Is there anything more Canadian than celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in Ottawa on Parliament Hill and launching the next 150 years at WE Day Canada? How about bringing 10 youth from across Canada – including five new Canadians – to be a part of the festivities? We didn’t think so; so that’s exactly what we did!
Working with our WestJet Cares for Kids partner, WE, 10 youth participants were selected for the incredible contributions they are making in each of their communities. Representing Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories five Canadian youth ambassadors were paired with five new Canadians who now live in the same area. Together they travelled to Ottawa for an action-packed long weekend filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences including:
Taking a moment on the steps of Parliament on our way to VIP access to the Canada Day show dress rehearsal
Dancing in the rain during the Canada 150 show
Meeting celebrities like Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and Olympic champion Penny Oleksaik, along with dignitaries like Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
And being celebrated on the WE Day Canada stage
During our time together we learned about each other’s cultures and what being Canadian means to each of us. We bonded over our shared vision for a caring and compassionate Canada that is built on the values of diversity, inclusion and education. We took the WE pledge that echoes this vision – and we encourage you to take it, too! (Bonus: For every pledge, $10 will be donated to support WE’s local and global programs thanks to a generous long-time WE supporter.)
After spending four days with these 10 extraordinary youth participants I am optimistic about the future and am confident that the foundation for Canada’s next 150 years is in exceptional hands.
Happy birthday Canada! Here’s to many, many more years of making the world a better place.