Encounters With Canada
Encounters With Canada is a unique opportunity for Canadian teens to meet other young people from across the country. Spend an adventure-filled week in your nation’s capital! Check out future career options, discover your country, share your hopes and dreams. For 37 years, EWC has delivered a rich and varied, bilingual program. To date, more than 113,000 youth have lived the EWC experience… now it’s your turn!
"EWC give students the chance to learn, have fun and make new friends! We visited the Parliament, toured the city of Ottawa, and had a full day workshop at the St. Lawrence River Institute. There, we caught and tagged fish and invertebrates, identified bugs/insects a and learned about biodiversity."
"I can say I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Encounters with Canada program. I just love teaching and young people and the ones you get here, show me how much I miss it (now retired). I am honoured to be a part of this program and will continue to support and promote it to others."
"I learned how to play Kin-Ball, Ultimate Frisbee and the girls won tug of war over the boys every time! It’s crazy how close you can get to a complete stranger within a couple days! This experience is all about getting out of your comfort zone, starting the conversation first and being happy.”
"I really enjoyed marching in the National Ceremony with a cadet corp in the parade at the Cenotaph. But the major highlight was the wartime supper with the veterans. I was chosen as the representative for all army cadets in the province of NL, so I have a deep appreciation for our veterans."
“This experience has been a fantastic learning opportunity and allowed me to connect with students my age from across the country. It has also aided me in narrowing down my interests for future careers and post-secondary education. The memories I have made here will never be forgotten."
“My time here has allowed me to forge friendships of a lifetime and be involved in inspiring activities. All of the different program activities were eye-opening. From visiting museums to playing the role of a third world country, each moment thought me something new about the world we live in".
"I had an amazing week! I felt I had a lot of support from EWC staff and each activity was planned exceptionally well. I absolutely loved the sense of community that is in the centre, making the centre a true “home away from home”."
“This is an incredible experience! The personal growth you experience is outstanding and you make connections with people all across Canada. This, without a doubt, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe every student should have the chance to participate in.”
“I met so many friends and learned more about my country in 7 days than I have in my 17 years. We got to see Parliament Hill, many museums holding our nation’s history and played different sports our country enjoys from sea to sea. This week was amazing!”
"I loved how educational, fun and truly inspiring this program has been and I am changed by the overall experience. I am now much more passionate about my country and proud of it as a whole. People around me were fantastic and I found the positive and non-judgmental attitude truly inspiring."
“I’ve just had the best week of my life! I was astonished to see how many people shared the same desire to pursue a career in the medical field. I quickly became friends with individuals from all over Canada. I have never experienced anything as life-changing as Encounters!”
"Participating in Encounters with Canada has allowed me to exercise my social skills. It has also inspired me to consider becoming a science teacher. I have always had a passion for learning and this week has allowed me to discover the various provinces and territories of Canada in a whole new way."
"I met teacher-monitor Lorenzo Dragonieri at the Prime Minister's swearing-in on Nov. 4, 2015. I mentioned to him that I participated in the program back in April 1987, my daughter attended in April 2009 any my son in February 2013! He had such high praise for the students - what a sweet man!"
"At the Centre this week, I felt very welcomed and cared for by the staff members. The environment is full of enthusiasm and energy, it makes me feel amazing. I have learned new things from the activities and presentations, but also from the free time I have spent with my peers."
"My experience at EWC was the most memorable high school experience I’ve had in my life. We had an amazing time going to all the workshops and activities. I’ve made friends from all across the country and relationships that will last a lifetime. I will recommend to many friends to attend!"
"An AWESOME staff have been assembled here at EWC. Keep up the good work! The Monitors here have to be some of the nicest, most caring people I have met, and they all have such interesting backgrounds. They are a big part of making the participants, and new mentors (like myself) feel at home."
"This place could even be called Encounters with life as so many positive things come out of being here that have profound effect on my life. I have made new friends, renewed energy and a better appreciation for all things Canadian. I am always humbled by the participants and the EWC experience."
"This program is an experience I will never forget. The food was excellent, the teacher-monitors were so kind, and all the other participants were amazing!"
"This past week has changed my life. All the workshops, visits and sessions I've attend here in Ottawa have broaden my perspective on the medical profession. I have truly never felt so motivated to pursue any career in my 17 years of existence!"
The Centre provided a very comfortable stay and housed an immensely helpful staff that tried their very hardest to provide us with the best experience possible. They succeeded in doing so by investing in speakers and informative programs and visits within the city to broaden our knowledge."
"I have had a marvelous time! My patriotism has grown stronger through this program."
“EWC is a wonderful program that allows students to experience more of Canada’s culture and meet with other students with similar interests. This week gave me a lot of insight about what career option I could choose after high school. I even got CPR certified while being at the Centre!”
"This week has changed me as a person and I have grown so much during my time in Ottawa. I benefited tremendously from EWC, and I think many other northern youth would too. I sometimes feel isolated up in Yellowknife and coming to Ottawa boosted my confidence."
“Throughout this week,I have learned about my country, but more importantly, I learned to appreciate what I have. I have learned about our past and how people are trying to change our future. I have listened to the trumpet in the dark cemetery and seen the light in the veterans’ eyes."
“Meeting with Canadian youth from across Canada with similar career goals and learning more about Canada’s government, history and sparking interest in medicine and health has been very effective in my personal development and motivation. It inspired me to take action in my community!"
We met speakers such as scientist Glen Campbell, Chief Dan Richer and Major MacCulloch of the Peacekeeping Corps. They enriched our knowledge of Canada and helped us explore our career options. The country’s best students gathered and will be able to push the future as our elders pushed the present.
"EWC is a remarkable program that gives Canada’s youth an open environment of learning and growing as individuals as well as a country. It is such a beneficial program to today’s youth that will impact them (myself included) for the rest of our lives."
“My new knowledge about Canada and International Affairs has made me a well-informed individual, as well as a proud Canadian. I now recognize Canada’s diverse culture and role in the world, and how as youth, we are responsible to maintain and improve it”.
"After a week of laughter, meeting new friends, learning about our Canadian history and forming ties across the country, I’ve realized that this experience is one of the most valuable we young Canadians should encounter.”
“I think I can speak for the majority of EWC participants when I say that this was one of the most memorable weeks of my life this far.I have formed valuable connections with other youth across Canada and gained so much knowledge pertaining to subjects I am interested in. I definitely recommend it!"
"This was an unforgettable experience! I was able to learn more about my ever so fabulous country and appreciate it even more. Furthermore, I was able to make new friendships that I hope to carry on once returning to my home province. I will remember my week at Encounters for the rest of my life!"
“It has been the best week of my life! I got to go to multiple cultural workshops, including slam poetry with Nathaniel Larochette and pastel self-portraits in the style of Frida Khalo. This program is a great experience for any and all teenagers to become aware of things they can do in Canada."
"I was able to meet like-minded students from all other areas of the country, therefore allowing me to better understand and appreciate other parts of Canada. As well, I was able to gain long lasting friendships that broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to those around me."
“This program was so great and I am extremely glad I came. I made many connections with youth who are interested in similar things as I am. To travel across Canada for such an amazing experience was truly life changing. I hope more students like me have the chance to participate in this program.”
“This week has been one of the best in my life. I have made friends with youth from across Canada and I have participated in activities that I would not have the opportunity to do at home. I even helped with the research of minnows and aquatic invertebrates at the St-Laurence Research Institute!"
"I primarily speak English and this trip gave me the chance to get to know Francophones and really immerse myself in their language - my French has been vastly improved! Additionally, I got to explore many career opportunities and feel much better equipped to head off to post-secondary."
“I had the opportunity to meet youth from across Canada and learn about our country’s capital. It was an amazing experience of growth, learning and friend-making. I go to understand the ways of life of Canadians from across Canada and earn a greater appreciation and respect for our country.”
“It was an awesome experience that I would love to do again. I became CPR and defibrillation certified and talked to many first responders like firemen and paramedics, this really helped me to choose what I want to do when I’m older. I made friends from all over Canada who I will never forget.”
“I developed bonds with motivated young adults and was given the opportunity to explore a potential career path through various workshops and visits. I gained a deeper insight into Canadian medical research and greater appreciation for the diversity of Canada.”
"The Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre is a positive, caring environment, nurtured by people who are obviously dedicated to provide the participants and teacher-monitors with the best possible experience. It was great to be surrounded by positive, supportive individuals who seemed happy to help."
"This week has been one of the best of my life! Even though I myself am in cadets, everything was a new experience for me. Taking part in the ceremonies gave me a wonderful sense of purpose; it made a big impact on me. This whole week was a humbling experience and meant the world to me."
“This week has helped to give me a new perspective on the struggles faced by soldiers in the First World War. I really appreciate this opportunity to travel our country’s capital to learn about our history. I’ve made so many good friends here and learned so much!”
“This time has allowed me to grow as a person, build long lasting relationships, learn about different lifestyles and discover the wonders of Canada. I hope to never forget some of the moments I’ve shared at EWC and that many other students my age will have the chance to live the same thing!”
“My week at encounters was amazing. I may have only knew the people I met for a week but I know that our friendship will last a lifetime. I've never laughed, cheered, clapped, had so much fun and cried so much in just one week. I can say without a doubt this was the best week of my life!"
"Through this program, I learned how to handle myself in an airport and book my own flight and handle all my own expenses!"
“One of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life. We participated in many different activities. Dragon boating, B-boy break dancing, mini golf and boot camp are only a few of the physical activities I participated in. We also went to museums, guided tours of the city, a ghost walk, etc.!"
"I was so lucky to meet so many people and learn about their culture and where they come from. I also was acquainted with many Francophones which allowed me to speak more in French. I was so lucky to come on this eye-opening experience!”
"Over the course of the week, we met diplomats of France, Switzerland, Ecuador, Indonesia and a UN peacekeeper! It impacted me greatly and inspired me to be a better citizen, a global citizen. In return, I will go back to my home city and tell my friends and teacher about this unforgettable week!”
“I have never had this sort of surreal experience before in my life, and I will never forget the week. One of my greatest ambitions in life is to one day become a lawyer working at the Supreme Court of Canada, and I felt like a dream come true when we got the chance to tour the Supreme Court!"
"This trip has not only educated me about the Canadian health system, existing jobs and clarified my ideas about my future career path, but it fortified my Canadian pride, gave me new knowledge on our country’s history and reaffirmed my belief that my bilingualism is extremely important."
"It was incredible to leave our home town, go across Canada, and meet so many new people and experience new things. If I could choose one thing to have right now, it would be another week with these wonderful people in the beautiful city of Ottawa. This experience has most definitely changed me."
“Such a good program, really life changing. I met so many new people here, some even closer to my friends back home. You get to meet people with the same interests as you and everyone and the staff are super friendly and nice. I would recommend this program and opportunity to anyone."
An interview with Valdemar Amigo, incoming Director of Encounters with Canada
Historica Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Valdemar ‘Val’ Amigo as the new Director of its Ottawa-based Encounters With Canada program.
On March 25, 2019, Dr. Adrienne Junek spoke to Encounters with Canada Health & Medicine participants. She told them about health-related careers and gave them pointers on how to be successful in that field. Ms.