Encounters With Canada is Canada’s largest and most successful youth citizenship and leadership forum. It is held at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre in Ottawa. It is in its 30th year of operation, with over 90,000 student alumni.
This one-week experience exposes all students attending the program to the wonderful geographical, historical, cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of Canada while studying the common theme of the program for that week. The whole experience leads all of the students to realize that in spite of the diversity of Canada, they have much more in common than just their theme of study. By the end of the week, they all have a strong and positive appreciation of this country. It has been and will continue to be a truly inspirational program for these future leaders of our country.
The Encounters With Canada Program started in 1982 as an initiative of the then Council For Canadian Unity at the newly established Terry Fox Canadian Youth Center in Ottawa. The purpose of the program is to bring approximately 3,200 young Canadians each year, from across the country, to Ottawa, in groups of about 120, for a week-long session at the Center. They study and learn to appreciate our national institutions such as the House of Commons, the Senate, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bank of Canada etc. The program also gives students an opportunity to study a common theme of their choice that is being offered that week. The themes include:
- Arts and Culture
- Canada Remembers
- Ecology and Environment
- International Affairs
- Journalism and Communications
- Medicine and Health
- Politics in Canada
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Science and Technology
- Sports and Fitness
- Vimy: Canada’s Coming of Age
The Encounters With Canada program receives its operational funding from the Federal Ministry of Heritage, other Federal Ministries, Provincial Ministries of Education, some corporations and student registration fees. It is with this last item that The Young Citizens Foundation is seeking your support. Your support will mean that students from every economic region and from all socio-economic groups will be able to attend Canada’s most inspirational youth citizenship and leadership program.
It must be noted, however, that The Young Citizens Foundation is an independent public foundation that is not legally associated with the Encounters With Canada Program.
- are not members of The Historica Canada Society that owns the program;
- are not members of its boards of directors; and,
- play no part in the formation of its operational policies.
What is our motivation?
The Young Citizens Foundation and its Board of Directors understand that Canada’s future depends upon developing Canada’s youth into knowledgeable and committed leaders who have a passion for the values that Canadian citizenship training develops. It is in Canada’s interest if we encourage students to attend such programs and to provide financial assistance when possible.