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150 ‘CANADA 150&ME’ youth descend on Ottawa

Ottawa, July 4, 2017 – One hundred and fifty youth between the ages of 14-19, chosen from across Canada, descended in Ottawa on June 24 for eight days of experiential learning, leadership development, and community engagement activities as part of Canada 150&Me. The year-long project was aimed at starting a national conversation among youth about the greatest challenges and opportunities facing Canada for their generation.

Over the course of eight days, the 150 youth participated in a number of activities throughout the region, including attending the Governor General’s Awards on the Performing Arts; volunteering at the Gloucester Community Garden, Gatineau Park and Ottawa 2017’s ‘Picnic on the Bridge’; as well as visiting Parliament Hill and national museums. They also had key roles to play in the Canada 150 celebrations, performing in the Canada Day noon hour show, and acting as National Gallery “teen docents for a day,” talking to visitors about their favorite pieces in the Canadian Art Collection.

“The Government of Canada is proud to have supported such important Canada 150 initiatives – especially those programs that engaged with youth across Canada,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canada Heritage. “We can always celebrate our past and this sesquicentennial has been remarkable. But more important is how we excited young Canadians to become leaders in their neighbourhoods, schools, communities and beyond. Canada 150&Me has helped inspire such a generation.”

[We have attached a list of participants. If there is a participant in your community, we would be happy to connect you with him or her so that he or she may provide you with a local quote about their experiences.]

“What a fantastic week we have had in Ottawa. We have put young people at the forefront of our Canada 150 celebrations. We wanted to start a national conversation about issues that were important to them,” says Deborah Morrison, President & CEO of Experiences Canada. “Last week was the culmination of that conversation and the beginning of their journey as they help shape the future of Canada. They have developed life-long friendships with like-minded youth from across Canada. It will be fascinating to watch their growth as they take on leadership roles in the areas of mental health, the environment, human rights, advocating LGBTQ and inclusion issues, starting businesses and helping to develop the economy, creating new uses for technology and entering public life.

“We have accomplished what we set out to do! And this is the legacy of Canada 150&Me!”

Canada 150&Me is a signature Canada 150 initiative generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage. The project was also made possible with the support of presenting sponsor TD Bank Group, and national sponsors the Order of Canada, Great West Life, the McCain Foundation, Shaw Communications and WestJet. Program partners for the national capital region include Ottawa 2017, Aga Khan Foundation, Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Organizing Committee, Friends of Gatineau Park, National Gallery of Canada, and Museum of Nature.

About Experiences Canada

Experiences Canada is widely recognized as Canada’s leading service provider for youth exchanges. Launched in 1936 and previously known as SEVEC, Experiences Canada arranges travel, accommodation and programming for an estimated 5,000 young Canadians who participate in reciprocal exchanges annually.

About Canada 150

As much as Canada’s Centennial in 1967 belonged to an entire generation of Canadians, 2017 belongs to this generation. The goal of Canada 150&Me was to involve thousands of young Canadians in a conversation about Canada’s future, encouraging young people to take a leadership role in celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.

Canada 150&Me was a national competition for youth between the ages of 14-19. It started with asking students: “What is Canada’s greatest challenge or opportunity facing your generation.” 150 participants were selected to trave to one of four cities – Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal or Halifax - for an exciting week of educational, cultural and community activities. They were joined by other youth on-site and on-line at a one-day Canada 150&Me Youth Forum in each city based on a theme young people chose as the most relevant.

A second group of 150 participants were selected to travel to Ottawa from on-site and on-line participants at regional forums.

Debra Davis    7/5/2017


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