Government of Canada invites organizations to apply for funding to help empower youth in Canada through volunteer opportunities

News release

October 12, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

When young people are learning, working and succeeding, our communities from coast to coast to coast benefit. That is why the Government of Canada continues to invest heavily in youth through its comprehensive array of youth programming to provide skills training, job placement and service opportunities.

Today, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth Marci Ien launched the 2023 call for proposals under the Canada Service Corps (CSC) Program. Through the call, successful organizations will receive funding to create, promote and facilitate access to meaningful volunteer service opportunities for young people ages 12 to 30. This includes creating flexible or full-time volunteer service placements, as well as micro-grants that allow youth to design, develop and lead their own service projects. With this funding, CSC will aim to create approximately 36,000 service opportunities for youth.

Eligible organizations include non-profit and for-profit organizations (provided the activity is not intended to generate profit), research organizations and institutes, Indigenous organizations (such as band councils, tribal councils, and self-government entities), and municipal, provincial, and territorial entities, including institutions, agencies, crown corporations and public health/educational institutions.

This funding will allow successful organizations to provide youth with access to volunteer service opportunities that otherwise might not be possible. CSC funds may be used for eligible overhead costs, materials and supplies, training and development costs, as well as other costs associated with supporting youth in participating and completing their service opportunities, such as mentoring, coaching, mental health supports, dependent care, transportation and accommodations.

Through programs like CSC, the Government of Canada continues to focus on reaching youth from diverse backgrounds. Projects funded through CSC will target a minimum of 50% of participants who identify as either Indigenous youth or under-served youth, or both.

The 2023 CSC call for proposals is open for a 10-week period between October 12 and December 19, 2023. To apply, visit Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS).

To further improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of communities, additional funding opportunities are currently available to organizations, including Employment and Social Development Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), which has benefited over 45,000 youth facing barriers to employment since 2020. The application period for the YESS Program call for proposals was launched on October 4, 2023, and organizations are invited to apply by November 22, 2023. This call for proposals will help provide successful organizations up to $5 million a year to improve labour market outcomes for up to 20,000 youth (starting in 2024–25).

Finally, in November, employers will also be invited to apply for funding under the 2024 Canada Summer Jobs Program, which last year created some 85,000 employment opportunities. 


“We know that to create a brighter future for our youth we need to offer opportunities that speak to their interests and passions. I encourage all youth-serving organizations to apply for this funding and join us in building up the next generation of young Canadians, while positively impacting our communities.”
– Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth 

Quick facts

  • Projects funded from this CSC call for proposals may start as early as August 2024 and run until March 31, 2027.

  • A number of changes are being introduced to CSC this year: up to 100% of organizations’ eligible expenses will be covered; longer-term agreements will be available; and for certain program streams, participants as young as 12 years of age will be eligible.

  • Since 2018, the CSC program has funded over 200 projects across the country, creating more than 30,000 volunteer service opportunities for youth. This represents over 24,000 service placements which have contributed about 2.8 million service hours to their communities as well as over 6,600 micro-grant projects that support the implementation of small-scale, innovative community service ideas across the country.

  • Organizations can sign up for email notifications if they wish to be notified when ESDC funding opportunities become available.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Nanki Singh
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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