2015: Canada’s Past as Viewed by its Future
In the spirit of celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the project’s first year (2015) was centered on Canada’s history and the celebration of its founding moments and historically significant figures.
From January to March 2015, youths between the ages of 15 and 25 participated in regional workshops across the province in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Eastern Townships, the Gaspésie, the Outaouais, the Greater Montreal area and in the Provincial Capital Region. Led by their region’s youth project coordinator, youth participants attended three regional youth workshops in their respective regions to discuss Canada’s past, based on six topics outlined in the Young Quebecers Leading the Way Discussion Paper: Canadian Identity, Indigenous Peoples, the Economy, Politics and Democracy, Canada in the World, and Social Issues and the Environment.
The workshops encouraged Quebec youth to offer their views, through a reflection of Canada’s past, on the significance of youth engagement in shaping the future of their country. Using the bilingual Young Quebecers Leading the Way Discussion Paper as a reference, the regional youth coordinators led workshop participants through relevant discussions pertaining to the theme of the first year of the project: Canada’s Past as Viewed by its Future.
2015 Provincial Youth Forum
Along with their regional youth coordinator, youth participants represented their region at the provincial youth forum in Quebec City from March 6 to 8, 2015. Held at the Morrin Centre in the heart of Old Quebec, six dozen young Quebecers travelled to the province’s capital for an all-included weekend of lively discussions, inspiring presentations and the creation of a youth declaration on Canada’s past.
Activities began with a walking tour of Old Quebec on Friday, where participants were invited to explore one of the oldest cities in North America. The tour was followed by a welcome dinner at La Vielle Maison du Spaghetti. Youth delegates from all six regions stayed at the Auberge Internationale de Québec, a youth hostel in Old Quebec.
Saturday morning the forum officially began. Emceed by CBC’s Susan Campbell, guest speakers included VIA Rail President and CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Canada’s Research Chair of Quebec Contemporary History, Jocelyn Létourneau and filmmaker Kevin Tierney. Throughout the day, youths attended presentations based on the six themes that had been discussed during their regional youth workshops. To see the full list of workshop presenters, please click here. The day ended with a viewing of Kevin Tierney’s film French Immersion – C’est la faute à Trudeau followed by a discussion with the filmmaker himself, alongside a representative from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, Charles Taker.
On Sunday, participants created a bilingual youth declaration on their vision of Canada’s history, which was presented during the closing ceremony of the forum.