of Encounters with Canada. "The long-term, stable funding provided to Encounters with Canada by the Government of Canada through the Exchanges Canada program enables us to reach thousands of young people yearly and create the next generation of active, engaged citizens."

Encounters with Canada is a week-long bilingual program that provides young people aged 14 to 17 from different backgrounds and regions the opportunity to meet in Ottawa and get to know one another, discover their country, and gain a better understanding of Canada's major institutions. About 3 400 students take part in this program from September to May every year.

The program is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on Canadian institutions, including visits to the House of Commons and the Senate and a guided tour of the National Capital Region. The second part is organized around one of 13 sub-themes, which include Arts and Culture, Canada Remembers, Sports and Fitness, and Politics in Canada. Students take part in four modules each program week, including linguistic diversity, racism and multiculturalism, and Capital Think Tank.

On March 2, 2007, the Government of Canada announced more than $17.1 million in funding over five years to the Historica-Dominion Institute (formerly known as the Historica Foundation) for the Encounters with Canada program. In March of this year, the Government announced increased funding of $372,820 for 2008-2009 to help Encounters with Canada respond to rising transportation costs and ensure that the same number of young people could benefit from the program this year.

The Government of Canada has provided this funding through the Exchanges Canada initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage. For more information about Exchanges Canada, please visit

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations