Experiences Canada is a national registered charity that helps young Canadians to explore their country in ways they never may have imagined through reciprocal exchanges, forums, conferences and other opportunities to travel and connect with one another.
The Board of Directors is a volunteer role, member are recruited through the Nominations committee of the Board. The board is responsible for the overall governance of Experiences Canada, with principal responsibilities for strategic planning, financial and administrative oversight. Appointments are for a two-year period with a maximum limit of three consecutive terms or 6 years of service. It meets twice a year in person and conducts the rest of its work largely via teleconference.
The Program Advisory Council is a volunteer, advisory role designed to assist management in reviewing existing program goals and outcomes, provide suggestions and feedback on ways to strengthen them, as well as recommend other activities and opportunities worth exploring.
The committee is ad hoc, with members typically focused on specific topics or issues of concern the Experiences Canada. There are no fixed term limits for these appointments, the committee meets via teleconference call or in conjunction with Experiences Canada’s AGM.
The Youth Advisory Committee is a volunteer, advisory role comprised of program alumni who, during their two-year tenure will have at least one year remaining in high school. The committee meets once a year at Experiences Canada’s AGM to set their annual tasks and priorities and conducts other meetings via teleconference throughout the school year.
Our Annual General Meeting is typically held in November in Ottawa, where a summary of the year’s activities are presented to members. Below are copies of our most recent reports.
Audited Financial Statements for Experiences Canada are formally presented to our Annual General Meeting. You can also visit the CRA website’s charitable directory to find out more about Experiences Canada’s financial operations.
2148 Carling Avenue, Suite 202
Ottawa, ON K2A 1H1
Toll free: 1-800-387-3832
Board of Directors
A retired partner of Deloitte and Touche Canada, David Ross has a broad range of commercial experience in accounting, auditing, acquisitions, regulation, litigation support including forensic investigations and management consulting. Mr. Ross’s board governance experience includes consulting to boards and serving on boards and board committees including those of Deloitte Touche Canada, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Baycrest Centre.
Paul is currently the Superintendent of the Tri-County Regional School board in Nova Scotia. He has over twenty-seven years of experience working within the Nova Scotia public education system working at the school, school board and provincial level. Prior senior management roles for the province of Nova Scotia include strategic planning/management, employee relations, and change management. His extensive knowledge of programming and services offered within the Nova Scotia public education system and his vast educational and community networks across the province enables him to provide insight and support across many spectrums of education.
Judith Sullivan-Corney, Chair;
Judith Sullivan-Corney is a Senior Consultant with Royer Thompson and Associates working in all areas of management development including organization design, executive recruitment, problem solving and business analysis.
She has extensive experience in the public sector, including human resources, aboriginal affairs, leadership development, mentorship and coaching. She has successfully led aboriginal and intergovernmental consultation for the province of Nova Scotia where extensive relationship building efforts resulted in agreements between multi-party groups. Judith has established a proven ability to respect the input of stakeholders and to provide leadership in policy development and implementation.
Judith spent 4 years as the Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs, Military Relations and Protocol Office in Nova Scotia. Prior to this she served as Deputy Minister, Office of Aboriginal Affairs and the Status of Women. From 1998-2002 she was the Public Service Commissioner/Deputy Minister of Human Resources for the province of Nova Scotia.
Stuart is one of Canada’s most sought after creative minds in unscripted, factual and original content. Before founding Antica, Stuart spent 20 years as an award winning producer, director and executive in news and entertainment at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). There he was responsible for launching dozens of shows, docs and hit series – including Dragons Den, CBC’s first ever factual entertainment program. Most recently, Stuart and the Antica team have produced the CBC television series Becoming Canadian, several digital ventures (branded content and for broadcasters), and Secret Path, the emotional and notable animated film from The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie.
Valerie Galley is of Ojibwa and Canadian ancestry and a member of the Nipissing First Nation. In 2005, she graduated from Trent University with her Masters of Arts degree in Canadian Studies and Native Studies. Over the past twenty-five years, she has worked as a strategist, policy analyst, researcher, and writer on indigenous priorities, in policy and program implementation, locally, regionally, and nationally for First Nations entities, governments and post-secondary institutions. She has also researched and written presentations and policy papers for various national Aboriginal organizations on topics such as partnership approaches with the Government of Canada, the potential for integrating traditional indigenous healing practices into the western medical system and indigenous language revitalization. More recently, she compiled the Assembly of First Nations’ “Closing the Gap” document which was used in the 2015 federal election and leading into the 2016 federal budget.
Georges Levesque is an entrepreneur, speaker and founding partner in Levesque & Associates, a Montreal-based Negotiation Expertise firm focused on negotiation seminars, advisory services, keynote presentations and negotiation coaching. He has assisted dozens of companies and organizations in 8 countries and sits on the advisory board of numerous small and medium-sized enterprises.
For almost a decade Georges was a Senior Vice-President of Global Business Development for EF Education, the world’s largest private educational organization with over 34,000 staff in 90 countries. He began as an entrepreneur in 1992 selling leather goods to the luggage, handbag and wallet market. Following numerous years of growth, his company merged with Mundi Canada in 2001 creating one of the largest companies in the industry. The corporation was successfully sold in 2004. He is also the President of GAL Consultants and founder of Levesque Resources, an eastern-Canadian natural resources company.
Georges is trained in advanced negotiations and business strategy from both the MIT School of Entrepreneurship and the Harvard Business School and is a business graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa.
Melanie Martin is the Director of Arts and Special Celebrations with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to that Melanie lead the First World War commemorations file, Honour 100. She has assisted with curriculum development and designed battlefield educational travel programs to Europe for the province’s youth, focusing on the experiences of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
She has a master’s degree in Newfoundland history from Memorial University and has contributed to historical journals, websites, anthologies, and educational textbooks on significant events in Newfoundland and Labrador’s turbulent social and political history, specifically around resettlement and the industrialization attempts during the Smallwood years. Melanie’s first historical fiction novel, A Splendid Boy, is set during the First World War and was published in May 2016 by Flanker Press.
Dave McInnes is a lawyer with Field Law. His primary area of practice is providing strategic advice in regard to the identification, development and management of business opportunities. He also works in land development, transaction negotiation, commercial financings and the purchase and sale of businesses. He has managed the business and legal aspects of a number of significant agribusiness development projects and has assisted with the organization of a human resources department for a national employer. He has also managed significant projects for Provincial and Territorial governments in the area of legislative review, planning and development.
Dave has acted in the role of general counsel to assist clients with the organization and structure of their businesses. He has conducted a number of in-house seminars on topics such as negotiating financing and the structuring of joint ventures. In addition, he has acted as a consultant on economic planning and fiscal matters.
Dave is a Director of a number of Alberta based corporations.
Denise is a partner at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP in Vancouver, BC. She practices primarily in the areas of corporate finance and securities law. Denise currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Corporate Growth, British Columbia.
Denise participated on a one-year student exchange in her undergraduate studies, having studied in Tokyo Japan so understands first-hand the benefits of an exchange.
Greg Owen has 25 years of experience in the private and public sectors, including leadership roles as Vice-President of a student educational travel company; as a senior advisor to the Premier of Ontario and chief of staff to a provincial cabinet minister; as an advisor to elected officials with the Canadian government, and as the co-founder of a public affairs consulting firm.
He has experience working in Canada, the US, Europe and Central America. His career has enabled him to lead teams in developing new products, delivering excellent customer experiences, and using public relations, government relations, corporate social responsibility and partnerships to achieve organizational objectives. He has experience developing and executing strategic plans and business development activities, including sales, marketing and operations.
A strong believer in the importance of community service, he is involved in fundraising activities to build a new education centre at Vimy Ridge, and serves on the board of a foundation supporting community health care programs. Past community work includes serving on the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Board, the Board of the United Way of St. Catharines, a Community Futures Development Board (supporting entrepreneurs) and a Canada/US organization focused on human service activities led by university students.
In 2013 he was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work on veterans’ commemoration activities. He is a graduate of Carleton University, and participated in two SEVEC exchanges in the early 1980’s.
Arlene Van Ruiten
Arlene has dedicated herself to a lifelong career of volunteer positions on numerous Boards, Committees, Associations and Foundations. Arlene is the Honorary Chairperson for the Military Family Resource Centre – 17 Wing – Canadian Air Force. C.F.B. Winnipeg. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the De Zaaier Foundation which presents Scholarships to the Winnipeg Red River College.
She offered 10 years of service (1996-2006) to The Hubbell Awards Inc., an organization that provides annual scholarship opportunities to the top Military Cadets in Winnipeg. From 1994 – 2002 she served as a Board member of the Grace General Hospital Foundation. Her diverse contributions also include Manitoba Military Tattoos (1998, 1999), the Grey Cup Festival (1991), a member of the executive Board of the L.P.G.A – Canadian Golf Open (1992) at the St. Charles Golf & Country Club where she currently serves as Vice President, Ladies Executive.
She was married to the late Ben Van Ruiten and worked closely with him in his positions including both the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands (1977 – 1994) and as the Honorary Colonel of 17 Wing – Canadian Air Force. C.F.B. Winnipeg from 1994 – 2007.
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Prior to joining Experiences Canada in 2014, Deborah served 12 years as president and CEO of Winnipeg-based Canada’s History Society and publisher of Canada’s History magazine and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids. Earlier in her career, she held leadership roles at both the Historica Foundation of Canada (Historica Canada) and The CRB Foundation, coordinating the launch of the well-known Heritage Minutes and developing many of their educational and outreach programs. She has an inexplicable love for waterskiing, board games, and pizza, but not all at the same time.
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Ginny has been a part of the Experiences Canada team since the fall of 2010. Previously, she worked for 12 years in the finance department at United Way/Centraide Ottawa. Her interests include: theatre, music, anything mystery; and loves include: cheesecake and her little grandson.
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Ellen’s passion for travel is what attracted her to Experiences Canada. Having had the opportunity to travel around the world with her family for nine months, she was thrilled to become the Director of Finance for an agency whose mission was to educate youth through travel. She has worked as a Director of Finance for over 15 years with agencies focused on child and youth development. Some of her passions are: hiking in the Gatineau Park with her family, friends, and her Australian Shepherd Maya; and eating dark chocolate.
Minh Hoa Kolie
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Originally from Guinea in West Africa, Minh Hoa has spent several years in Paris before moving to Ottawa. She loves discovering the world and has lived in Rwanda, South Korea and Senegal. She has a bachelor in Communications and has volunteered for festivals such as Bluesfest, CityFolk, Ottawa Tulip Festival and the Festival des Cultures du Monde de Gatineau. Learning new languages and creative photography are some of her passions. She also has a weakness for bigger cats.
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Tom joined the Experiences Canada team in 2014, where he helps raise funds to support our youth exchange programs and manages the Youth Advisory Committee. Before Experiences Canada he worked at an outdoor summer music festival and as an English teacher in South Korea. He enjoys reading, videogames and a bunch of different sports. If you can throw a Frisbee he’ll probably invite you to play on his Ultimate team.
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Karine is a graduate of Algonquin College, where she studied Advertising and Marketing. Prior to working for Experiences Canada, she worked for Sing House Studios, The New Hot 89.9 and did an internship for Insight Productions on the show Big Brother Canada. She started her journey with Experiences Canada as part of the Canada150&Me team and loved every second of it. Karine has a passion for music and singing and her favorite artist of all time is Christina Aguilera.
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Prior to Experiences Canada, Jamie worked at the YMCA as a youth employment coordinator. Throughout her career she has had a strong interest in youth programming and most recently in developing a strong Indigenous youth exchange program. Jamie is currently working on her Masters in Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. When she is not at work or studying, she is most likely at a hockey rink watching one of her four children skate.
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Ashley holds a Master of Education from the University of Ottawa in Societies, Cultures and Languages. Prior to working with Experiences Canada, she was a language teacher in Spain, South Korea, and the Ottawa region. She has passion for education as a tool for social justice and inclusion and is thrilled to be able to support experiential learning. Outside of work, she enjoys playing board games, trivia, listening to podcasts, and anything to do with food.
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Sandrine is a strong advocate of bilingualism and learning about multiple cultures. She is an outdoors enthusiast with a Baccalaureate in Philosophy, Literature and Foreign Languages. She loves music & candies – both in all genres and forms.
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Originally from Australia, Lizzy is passionate about travel and exploring new places. Having spent much of her youth travelling the world, she is thrilled to now be working for an organization that helps young people experience new cultures. Lizzy is a graduate of Algonquin College where she studied interactive media design. Previous to Experiences Canada she worked in the space sector. In her spare time, she enjoys DIY projects, swimming, and landscape photography.
The committee is ad hoc, with members typically focused on specific topics or issues of concern to Experiences Canada.
As a high school guidance counselor for 18 years, a mother of two teenagers and a great traveler, I consider the Experiences Canada program a unique opportunity for students. Indeed, by going to meet each other, students learn to discover themselves. Involved for 4 years with Experiences Canada, I see the positive impact of these exchanges on young people. I had the chance to travel around the world and it is my pleasure to let students from my school discover this passion and to better know their country. What a nice reward seeing stars in the eyes of young people.
Pat is a retired geologist who has worked in mineral exploration and mining in numerous remote locations throughout Canada. She has lived in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and the Yukon and has travelled extensively throughout Canada, exploring its geology, geography, ecology and history. Pat has been a volunteer leader with Girl Guides of Canada for 37 years, as a unit leader for girls in all branches of Guiding. She has organized numerous camps and specialized outdoor adventure and STEM activities. She has held a number of volunteer positions with Girl Guides at provincial/territorial and national levels. Pat has been the group organizer for two Girl Guides of Canada Experiences Canada exchanges and is the recipient of the 2018 Experiences Canada History Award. She is a firm believer in experiencing history by living it, always finding opportunities for the girls to explore both natural and cultural history on all their adventures.
Hi! My name is Joanne Lussier. I`ve been teaching for over 20 years. I am presently working in a K to 12 school. We are a rural francophone school. My role (or one of my roles!) this year is as French language support. When I found out that our grade 8 class was accepted in the exchange program, I quickly volunteered. This is 8th time our school has participated in exchange trips with Experience Canada (or SEVEC) but it is my first time organizing it. When better way to promote the French language for these students! It will be such an enriching experience for them.
My name is Silken Bruder, and I am the French and music teacher at Montrose School in Edmonton, Alberta. I’m relatively new to the education game, this only being my 3rd year of teaching, but my relationship with the French language goes back to my grade 6 start in French Immersion on Salt Spring Island, B.C. In grade 8, I had the opportunity to participate in a SEVEC exchange and am still to this day, connected with my exchange twin from Quebec. I wanted to give the kids I teach the same amazing opportunity to create such connections with others, all while authentically use their second language skills! I teach in a low-income neighbourhood and life has not been particularly kind to many of my students; opportunities to see the world beyond the city are few and far between. I am very excited (if a bit overwhelmed) to be a group organizer, and know that this exchange will help open the eyes and minds of my students, we can’t wait!
As a social sciences and civics teacher in rural Ontario, my students do not always get to experience the diversity that Canada has to offer. In concert with my students, we try to organise projects that help us to learn together about our county and the people who live here. Last year, we participated in a Northern exchange that was a really cool and exciting project – and Experiences Canada provided a tremendous amount of support to help make this project successful. It feels appropriate that we should contribute as much as we can to the organisation that has been such an integral part of helping our school run really interesting experiences.
Lee Barter is an Experiences Canada Group Organizer for the Mimico Canadiens Hockey Association in Toronto’s West end. He lead an exchange in 2017/18 between the communities of Rankin Inlet and Mimico. In 2019, he will lead another trip to Nunavut, this time in partnership with the hamlet of Pond Inlet. Lee has coached youth hockey for several years and believes that community youth sports leagues can play a valuable role in developing civic awareness and social responsibility for participating youth. Away from the hockey arena, Lee is a management consultant and partner with Deloitte Inc.
I was eleven years old when I first heard about SEVEC and I still have vivid memories of my first travelling expedition to Toronto. Now a father of two, fond of water-related sports and other extreme adventures, I wish my children are going to have the same opportunity to go on trips across the country as I did. Seven years ago, my colleagues and I decided to offer this enriching experience with SEVEC to our students from Polyvalente des Îles School. To me, having students involved in engaging learning situations is a great way to challenge them and witness how they come to a better understanding of the world they live in. All aboard!
I’ve been teaching for 8 years in my home community of Ochapowace First Nation. I am Cree and I’ve lived in my community my entire life. I enjoy taking kids to other parts of the country. I am my travel club leader and organizer for our school which is named Kakisiwew School. Places we’ve traveled to are Toronto and Vancouver. In 2020 were planning another trip to China. I love to travel and explore with students as I feel traveling allows students to see more of the outside world.
Life Long Learning is my personal philosophy. As a secondary educator with over 28 years of experience in the field, I have always found my calling in the areas of experiential learning. This has been fostered through Outdoor Education, History, Food Sciences and my present focus, Cooperative Education. Throughout my career I have had the good fortune to be supported by administrative leads (principals and superintendents), students & parents who saw the merit in “learning by doing”. This has also led me to participate in travel abroad and nationally, through Experiences Canada, as a group leader but more importantly as a learner. These opportunities continue to energize and inspire me as a life long learner and to share this philosophy and its many gifts with those around me.
Anneke Jansen van Doorn
My first teaching experience was in the beautiful hamlet of Pangnirtung on Baffin Island in what was then, the Northwest Territories and is now Nunavut. Even though I went there to teach, I believe I was the student as I learned so much about Inuit life and history in our years there. I joined a women’s group and learned to clean sealskins and sew them into kamiks. My spouse and I were welcomed on many Spring ice fishing trips and caribou hunts. I felt blessed to learn so much about and from one of Canada’s indigenous peoples. Years later, I heard about the SEVEC exchanges. What really attracted me to these exchanges was the fact that they are open to anyone. Unlike other exchanges, which tend to be only open to students who can afford the high cost of an exchange, the SEVEC (now Experiences Canada) exchanges are open to anyone who is interested, as Heritage Canada covers the cost of travel. This year, I am doing my fifth exchange with an indigenous community. Our school’s students have traveled to four amazing and very different communities and learned so much more than just studying about these nations’ cultures in a classroom setting. In the process, they have shared their experiences with the wider communities of their families, friends, classrooms, church groups, and so on. They have also become involved in the decolonization/reconciliation process. I believe these exchanges are life changing, an amazing opportunity to build cross-cultural friendships, for all youth to learn more about active citizenship and become more aware of their possible opportunities in politics.
Experiences Canada knows providing the best possible experience for young people is impossible without their input! The Experiences Canada Youth Advisory Committee, known as “The YAC”, is made up of youth from across Canada who provide us with their perspective on how we can improve our exchange programs. The YAC helps to raise awareness for Experiences Canada and undertakes a variety of activities to help us offer a better experience for our participants! The members of the YAC come together in Ottawa each November to make a presentation to our Board of Directors. Members also participate in monthly telephone conference calls with Experiences staff to track the committee’s goals throughout the year. As a member of the YAC, youth have the option of serving for up to two years, with the possibility of a third year if elected to the committee’s executive.
WHO CAN JOIN? YOU CAN, IF YOU:
- Have participated in an Experiences Canada exchange within the last 3 years;
- Are between the ages of 14 and 17;
- Have been recommended for participation by your school or community group.
- Have your opinions heard and help improve the future of exchanges;
- Extend your exchange experience by meeting new people and learning more about how we operate
- Travel to Ottawa for an annual face-to-face committee meeting;
- Earn valuable work experiences, expand your networks, and receive news of other amazing opportunities across the country!
WHAT DO MEMBERS OF “THE YAC” DO?
- Work on initiatives and projects determined by the Committee
- Participate in media and public relations associated with their committee participation
- Participate in teleconferences throughout the year
- Travel to Ottawa once a year
- Agree to be on the committee for two years (from June to June)
Members of the committee are selected in June. Membership in the committee runs from June until June two years later.
If the Idea of contributing your voice, ideas, and enthusiasm to our mission appeals to you;
Spencer Bubis (President)
Spencer Bubis is a Grade 11 high school student proudly from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He thoroughly enjoys being actively involved in his school and community through student council and local youth-led organizations. Currently he is a volunteer swim instructor at Manitoba SwimAbility where he teaches children with special needs water-safety and swimming skills. He also enjoys spending his time on creative endeavours through filmmaking and photography, among other passions such as debating, history, arts/culture, and current affairs. Spencer is very excited to have the opportunity to make an impact on a national level through his involvement with the YAC and to contribute to enhancing and promoting the invaluable gift Experiences Canada has to offer. Over Canada’s sesquicentennial, Spencer had the privilege to partake in the Canada 150&Me Ottawa trip and National Youth Forum. Even more so than the places he went, it was the people he met on his Canada 150&Me experience that had the strongest, longest-lasting impact.
Isaac Grass (Vice President)
My name is Isaac Grass, I am from Angus, Ontario and this is my second year serving as a member of the YAC. With Experience Canada, I had the privilege to attend two of the Canada 150 & Me Youth Forums, in Vancouver and in Ottawa. It was an amazing experience that allowed me to collaborate with other passionate youth and discuss some of the biggest issues facing our nation today. The knowledge gained was valuable and the memories made are to sure to last a lifetime. Alongside the YAC, I am a member of The Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program’s Youth Advisory Council and work with the Student’s Commission of Canada as a member of the Social Identity Formation team. I look forward to working with this year’s committee!
I was given the opportunity to travel to British Columbia and Ottawa as a part of the Canada 150&Me Initiative. The experiences I had were incredible and so were the people! These experiences had a profound impact on me and allowed me to make new friends while raising awareness about the issues our country faces, especially those directly connected to my community. I gained an interest in areas I had no previous experience in and applied this new passion to my home town to create positive change. I applied to be a part of YAC because I want to ensure other students can have the same amazing opportunities that I had.
I come from a small town called Ste-Anne, Manitoba. I am involved in my school council as well as my provincial youth association. My passions include theater, music, writing, leadership, social justice, and bilingualism. I have incredible memories from my travels with the Canada 150&Me program last year. I had the chance to participate in the forums in Vancouver and Ottawa. These experiences have allowed me to grow my understanding of social justice issues discussed at the forums, discover different places in Canada, and connect with young people across the country.
My name is Maxime Boudreau, I’m 14 years old from Bathurst, New Brunswick. I’m currently enrolled in the 9th grade at L’école Secondaire Nepisiguit de Bathurst. I play hockey and soccer and have participated in the provincial science fair for the past 3 years, including winning a silver medal. I think the best part of an Experiences Canada exchange is observing life in other regions of the country and meeting new people. The most valuable result of my exchanges is the new friends I have made. I joined the Youth Advisory Committee because I was looking for a new challenge and chance to learn from others. Looking ahead, I want to finish my high school diploma and make a man of myself!
In April 2016, through Experiences Canada, I travelled to Toronto, London, Stratford, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls, with the Atlantic Boychoir from Newfoundland and Labrador. I believe that the most valuable outcome of my Experiences Canada exchange was the chance to meet, collaborate, learn, and perform with world renowned and very knowledgeable choral conductors and singers in Canada. This experience has increased my confidence in my leadership and musical abilities and has made me a more responsible and independent individual. I really wanted to be more involved with Experiences Canada, so I joined the Youth Advisory Committee. What I am hoping to gain from the YAC is the experience of spending time with youth of my age who also want to expand their leadership skills and are passionate about their interests and abilities. I also want to advise and inspire other youth in their communities about the Experiences Canada program, so they also have the chance to travel and take part in what great opportunities and experiences our Country has to offer.
Last year, I had the chance to travel to Edmonton, Alberta for a student exchange. It has been a wonderful experience. I met extraordinary people while discovering a magnificent part of Canada. Also, I learned so much about their unique traditions and culture. In Canada, we have the chance to have a diversified and multiethnic country, which means that we do not have to travel far away to discover a whole new world. During my participation in the YAC, my main objective is to inspire my generation as well as the future generations to travel across Canada.
My name is Saviluk and I was born in Montreal and raised in Kangirsuk, a small town north of Quebec. This year is my last year of high school and I am excited to further my education. I have participated in an Experiences Canada exchange and also had the amazing experience of participating on the Students on Ice expedition and the Arctic Winter Games.
Hi! I am 16 years old and I come from a small town from northern Quebec. I am a Secondary IV student. I am also fortunate to be bilingual. The exchange I did last year took me to Toronto, where I got to know the city, but also the people who live there and the culture around them. I have always been someone who loves to get actively involved in the different events and opportunities available to me. I have gained a lot of experience from being on various committees, but I am sure that the YAC will teach me even more! I love music, winter, writing, the phenomenon of mental health and much more. I consider myself to be someone who is motivated, persevering and a leader. I hope to be useful in the years to come!
I am 15 years old and I live in Quebec. Last year, when I found out that I would part of the student exchange, I was super excited. We were twinned with the school in Sparwood, a small town in southern British Columbia. It was an amazing experience and if I could, I would do it again without hesitation. Later, my teacher told me about the YAC and I thought it might be a good experience. I am someone with strong leadership and who likes to give his opinion. What I liked about my experience was meeting new people and being able to make strong friendships, as well as being able to learn about new cultures.
I live on a farm near the small town of Halkirk, Alberta. I had the privilege of going to Napanee, Ontario on my exchange in May of 2017. It was a wonderful experience and it helped me develop my leadership skills. The exchange showed me how diverse Canada really is. I made several lifelong friends that I have visited since the exchange. My passions are playing sports, reading, and spending time with my family. Coaching volleyball, basketball, and ski racing are some of the things I like to do in my spare time. I’m really excited to give back to this extraordinary program.
Sant Singh – Secretary
My name is Sant Singh and I am 16 years old. I was originally born in Punjab, India, however my family and I immigrated to Canada in 2008. I was given the extremely wonderful opportunity to partake in my schools first exchange program, between Brampton, Ontario and Hay River, NWT. It was a life-changing and breathtaking experience, and it truly was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being part of this exchange opened my eyes to a whole other side of Canada, as it taught me about new cultures and traditions, while removing some of the stigmas and assumptions that I had from my youth. Growing up in Brampton, I have always been part of an extremely large and multicultural community, and going to a small first nations reserve was an experience like no other. Although this exchange trip was educational, it was very fun as well. I went dog-sledding, tobogganing, ice fishing, went to trapping camps, and even drove snowmobiles! The whole point of an exchange is to learn about other cultures, and I believe that we achieved this goal successfully. I will never forget the memories that I made, and I hope that through the YAC, I can be part of inspiring more youth to partake in these life-changing exchange trips.
My name is Kailyn Sherren and I’m from Prince Edward Island! I’m in my final year at Bluefield High School where I keep active within my school’s community. I’m a member of the Student Council, and a member of the school’s rugby and soccer teams. Since 2016 I’ve been a volunteer at my local hospital where I interact with patients and medical teams. Following this I attended the Canadian Student Leadership Conference. During my grade ten year, I travelled to Vegreville, Alberta with 20 of my classmates through Experiences Canada. This was one of my best experiences, getting to make new friendships and experiencing what life is like on the other side of our country. I applied for the Youth Advisory Committee because I want other Canadian students to experience what I did. I want to build on future exchanges and promote the value of Experiences Canada. My experience left a lasting impact on my life and I want to spread this joy throughout Canada.
Yaw smawtumkuks (Hello my friend)
My name is Christopher Haller, I’m 16 years old. I come from two nations Nuxalk (Bella Coola BC) and Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah Valley), I am currently residing in Nuxalk Nation. I graduate in one more year. After graduation I plan on going to university to take up engineering.
Right now for hobbies I enjoy playing sports, keeping fit and learning my culture. I feel when I leave my community for university, it’s important I know my identity and culture so I can have that to rely on through university and my adult life. Last year with my school through the exchanges program we traveled to Pukatawagan, Manitoba. It was a great experience and I’m glad I was given the
STUTWANIITSCW (Thank You!)
I am currently a grade 11 student enrolled at Vincent Massey High School located in Brandon, Manitoba. I am very active within the school community by playing a significant roll on the T.A.D.D (teens against destructive driving) committee as well as being a leader on the variety rugby team. Currently I volunteer at Westmans Communication Group where I am a sports photographer at hockey games. In November of 2016, I had the opportunity to be a part of an exchange trip with kids from Vancouver, British Columbia. The one major thing I enjoyed about this trip was learning about the different cultures from the kids involved within the program as well as being in their shoes and living in a whole other environment. I am looking forward to being a part of the YAC and giving these types of opportunities to kids just like us.