Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, joined by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Deborah Morrison, Executive Director of Experiences Canada and special guests, today announced a partnership to help bring a record 150 student exchange groups to Ottawa in 2017.
“Experiences Canada helps build an enthusiastic and engaged society,” said Minister Joly. “We are helping young Canadians better understand and affirm their identity. Through Experiences Canada, our young people learn to see our diversity as a source of enrichment.”
Ottawa 2017 will help recruit 150 local schools, sports teams and youth organizations to pair with the 150 groups that Experiences Canada will be recruiting across the country.
“We want young Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, to have the opportunity to experience their Capital in 2017, as we host the world for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Mayor Watson.
The City of Ottawa proclaimed “Experiences Canada Day” in recognition of the group’s work helping young Canadians develop stronger connections to our country, our land and each other.
“Exchange programs such as this have a lasting and positive impact on young Canadians, their families and their communities,” said Deborah Morrison. “And what better time than Canada’s big year, to explore our heritage, language and culture through an exchange experience?”
Visiting students and their hosts will be provided with VIP passes to experience signature Ottawa 2017 events and will also be able to contribute to the Ottawa 2017 legacy through community service opportunities.
“This partnership will provide Canadian youth with an opportunity to explore their country, connect their communities to the celebrations here in the Capital and help us build a truly national celebration that includes and engages young Canadians across the nation,” said Guy Laflamme.
Ottawa will be centre stage in 2017, as a record number of Canadians come to their capital to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Ottawa 2017 will be announcing many more initiatives in the weeks and months to come, as we gear up for this once-in-a-lifetime, year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, right here in the capital.
To stay informed on the latest plans, visit ottawa2017.ca.
Experiences Canada (formerly SEVEC, the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada) is a national charitable organization that has been providing educational exchanges, trips and forums for Canadian youth for 79 years. Over 350,000 youth have benefitted from their programming. Visit www.experiencescanada.ca to learn more.