Sport participation

The Government of Canada encourages sport participation and physical activity through strategic investments in Canada's sport system. These investments include funding to help children and youth and under-represented groups (for examples: women and girls, persons with a disability and Aboriginal peoples) through a number of activities managed by Sport Canada.

Gender Equity in Sport

In the 2018 Federal Budget, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035. This included an initial three-year commitment of $30 million. Sport Canada has developed a Gender Equity in Sport Strategy to target this funding to:

  1. Increase women in coaching, officiating, and leadership positions in sport;
  2. Deliver measures to increase the participation of girls and women in sport;
  3. Address gender-based violence in sport; and
  4. Improve the availability of research and data to support evidence-based decision-making.

A Gender Equity Secretariat at Sport Canada is responsible for implementing the Strategy. The Secretariat supports, administers and monitors existing and emerging gender equity initiatives and programs, and looks at innovative ways of addressing the challenges of participation and retention of girls and women in sport.

In 2018, the Gender Equity Secretariat supported a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport. The Working Group gathered the experiences, perspectives and insights of 12 champions for gender equity in sport and provided a range of views and advice on strategies to better understand and serve the specific needs of women and girls in sport.

Concussions in sport

The Government of Canada recognizes that too many individuals experience concussions during sport and recreation activities, sometimes with tragic outcomes. Concussions in sport are a recognized public health issue because of their frequency and their potential short- and long-term consequences.

Financial Support for Organizations

Financial contributions through Sport Canada to recipient organizations such as Canadian Tire Jumpstart, ParticipACTION and Physical Health and Education Canada support a variety of projects and activities aimed at getting Canadian children and youth involved in sport and physical activity. These contributions help increase access to sport programming, to assist in sport promotion, and to teach children the basics of physical activity (Physical Literacy).

In 2018-2019, Sport Canada provided approximately $3.4 million to specifically promote participation in sport for children and youth through the following organizations: ParticipACTION, Motivate Canada, Physical Health Education Canada, Canadian Tire Jumpstart,Go KidSport, and Le Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie.

National Sport Organizations, National Multisport Service Organizations and Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes support sport development through training and competitive sport.

Sport Development Pathway

Sport Canada also helps children and youth participate and excel in sport through the implementation of Sport for Life, a Federal-Provincial/Territorial framework promoting competency in fundamental motor skills. Sport Canada supports each stage of sport development by providing programs and services to help grow athletes, coaches, officials and leaders.

  • Sport for Life is a movement that improves the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada through improved athlete training and coordination in is a collaborative framework that promotes competency in fundamental motor skills and keeping Canadians active for life with recreational sport and physical activity.
  • A key feature of Sport for Life is Long Term Development (LTD) that provides a developmental pathway that helps Canadians to play, train and compete from childhood through all phases of adulthood.

Bilateral Agreements with the Provinces and Territories

The Government of Canada encourages sport participation and physical activity among children and youth by supporting sport participation projects and activities through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

The primary objectives of the bilateral agreements are:

  1. to support projects that strengthen physical literacy and children and youth participation that are compatible with the first three stages of Sport for Life or programming at comparable stages that exist across jurisdictions;
  2. to support projects that provide opportunities for persons from under-represented and/or marginalized populations to actively participate in sport including in roles as athletes, coaches, officials and volunteer leaders.
  3. to strengthen Indigenous Capacity and Leadership for the Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs); and
  4. to increase culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth at the community level.

For information on the initiatives undertaken in these bilateral agreements which are led by the provinces and territories, please refer to the table below for the contact person in your province or territory.

Provinces and territories Inquiries Contact person Titles Departments E-mail address Telephone number
Alberta General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Tim Bjornson Director, Sport Development Department of Culture and Tourism (780) 422-7108
British Columbia General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Sharon White Senior Sport Consultant Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (250) 387-5651
Manitoba General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Michael Benson Director, Sport Secretariat Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage (204) 925-8834
New Brunswick General information Shona Thibodeau Coordinator,
Sport - Go NB
Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture (506) 470-1317
COVID-19 Emergency Fund Jeff LeBlanc Director, Sport and Recreation Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture (506) 447-0988
Newfoundland and Labrador General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Jaime Collins Manager of Programs and Strategic Initiatives Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development (709) 729-0855
Northwest Territories General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Damon Crossman Manager of Sport and Recreation Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (867) 767-9166
ext 211110
Nova Scotia General information Dawn Stegen Director of Regional Services Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage (902) 424-4642
COVID-19 Emergency Fund Michelle Aucoin Director, Provincial Services Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage (902) 424-0990
Nunavut General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Kerby Corcoran Sport & Recreation Development Officer Department of Community and Government Service (867) 793-3325
Ontario General information Deborah Lee Policy Advisor Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (416) 848-3453
COVID-19 Emergency Fund Eric Sinker Senior Coordinator Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (647) 588-7830
Prince Edward Island General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Jo-Anne Wallace Amateur Sport and Region Coordinator Department of Health and Wellness (902) 859-8861
Quebec General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Éric Pilote Sport Advisor Ministry of Education and Higher Learning (418) 646-6137
ext 3660
Saskatchewan General information Laura Dahlstrom Sport Policy Analyst Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport (306) 787-7451
COVID-19 Emergency Fund Adam Tonita Policy Analyst Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport (306) 787-1588
Yukon General information
(including COVID-19 Emergency Fund)
Megan Cromarty First Nations Recreation & Sport Consultant Department of Community Services (867) 667-3778

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