Katimavik is proud to announce that Canada's Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, has agreed to serve as Honorary Patron of the organization which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year!

    MONTREAL, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The Governor General of Canada, Her
Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, has extended patronage to
Katimavik, as it marks the 30th anniversary of its foundation. This
announcement launches the celebrations in a special way for Katimavik, an
organization that has shaped the lives of so many Canadians while contributing
to the social and economic development of over 2,000 communities across Canada
over the years. Founded in 1977 by Jacques Hébert, Katimavik is Canada's
leading national youth service program. More than 28,000 young Canadians have
participated in the program, learning valuable skills through volunteering,
group living and discovering their country.
    On behalf of the organization, Jean-Guy Bigeau, executive director of
Katimavik, stated, "We are honoured and privileged that Her Excellency has
agreed to serve as Patron for this special occasion. Her support will be an
inspiration to all those who embrace the mission of our organization, that is,
to foster the personal development of our nation's young people through a
challenging program of national volunteer-service while helping to build
capacity at the community level across the country."

    Program of activities

    Activities are planned for all those currently involved with Katimavik in
the 99 communities that are partnered with the organization in 2008, as well
as for alumni and friends of Katimavik so that they can reconnect with the
organization, and for the general public who would like to learn more about
this unique youth volunteer-service program.

    - Open houses in 99 partner communities throughout the spring 2008

      Get a real taste of Katimavik by visiting an open house in/or near your
      hometown and meet current participants from across Canada, project
      leaders, project coordinators and members of over 700 community partner
      organizations. You'll see first-hand the dynamic lifestyle that
      animates these groups who volunteer 35 hours a week on work projects,
      manage their household and participate in numerous learning program

    - Katimavik makes a gesture for the environment - May 24, 2008

      A volunteer-environment day extravaganza and festivities for all!

      Join us for the main event in any of the numerous communities across
      the country and participate in a full-fledged Katimavik volunteer-
      environmental project. Current participants in host communities will
      identify and organize the volunteer activity for which they deem the
      community would benefit the most from. This is the opportunity for
      Katimavik alumni and community members in 89 communities to roll up
      their sleeves and connect with a youth-driven initiative. A festive
      get-together will be organized as well to mark this unique occasion!

    - Virtual reunions for alumni - a contest to be launched in February 2008

      If you're one of the 28,000 alumni, participate in a fun contest by
      tracking down the other members of your group and get a chance to win
      great prizes!

    Details for all the above activities as well as the list of communities
involved, from Port Alberni, British Columbia, all the way to Goose Bay,
Newfoundland-Labrador, are available in the section dedicated to Katimavik's
30th anniversary at www.katimavik.org.

    Katimavik background

    During their nine-month service experience, participants aged 17 to 21,
live in three Canadian communities, where they volunteer 35 hours a week for a
variety of non-profit host organizations. Everyday life consists of living
with ten other young people from across the country, along with a project
leader. The staff member provides supervision and facilitates the
implementation of structured learning programs through a series of workshops
and activities pertaining to leadership skills development, learning our
official languages, environmental stewardship, experiencing cultural diversity
and integration first-hand, as well as adopting a healthier lifestyle. The
intent of the program is to shape responsible citizens while contributing
significantly to the social and economic development of Canadian communities.
    In 2006-2007, 957 participants contributed the equivalent of
743,997 volunteer work hours to over 700 non-profit organizations. The value
of these volunteer hours is estimated at $11,630,000.(1)


    1. Calculated using the average wage in the volunteer sector, according
       to Statistics Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Christine Rocheleau,
communications and external affairs manager, (514) 868-0898, 1-888-525-1503,
ext. 2241, Cellular phone: (514) 707-1273, crocheleau@katimavik.org

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