Harper Government Invests in Canada's Youth

TORONTO, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - Young Canadians will have more opportunities to learn about their country and connect with their peers, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, made the announcement at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival.

"Our Government is offering young people the opportunity to connect with one another, exchange ideas, and explore their potential while experiencing what our communities have to offer," said Minister Moore. "We are proud to invest in successful, affordable youth programs that give our young people the chance to learn about what makes us Canadian and will contribute to the strength of our country."

Today's announcement provides funding for eight projects that offer young Canadians a range of activities designed to strengthen their knowledge of and attachment to Canada. Through their participation in these projects, young people will be actively involved in Canadian communities, while learning more about different subjects including history and heritage, civic engagement, and arts and culture. Support was also announced for the Toronto International Film Festival's Ticketing and Accessibility Solution Project.

"The YMCA of Greater Toronto places great value on our partnership with the Government of Canada. Funding allowed us to provide access to leadership, empowerment, voice and engagement opportunities to all youth nation-wide, and has helped them increase their knowledge of Canada; connect to one another, creating lasting linkages and a stronger sense of community and civic engagement," said Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto. "It has enabled us, at a local level, to have a significant impact amongst Canadian youth and to ensure that their participation assures them of a positive experience through various life stage transitions. These YMCA programs provide a safe and structured environment where youth can take deliberate steps toward achieving their hopes and dreams."

The Government of Canada has provided total funding of $26,684,166 through 3 programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage: Exchanges Canada, Youth Take Charge and the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. For more information about the projects, see the attached backgrounder.

BACKGROUNDER

Exchanges Canada
The Exchanges Canada program helps Canadian youth connect with one another, experience the diversity of Canada's communities, languages and cultures, and get involved in the future of the country.
Location Organization and Project Amount
(Fiscal Year)
Toronto YMCA of Greater Toronto - YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada $8,700,000 (2012-2015)
Toronto YMCA of Greater Toronto - YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange $15,242,166 (2010-2013)
    TOTAL: $23,942,166
 
Youth Take Charge
The Youth Take Charge program provides opportunities for young Canadians to become involved in a range of activities designed to strengthen their sense of Canadian identity, their engagement in communities and their attachment to Canada.
Location Organization and Project Amount
(Fiscal Year)
Toronto Children and youth Cultural Development Association - Connecting Youth to Canada Through Communities and the Arts $370,000 (2010-2013)
Toronto ArtsSmarts - 21c Youth Creativity Challenge $320,000 (2011-2013)
Toronto TakingITGlobal Youth Association - Defining Moments: Discovering our Canadian Stories $450,000 (2010-2013)
Toronto Canadian Film in the Schools - REEL CANADA: National Expansion Project $550,000 (2011-2013)
Toronto YWCA Canada - Youth Act Up $552,000 (2011-2013)
Toronto Student Vote - Student Vote 2011 project $300,000 (2011-2013)
    TOTAL: $2,542,000
 
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.
Location Organization and Project Amount
(Fiscal Year)
Toronto Toronto International Film Festival Group - TIFF's Ticketing and Accessibility Solution Project $150,000 (2011- 2012)
$50,000 (2012-2013)
    TOTAL: $200,000
For further information:

For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
819-997-7788

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)