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, members 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
Judith Sullivan-Corney, Vice-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.
Christie Brown is currently a Vice-Principal at Macdonald High School in the West Island of Montreal. She was destined to be a teacher having grown up surrounded by dedicated educators in Montreal. Christie holds a B.A., a B. Ed., a graduate diploma in Management as well as an M.A. in Leadership, all from McGill University.
A classroom teacher, a consultant as well as a curriculum director for the first 13 years of her career, prior to her current post, Christie worked as an education specialist at the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport in Quebec within the Services to the Anglophone Community Department (Services à la communauté anglophone).
Christie has also collaborated with several Aboriginal Nations in Quebec on pedagogical issues and projects. Christie works with a wide range of volunteer organizations, including the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal where she is currently Vice President.
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.
Kyle Hill is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Teach For Canada.
Born and raised in the small community of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Kyle’s K-12 teachers played a profound and formative role in his life, and his passion for education is driven by the impact his own education had on his development.
In 2014, Kyle sat on the Nova Scotia Minister’s Panel on Education, which undertook a once-in-a-generation review of the province’s education system. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of SEVEC, a charitable organization which funds 5000 youth exchanges throughout Canada each year. He was a volunteer summer school teacher in Jamaica (2008) and Ukraine (2009).
Kyle’s professional background is deeply rooted in mathematics and the natural sciences. He has B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from Mount Allison University, and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in medical physics from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His Ph.D. research enabled early-stage diagnosis of lung diseases such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. From 2011-2014, Kyle used his mathematical background as a Consultant and Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group in Toronto.
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.
The committee is ad hoc, with members typically focused on specific topics or issues of concern to Experiences Canada.
Tom Cianfrini is a former Middle School teacher and Group Organizer at Deninu School in Fort Resolution. During his time up north he was able to experience many cultural activities, including: dog mushing, drumming, Deninu games, hand games, dry meat making, story telling, snowshoeing, and hunting and trapping (among many others). Living in the North was an amazing experience that he will never forget. Currently he is a high school teacher in the Burnaby School District at Fraser Park Secondary, within the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Center. Tom has always had a passion for inspiring those around him to always be curious and explore as many of the infinite facets of our Earth as possible. In his free time Tom can often be found in the outdoors, spending quality time with his partner Megan and dog Luna. Some of his favourite activities include: prancing around in the mountains, playing as many sports as possible, reading about anything and everything, travelling to new and exciting places, and trying out the plethora of foods and beverages that East Vancouver has to offer.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas is the newly elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, winning after the first ballot with 33 out of 54 possible votes, a historical vote in Manitoba. Dumas is Cree, born and raised on Mathias Colomb First Nation (Pukatawagan) and served as its chief from 2008 to 2017. His first language is Cree. He is widely known in environmental and Indigenous-rights groups across Canada. He attended Mount Allison University in, Sackville, New Brunswick. He studied political science and Canadian studies. Grand Chief Dumas has also served in various roles with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, including as vice-chief. He has also served on various committees with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs before his unprecedented election win.
Jaron Hart is Nehetho from South Indian Lake, Manitoba located in Treaty 5 Territory. He studied Political Science and English at the University of Manitoba before proceeding to work for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as a Policy Analyst. Passionate about politics and social justice issues, Jaron spends the majority of his spare time through volunteerism and advocacy around social justice issues. Jaron is currently enrolled in the highly competitive Next Up Leadership Program which aims to foster growth in young people committed to environmental and social justice. Additionally Jaron serves as a Youth Advisor to the Honorable Independent Senator for Manitoba Marilou McPhedran and is involved with Manitobans for Human Rights as a Board Member where he Chairs their Children and Youth Steering Committee. Always looking to give back to his community, Jaron is excited and happy to be working with Experiences Canada in an Advisory Capacity pertaining to their Indigenous and Youth Programming.
Arnaud is the Physical Education teacher in the Inuit community of Kangirsuk, Nunavik, Quebec.
Born and raised in Paris, France, Arnaud’s teachers and coaches played a formative role in his life. Looking for a way to give back to others what education gave to him, he became a Physical Education teacher.
He moved to Montreal, Quebec, in 2010 to discover a new country and have a different teaching experience. Looking for an even more adventurous experience, he applied to the Kativik School Board in 2013, and was hired a job in Kangirsuk, Nunavik, in Northern Quebec.
Although the first year was quite a challenge, he stayed and got involved in different sports and travel projects over the years. The motivating principles that underlied his efforts was to give new opportunities to the students, foster perseverance, and improve their education in a different way
Laura McLennan teaches high school English, Socials and First Nations Studies at Acwsalcta: A Place of Learning, the school of the Nuxalk Nation. She grew up in Vancouver and is a member of the Metis Nation of BC, she also has Cree and Mohawk ancestry She has an undergraduate degree in First Nations Studies, an education degree in Secondary Social Studies and a masters degree in Adult Learning with a focus on indigenizing schools. Laura lived in Thailand for 7 years where she worked for an NGO, a private school and volunteered extensively teaching about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Indigenous groups in Burma. Before coming to Acwsalcta, Laura taught in the Vancouver School Board for 2 years where she ran the Aboriginal students club at an inner-city high school. Laura’s teaching goal is to help her students be proud of their Indigenous identity and also have the skills to flourish in the globalized world. She is currently planning a trip to Europe with her grade 11 and 12 students in March 2018.
I am the principal at Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School; Canada’s only Indigenous charter school. After graduating from Concordia University in 2005, I began my teaching career at MECCS and have just begun my seventh year as school administrator. From my own experiences I bring an informed and caring view of Aboriginal youth and a sensitivity to the diverse needs of the community they come from. I have a very fervent belief that providing Aboriginal youth with opportunities to see beyond their communities is essential to our shared journey towards reconciliation.
Mother Earth’s Children’s Charter School has just been twinned with its fifth partner through Experiences Canada and we are looking forward to helping Aboriginal youth expand their horizons and undertake this life-altering journey.
My name is Steve Kataquapit from Attawapiskat. I am an educator in the community. I have worked in youth programming for years and recently travelled to Oakville with the boys hockey team on an Experiences Canada exchange. I have taken on many roles and most recently will be volunteering with the Hockey Cares team as Director of Education.
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;
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.
I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Canada 150&Me forums in Vancouver and 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 sure to last a lifetime. I live on 16 Wing Base Borden and attend school at Nottawasaga Pines Secondary in Angus. At school, I am very involved in leadership and student council. In July of 2017, I was hired as an ambassador for Youth Empower, a youth-run organization that gives motivation to youth to do good in their communities. I am extremely excited to be a part of Experiences Canada’s Youth Advisory Committee this year and look forward to seeing what incredible experiences it brings.
Catherine Cadigan (President)
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!
I am Sydney McGrath, I am 18 years old. I grew up in LeRoy Saskatchewan and am now attending school at the University of Regina, pursuing a career in elementary education. I travelled to Wolfville, Nova Scotia for my Experiences Canada exchange in grade 11. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to take my students on an exchange as well. This is my second year on the YAC committee, last year I attended the annual general meeting and had a blast! For the past year I have been the Secretary for the committee and have enjoyed it each step of the way. Experiences Canada has a great program going for the young youth of our country. I am so blessed to have been a part of the committee that keeps it going!
I’m from a small town of Madoc ON and when I heard my school was looking to do an exchange through Experiences Canada I was ecstatic. We ended up going to Kelowna B.C which is the exact opposite of my town. It really showed me how diverse our amazing country is in so many ways and I’m excited to give back to the Experiences Canada program so more youth can experience what I was so lucky to have experienced myself.
I am a grade 12 student from Ottawa, Ontario. Born in London, England, Canada became my home in 2008. Since then I’ve enjoyed spending my time traveling around the country, including my exchange with Experiences Canada where I visited Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. During that trip I learned many valuable lessons and made close friends whom I’m still in contact with today. Because of my time in BC I’m dedicated to helping others experience some of the amazing things that I did. In my free time when I’m not travelling, I enjoy practicing as many musical instruments as I can get my hands on, swimming, and hiking.
Spencer Bubis (Vice-President)
Spencer Bubis is a Grade 10 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.
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.
Kate Giebelhaus (secretary)
I am from a small town in Alberta. In May 2016, I had the privilege to take part in an Experiences Canada exchange to Nova Scotia. When I left for the exchange, I was very quiet and shy but when I returned I was a completely different person. This trip widened my view of Canada and allowed me to make long lasting friendships. I was able to become more confident and connect with new people around me. I applied for YAC because I believe Experiences Canada is an amazing opportunity and I hope to help the program by promoting it to others and sharing my experience with them.
My name is Lise Charles, I am from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and am currently attending Pearson College UWC of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia. In my third and final year on the Youth Advisory Committee, I have been serving as vice president. In the winter of 2015, I participated in an Experiences Canada exchange to Papineauville, Quebec. In April 2017, I participated in Experiences Canada’s 150&Me Project and travelled to Vancouver to attend the Youth Forum on the Environment. Experiences Canada has given me opportunities to travel across Canada to see the diversity in its geography and cultures, to meet other Canadian youth and consequently to have memories and friendships which will last a lifetime.
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.
In June 2017, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Ottawa for the Canada 150&Me program which was organized by Experiences Canada. For me, the most exciting part of the program was doing a group presentation in front of the Governor General about the issues facing Canadians. Throughout this trip I was able to learn so much about the lifestyles of people living in different parts of Canada. As a result of this program, I became more interested in promoting exchanges to youth and learning more about the diversity of Canadian culture.
My name is Astrid Krueger and I’m from Edmonton, Alberta. This is my third year on the YAC and I’m honored to have served the role of president for the past term. With Experiences Canada, I was fortunate enough to have traveled to St Agapit and St Etienne on linguistic exchanges in junior high, as well as participate in the Canada 150&Me forum in Vancouver. Experiences Canada has given me so many opportunities to travel the country, connect with other youth and become established in a network of people who love everything Canada has to offer as much as I do! Giving back to Experiences Canada by being a member of the YAC is a privilege and I’m so excited to see what we will accomplish this year!