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The Wachiay Friendship Centre, in conjunction with the John Howard Society of North Island, has developed a survey to assist at-risk youth who are transitioning to adult services.

Results will help several community agencies develop programs to help a large population of Valley youth and young adults who are not well supported or connected with the community.

The Have Your Say survey is intended to gain insight from those in the 15- to 24-year age bracket as to what they’d like to see in their community.

“There’s a huge gap between youth supports and adult supports, and what’s expected,” said Allison Abraham, FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder) keyworker at Wachiay. “My position sees a lot of those gaps because it’s developmental age versus chronological age.

“Because we are a friendship centre, we are a connect for a lot of aboriginal youth when they come from North Island,” she added. “We are sometimes that first connect for people when they’re not sure where else to go. The whole idea is that continuity, getting them used to being parts of groups, reaching out to adults to support them at a young age.”

The John Howard Society sees similarities in terms of youth in transition.

“They have a soft shoulder for a lot of the youth they support,” Abraham said. “There’s a lot on their plate at that young age, and they really do need that guidance still.”

She’s hoping to receive more than 300 completed surveys by June, ready for implementation by summer or September.

“We’re all doing this off the side of our desk to create a safety net for those in that age bracket,” Abraham said, noting a greater presence of youth at the library and soup kitchen. “We’re trying to reach as many youth as possible, especially the ones that aren’t connected.”

Surveys are available at Wachiay, the Courtenay Library, AIDS Vancouver Island, John Howard Society, Cumberland Community School drop in, the LINC, the Job Shop, Lewis Centre, soup kitchen, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Adult Mental Health, MSDSI (social assistance office), Transition Society and the Salvation Army shelter. Schools are also participating internally.

The survey can also be found online at

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On Monday afternoon, MLSE Foundation announced Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre as the first recipient of the Toronto Maple Leafs Community Action Grant presented by the Just Energy Foundation at St. Raymond School in Toronto. Youth from the Centre's Nook Children's program were present to celebrate the announcement that a new hockey program will be launched in their community and were invited to participate in ball hockey and combine skill testing with Toronto Maple Leafs hockey development coaches after the cheque presentation.

"We're extremely proud to announce Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre as the very first winner of the $50,000 Toronto Maple Leafs Community Action Grant presented by the Just Energy Foundation. Their Nook Children's program helps to empower many at-risk youth in Toronto by getting them involved in the community, which speaks closely to the MLSE Foundation's investment in sport for development," said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. "We can't wait to see their hockey program come to life and improve kids' lives through the sport of hockey."

Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre will receive the $50,000 grant to help fund the launch of its We Nook, We Shoot, We Score initiative; a free, weekly, after-school sport for development program focused on building participants' cooperation and life skills through hockey training. We Nook, We Shoot, We Score is open to youth between the ages of six and 12 and will positively affect the lives of over 1,000 high-needs, at-risk children in the Christie Ossington area by providing basic training in skating, shooting, scoring, goaltending and hockey rules and regulations. The program focuses on self-esteem, team building and healthy active living and will also provide equipment to participants unable to afford their own.

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the MLSE for this incredible funding partnership," said Jennifer Irving, Program Manager at Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. "We Nook, We Shoot, We Score will allow children to learn a variety of skill building exercises on and off the ice. Nook Children come from all walks of life; however we prioritize our program for those facing social and economic barriers. Hockey is an expensive sport that many families are unable to commit funds to. Through this partnership we are excited to offer children within our community a program with the appropriate equipment and training to succeed."

The Toronto Maple Leafs Community Action Grant along with the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC Community Action Grants are three $50,000 sport-specific prizes presented by the Just Energy Foundation that MLSE Foundation will award to non-profit organizations supporting youth sports programming in Toronto each year. In addition to the team-related grants, MLSE Foundation will also award a $50,000 grant that is not sport-specific to a selected charitable organization. Eligible non-profits can apply for all grants at, where submissions are reviewed by a selection committee before a winner is chosen and announced at a special event in their community.

"Through the Just Energy Foundation, we are passionate about our commitment to enhance the livelihood and well-being of the communities we serve," said Deb Merril, Just Energy's co-Chief Executive Officer. "It is especially satisfying to help underprivileged youth secure opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach for them. The Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre does tremendous work to build a nurturing and supportive environment. We're delighted to contribute to their Nook program to promote accessibility and provide enriching experiences through sport for such deserving youth."

About Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre

Founded in 1994, the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre is a multi-service organization that provides community based programming for high-needs children, at-risk youth, homeless men and women, newcomers and other vulnerable community members. The organization is dedicated to building upon the strengths and visions of community members to improve the quality of life. The Nook Children's Program aims to empower local at-risk children and youth with the knowledge to participate in and advocate for the positive community contributions. It is a free after school/summer/suspension help drop-in program for children ages five to 13.

For more information about Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre's Nook Children's program, visit

About MLSE Foundation

MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies - the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Foundation has invested more than $15 million into our community.

For more information visit, or follow @MLSEFoundation

About Just Energy Foundation

The Just Energy Foundation was established in 2013 by Just Energy Group Inc. to help registered Canadian and U.S. charitable organizations secure the resources required to promote the health and well-being of communities in need. Funded entirely by Just Energy, the Foundation invests in local programs that work to enhance the quality of life in Just Energy's operating markets towards building stronger and supportive communities. Visit to learn more.

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Windsor is proud to announce Mary Spencer as the Windsor community torchbearer for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG.

The torch relay will visit Windsor on June 16th and 17th and will feature Mary Spencer as the community torchbearer. Mary Spencer is one of Canada’s premier boxing champions, holding eight national titles, five Pan American titles, and three world titles. Outside of sport, Spencer is a member of Motivate Canada’s GEN 7 Aboriginal role model initiative. Through this program, she has developed sport, physical activity, and empowerment programming with Aboriginal youth in First Nations communities in Ontario. In 2013 she became one of six elite athlete mentors with the CIBC Team Next program, which provides funding and mentorship to young athletes who hope to represent Canada on the world stage.

“Mary Spencer will proudly carry the Pan Am flame as Windsor’s community torchbearer,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “Windsor is thrilled to be a part of this historic journey and we look forward sharing the excitement as we move towards the kick off of theTORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.”

During the 41-day torch relay, each of the 3,000 torchbearers will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment. The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.

“The torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. “The torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go.”

Featured on the torch are the United We Play! pictograms — colourful depictions of people in motion —symbolizing the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture. The aluminum torch stands 65 centimetres high and weighs 1.2 kilograms (or roughly the same weight as a baseball bat). With a burn time of 10 to 12 minutes, the flame can withstand winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour and is visible in all kinds of weather conditions.

About the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG, is supported by community partner CIBC and signature supporters Star Media Group and Metroland Media, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Porter Airlines. The torch relay will invite Canadians to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit throughout its 41-day journey towards Toronto, the Host City of the Games.
The torch relay starts May 30, 2015, and concludes July 10, 2015, with the dramatic lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in downtown Toronto.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

For more information, visit

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Hundreds gathered at centre court and in the stands at Duckworth Centre Saturday afternoon for the University of Winnipeg's 13th annual spring powwow.

Run by the Aboriginal Student Council and the Aboriginal Student Services Centre, the event was meant to honour the university's aboriginal graduates.

The powwow started Saturday morning with a pipe ceremony and a grand entrance.

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The open access course will explore seven knowledge syntheses identifying practices most likely to positively influence young people’s lives. With content specifically targeted to individuals and organizations working with vulnerable youth, the course will provide participants with concrete ideas for innovative programming, changes to policy, and the tools to assess the impact of the work they do.

Learn more and register here:
Classes start April 20th

Participants who complete the course requirements can apply for a citation of completion (for a nominal fee). The four week course equates to 16 credit hours that may qualify for continuing education or professional development credits.

Please direct any questions you have about the course to me- Emily Pelley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Aboriginal Physical Activity & Cultural Circle’s
3rd Annual National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference
Hosted by the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre
Membertou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
May 28th to 30th, 2015

You are invited to join us in sharing best practices, and to join other leaders who see the value in promoting physical activity in our Aboriginal communities. For more information please join

This is the nation’s largest conference on Physical Activity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, created for all of those with an interest in sports, fitness, & traditional activity who may be band council members; health directors, representatives, or health practitioners; counsellors; academics; recreation workers; coaches; fitness instructors; cultural leaders; community members, and all others interested in the promotion of health and wellness through physical activity.

National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference May 28th & 29th:
Location: The Membertou Trade and Convention Centre: 50 Maillard Street, Membertou NS
The Aboriginal Physical Activity & Cultural Circle is hosting the conference to provide a networking and education opportunity. The conference will feature contributed paper sessions, debates, panel discussions, and poster sessions in the interest of Aboriginal sports and recreation, fitness, and traditional activities and the benefits that stem from these activities.

Post Conference Gathering May 30th:
Location: The Membertou Trade and Convention Centre: 50 Maillard Street, Membertou NS
The Post Conference Gathering will be a community event open to all people and members of the community. It will feature a traditional activities focus and a fun social dance. We welcome all people from all over to join us for this closing event. Bring down your best dancing moccasins, drums, songs and have fun!

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Over the last year, the Government of Canada has continued to invest in sport at record levels, contributing almost $200 million across the Canadian amateur sport community to promote sport, support our high-performance athletes, and invest in hosting the Canada Games and international sport events in Canada.

With 2015 having been proclaimed the Year of Sport in Canada, this clearly demonstrates the important role sport plays in defining this country's national identity. Canada has a well-earned reputation of being proud of the athletes who represent us on the world stage and of having a dynamic sense of volunteerism, as hundreds of thousands of Canadians donate their time each year to sport all across the country.

Quick Facts

- Through Sport Canada's Sport Support Program, the Government of Canada contributed approximately $146 million to 56 Canadian single-sport sport organizations, 23 multisport service organizations and the 7 Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes to strengthen our national sport system and to help our Canadian athletes and coaches pursue excellence, at all levels of their development.

- Through the Athlete Assistance Program, $28 million in funding went directly to approximately 1,800 high-performance athletes, providing them with monthly financial assistance to cover living, training and education expenses to help them focus on the path to podium.

- Sport Canada's Hosting Program provided approximately $20 million to support the Canada Games and assist national sport organizations in their efforts to host world-class international single-sport events in communities all across the country. These events allow our Canadian athletes the chance to refine their skills against the world's best, on home soil.

- The Year of Sport in Canada highlights a very full sport calendar throughout 2015 in Canada. It features:
-- the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal;
-- the 25th edition of the Canada Games in Prince George, British Columbia;
-- the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton;
-- the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games (July 10-26) and Parapan Am Games (August 7-15) in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe region;
-- about 60 international single-sport events; and
-- around 55 national single-sport championships hosted annually by national sport organizations at all age levels.

- The Government of Canada has made significant investments in the success and legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, contributing up to $500 million towards:
-- sport infrastructure projects (up to $377.1 million);
-- the Toronto 2015 Sport Legacy Fund (up to $65 million);
-- a Federal Cultural Strategy (up to $6 million);
-- Canadian team preparation: athletes, coaches and officials (up to $3 million); and
-- essential federal services (up to $48.9 million) to support the staging of the Games.

- In 2014-15, the Government of Canada also doubled the Children's Fitness Tax Credit to $1,000 to help parents offset the costs of enrolling their children in organized sports.


"What a year for sport in Canada. As Canada's Sport Minister, I am very fortunate to take part in so many wonderful celebrations of sport-both at the community level, with programs like Canadian Tire Jumpstart and Kidsport, and at the national and international level, like the recent Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games or the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup. As I talk to so many Canadians, what remains constant is the important role that sport plays in their lives and the pride they feel seeing our athletes wear the maple leaf with such dignity and purpose. Our Government has invested in sport at record levels because we know the impact it has-from local playgrounds, to recreational sport leagues all the way to high performance athletes, sport is vital to the cultural fabric of our nation."
-The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)

Read more here

The Fast and Female Summit is the ultimate, full day conference for girls (ages 9 to 19), parents and coaches involved in all sports. As part of our Summits, participants get to meet many inspirational female athletes including at least one Olympic medalist and they take part in empowering activities for the mind, body and soul.

Summits are full day events and cover the following activities:

  • Check in (girls are split by age group 9-11, 12-14 and 15+ and they stay with their respective peers for the entire day), Parents and coaches get separate seminars as well on sport psychology, coaching the female athlete, and presentations by notable coaches and parents of athletes
  • Leadership and team building stations
  • Dryland component (multi sport skill development)
  • Sport psychology presentation
  • Sport nutrition presentation
  • Lunch
  • Buff Awards of Excellence presentations
  • Inspirational presentation by the ambassador(s)
  • Fun and social activity (dance, dream big craft projects, yoga, or video making depending on the age group)
  • Autograph signing

As part of our Summit events, each female youth receives a Fast and Female t-shirt.

On average, each Champ Chat event reaches between 100-150 girls.


The Fast and Female team manages the planning and execution of the Summits.

We work with local clubs, teams and sports organizations who help us spread the word about the event.


Summit events are currently held in large urban centres to ensure we reach as many girls, parents and coaches as possible. Our goal is to eventually offer at least one Summit in each Canadian province per year. To get involved in the planning of a Summit, connect with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information click here

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