Minister Joly Launches the New Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism

News Release

GATINEAU, February 22, 2018

Diversity is Canada’s strength. Our young leaders play a critical role in shaping our country’s future and fostering a stronger, more prosperous Canada, where everyone has the ability to reach their full potential.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, announced the launch of the new Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism. This annual funding initiative will award micro-grants of up to $1000 to dozens of young Canadians to fund projects that promote diversity and inclusion in their communities. This initiative will empower young leaders to make a positive impact on their communities, while addressing racism and discrimination. Canadian citizens or permanent residents aged 18 to 24 will be able to submit their applications online starting today, until April 20, 2018.

The new Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism is in keeping with the Government of Canada’s commitment to promoting multiculturalism and strengthening our diverse communities, while working to eliminate discrimination, racism and prejudice in all its forms. The new initiative will honour the legacy of the late Senator Paul Yuzyk in developing and promoting Canadian multiculturalism by inspiring young leaders to continue advancing cultural understanding and inclusion in‎ communities across the country.

The initiative will be administered by Inter-Action, the Government of Canada’s multiculturalism grants and contributions program, which funds community engagement and development projects which promote intercultural understanding and equal opportunities for people of all cultures.


“Canada’s young people are our future, and they will help ensure that our communities remain strong, diverse and vibrant. This initiative will fund projects that promote our diversity and celebrate our differences, while recognizing the outstanding leaders who are working to make a positive difference in their communities.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism

“The Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism will be a great way to empower our youth to become leaders in their communities. I'm confident that this new initiative will continue to honour the legacy of late Senator Paul Yuzyk, a legacy that reflects the contributions of the vibrant Ukrainian-Canadian community to our national multicultural fabric‎.”

—Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism)

“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is delighted that the memory of Senator Paul Yuzyk will continue through this initiative. These micro-grants will encourage youth from all parts of Canada to appreciate Senator Yuzyk’s contribution to multiculturalism policy.”

—Paul Grod, National President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Quick Facts

  • The micro-grant program will fund young Canadians who demonstrate leadership, initiative and community engagement through ideas that bring people together to help eliminate racism and discrimination locally.

  • Young Canadians can choose to apply for a micro-grant of $250, $500 or $1000. The project must:

    – take place in Canada;
    – involve individuals from more than one cultural, religious or ethnic community and establish concrete opportunities for positive interaction among them; and
    – address at least one of the following criteria:
                – work toward the elimination of discrimination, racism and prejudice;
                – provide opportunities for youth community engagement and involvement; or
                – bring people together through art, culture, and/or sport.

  • By implementing this initiative, Canadian Heritage is encouraging youth to help build an integrated, socially cohesive society that connects cultures to promote understanding and equal opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds; and fosters citizenship, civic engagement and a healthy democracy.

  • The Paul Yuzyk Youth Initiative for Multiculturalism honours the legacy of the late Senator Paul Yuzyk, a champion of Canadian multiculturalism who played an active role in the development and implementation of multiculturalism.

Associated Links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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