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Experiences Canada Hosts First In Person National Event Since 2020

After two years of virtual programs and events, Experiences Canada is bringing together 60 youth participants and youth leaders in Winnipeg May 5-8 for a summit on allyship and advocacy. As part of the summit, the participants will have the opportunity to volunteer with Pride Winnipeg to clean up of the Assiniboine Forest, visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Quamajug: the Inuit Centre at WAG, and tour Fort Whyte Alive. For many venues, this will also be their first national tour group since the pandemic began.

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, remarked: "As strong and vocal advocates for fundamental change, youth are our future. They are the leaders of today and tomorrow who, through opportunities such as these, are building a more inclusive and equitable Canada."

Youth were invited to apply by sharing their perspective about allyship. Experiences Canada received twice as many applications as it had spaces available. Over the past three months, the youth have been preparing by attending virtual meetings regularly to learn about a variety of allyship topics including Islamophobia, LBGBTQ2S+, Reconciliation, accessibility for persons living with disabilities, environmental racism, mental health, and the impacts of social media. "The webinars leading up to the Forum have been so informative and allowed me to be able to have discussions around topics that aren't necessarily common conversation in my household, said Regan Sentner, a youth participant from PEI. " I am really excited to be able to take what I have learned and educate others as well." "Being able to see so much passion and humanity displayed by all the speakers and fellow participants is so inspiring to me, as young person wanting to get involved in issues that I am passionate about," added Mehul Madhura, a participant from Toronto. "While we want the participants to have a great time in Winnipeg on what is likely their first big trip since the pandemic began, their primary purpose will be to work together to complete recording and production on a series of original podcasts for youth about allyship and advocacy, said Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Experiences Canada. "The podcast series will be their opportunity to share the knowledge they have gained with a wider youth audience." The project is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage's Youth Forums Canada component of the Exchanges Canada Program as well as private donors including Canada Life, Power Corporation of Canada, and WestJet. "At Canada Life, we're committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our communities and dedicated to creating a culture that is inclusive," said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Canada Life. "That's why we're pleased to support Experiences Canada – because they help drive meaningful change in the places we live and work. Through their innovative programs, Experiences Canada inspires youth to tackle complex social issues and help them feel empowered as future change makers." Media interested in covering the event are invited to contact us for a complete itinerary. About Experiences Canada 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 connect with one another. For 85 years, Experiences Canada has opened young people's minds and involved them in a broader world. We offer transformative learning opportunities accessible to youth across Canada – creating fun, safe, memorable experiences that deepen their connection to their community and their country, enrich personal relationships, and build confidence and skills.

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