MONTREAL, Nov. 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - To include young Quebecers in the lead up to Canada's sesquicentennial, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) has launched Young Quebecers Leading the Way, a three-year project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage's Youth Take Charge program. In partnership with the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) and the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS), the project will oversee three annual youth forums in 2015, 2016 and 2017 where participants aged 15 to 25 will offer their views on the significance of youth engagement in shaping the future of their country.
"These forums will be a wonderful opportunity for young people to connect with one another and exchange ideas while deepening their knowledge of our country and its history. We are proud to invest in a project that will help youth become active and engaged citizens who will contribute to the strength of Canada," said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
"Based on our findings from the QCGN report Creating Spaces for Young Quebecers, we know that our youth want to be a part of the discussion. We know they want to stay in Quebec and we know they want to bridge the divide between cultural and linguistic communities. With this project, we are thrilled to be able to give young Quebecers what they have been asking for," said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General of the QCGN.
Martin-Laforge said that partnering with Institut du Nouveau Monde, whose École d'été summer program for Quebec youth has been recognized as one of the top three civic education practices in Canada, brings invaluable expertise in engaging youth.
"With 10 years of experience in citizen participation under our belt, it is with great pride that we put to use our expertise to the benefit of the QCGN's initiative for youth involvement in society," said Michel Venne, Executive Director of INM.
Coupled with relevant research conducted by the Association of Canadian Studies, which has demonstrated a link between personal knowledge of history with a greater attachment to their country, Young Quebecers Leading the Way will encourage participants to reflect on Canada's past, present and future through the lens of history, heritage and civic engagement as a means to strengthen their attachment to their country.
"ACS is proud to be involved in such an exciting initiative through our research on history knowledge and history education," said Executive Vice-President, Jack Jedwab. "This project represents an opportunity for young Quebecers to share their visions of Canada's past, present and future and an opportunity for us to learn from them."
An interactive, bilingual website has been created to act as a platform for outreach and networking, encouraging youth to engage with one another and learn from the projects' achievements. To explore the English website visit http://youthleadingway150.org/. For the French site, please visit http://jeunesauxcommandes150.org/.
Applications are now open for Regional Youth Coordinators in the Eastern Townships, the Gaspésie, the Outaouais, Rouyn-Noranda, the Greater Montreal area and the provincial capital region. For details, click on this link http://youthleadingway150.org/news/.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (www.qcgn.ca) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together 41 English-language community organizations across Quebec. As a centre of evidence-based expertise and collective action it identifies, explores and addresses strategic issues affecting the development and vitality of the English-speaking community of Quebec and encourages dialogue and collaboration among its member organizations, individuals, community groups, institutions and leaders.
SOURCE: Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN)
For further information: Source: Alison Maynard, Youth Project Coordinator, [email protected] Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 229; For further information: Rita Legault, Director of Communications, [email protected], Telephone: 514-868-9044, ext. 223, cellular: 514-912-6555