Learn more about your country’s diverse cultures, and its history, leaders, accomplishments and important institutions.
Explore career pathways
Select one of 13 theme weeks; meet leaders in their fields; discover and explore exciting career options.
Meet teen leaders
Become an ambassador for your province or territory, by sharing your interests, hopes and dreams with other involved, young Canadians, like yourself!
Seize the future!
Join some 120 students from across Canada travel to Ottawa to take part in an extraordinary bilingual experience.
Begin Your Adventure
Visit your national capital
Take part in a jam-packed week of activities and excursions, designed to help you learn more about your capital city. Take a VIP tour of our national capital. Visit Parliament and attend Question Period. Admire masterworks of art and engineering at Ottawa’s many magnificent museums. Stop by Rideau Hall, and maybe even meet the Governor General.
Learn more about your country
Discuss important contemporary issues in our country, such as linguistic duality, youth engagement and the price of peace in our time. See our government in action. Discover more about Canada’s history, culture, and heritage, and the secrets behind the founding of our great nation!
Explore future career options
Awaken your inner artist by taking part in Arts & Culture Week! Or unleash your eco-side during Science & Ecology Week. Participate in dynamic workshops and hear from experts related to your field of interest. Within a 27-week framework, EWC offers 13 exciting, career-oriented themes. There’s something for everyone, no matter your interests!
Meet other youth leaders
Make friends with teens from across Canada! Share your similarities and differences with other young Canadians, just like you. Enjoy the unique experience of forming a mini-Canada forum with other youth sharing this fantastic, bilingual adventure.
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“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".
“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 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!"
“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”.
“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!”
“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 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 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.”
"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’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!”
“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!"
“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."
"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!"
"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."
"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."
“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."
"Through this program, I learned how to handle myself in an airport and book my own flight and handle all my own expenses!"
“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.”
“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!"
“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!"
"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."
"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."
"I have had a marvelous time! My patriotism has grown stronger through this program."
"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."
"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!"
"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."
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."
"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.”
“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.”
"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!”
“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."
“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.”
“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!"
"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!”
“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."
“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!"
“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!”
“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.!"
MP (2008-2015); New Democratic Party Deputy Leader and...