Government of Canada Announces Funding to Youth Organizations on International Youth Day

News release

August 12, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada and Canadian Heritage

Young Canadians are integral to Canada’s present and future success, as they are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Youth organizations in Canada are undertaking important work, such as amplifying youth voices and advocating for gender equality.

Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced over $2 million in funding for programs aimed at supporting youth on International Youth Day:

  • The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) is receiving $692,879 to host two annual gender equality summits that will provide a platform for youth to address intersectional barriers to gender equality.
  • BridgeNorth Women’s Mentorship & Advocacy Services is receiving $400,000 for a 36-month project that will develop and implement specialized, trauma-informed interventions as well as prevention training for teachers, parents, and high-risk students. This will advance knowledge and enhance empowerment support for children and youth who are victims and survivors of human trafficking in York Region.
  • Wisdom2Action Consulting Limited is receiving $994,661 for a 36-month project that will address the capacity needs of 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and youth-serving organizations. This funding will build capacity to support 2SLGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing gender-based violence and support the creation of public education campaigns that raise awareness about violence faced by 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

The funding will support youth programs that prevent gender-based violence and raise awareness about gender equality. Funded projects will also take an intersectional approach to support Indigenous, racialized, and 2SLGBTQ+ youth who face unique barriers to equality.

This investment is in addition to ongoing funding made available through Canadian Heritage’s Exchanges Canada program, which is supporting Canadian not-for-profit organizations with $41.4 million over three years to deliver exchanges for over 21,000 youth in Canada between the ages of 12 and 17. These exchanges are helping youth learn about Canada, connect with one another, and better appreciate the diversity and shared aspects of the Canadian experience.

Minister Ien is pleased to announce the following three-year funding agreements under the Youth Exchanges Canada component of the program:

  • Experiences Canada is receiving a total of $15.4 million over three years for its Connecting Young Canadians project to offer exchanges for about 12,300 youth, exploring themes such as immigration, human rights, Indigenous cultures, and official languages.
  • The YMCA of Greater Toronto is receiving $15.2 million over three years for its Summer Work Student Exchange project to provide summer job opportunities for about 1,780 youth, who will live and work in their second official language in another community, deepening their cultural understanding and improving their language skills.
  • The YMCA of Greater Toronto is receiving $8.7 million over three years for its Youth Exchanges Canada project to organize group exchanges for about 5,210 youth, who will learn about topics such as Indigenous cultures, diversity and inclusion, arts, Canadian culture and heritage, youth engagement, official languages, and volunteerism.
  • Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Programs is receiving a total of $1.5 million over three years to support group cultural exchanges for 1,290 youth, with a focus on non-competitive sport.
  • The Canadian 4-H Council is receiving $574,000 over three years for its 4-H Canada Club to Club Exchanges to support summer group exchanges for 600 youth from across the country, who will research local history, visit sites of historic and cultural significance, and learn more about what it means to be Canadian.


“Since day one, I made a commitment to amplify the diverse voices of youth. No matter their age, gender, or cultural background, I continue to be moved every time I meet with young advocates. Each of the organizations announced today will support the incredible talent and leadership of youth who are already at the centre of change. There is no doubt that we need to continue giving youth the right tools to succeed.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 builds on Canada’s investments in youth with over $5.7 billion over the next five years to help young Canadians – including those from low-income households – pursue and complete their education, to provide additional relief from student loan debt for young graduates, and to create 215,000 new job skill development and work opportunities.

  • Taken together, the Government of Canada’s response to the pandemic represents the largest-ever investment in young Canadians, totalling $13.1 billion over six years. This represents one of the largest youth support packages in the world. 

  • In 2016, the Prime Minister established the Prime Minister’s Youth Council to provide him with non-partisan advice on issues of importance to youth and to all Canadians. In 2019, Canada published its first youth policy following widespread national consultations with young people to ensure we consider youth perspectives and priorities when we develop policies and programs.  

  • Released in August 2021, Canada’s first-ever State of Youth Report was largely drafted by 13 youths and informed by contributions from almost 1,000 youths from coast to coast to coast. The report provided a snapshot of the issues that mattered most to young people, and to all Canadians, including truth and reconciliation; the environment and climate action; health and wellness; leadership and impact; employment; and innovation, skills, and learning.

  • In line with this year’s International Youth Day theme, Intergenerational Solidarity, the Government of Canada offers a broad range of programs and services aimed at helping youth succeed, often bridging the generational gap to bring young people and seniors together. Programs led by Employment and Social Development Canada include the Youth and Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) – which is comprised of both the YESS Program and Canada Summer Jobs program – the Canada Service Corps, and the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

  • Youth can also benefit from the Youth Digital Gateway, a new digital service platform for youth seeking tools and programs that support their employment, skill development, learning, volunteering, and service goals.

Associated links


Johise Namwira
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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