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Encounters with Canada

Encounters with Canada is a unique opportunity for Canadian teenagers to meet other young people from across the country. Teens spend an educational and adventure-filled week in Ottawa, sightseeing, exploring, learning, sharing and meeting other students from all across our nation. For thirty-six years, Encounters with Canada has offered their exceptional programs and to date, more than 112,000 youth have experienced Encounters with Canada.

Encounters with Canada is held at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre. The Centre acts as the students’ classroom and residence for the week long experience. Surrounding the Centre is over 2 1/2 acres of landscaped property. Although it is located in a safe residential neighbourhood, the facility is just minutes away from downtown Ottawa.

Every week of the school year, 120 to 150 teens from across Canada, aged 14 to 17 years, come to Ottawa to experience Encounters with Canada (EWC). Onoway Junior Senior High School has been sponsoring students who have wished to participate in EWC for many years. Round-trip air travel to the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre is provided free of charge by Canadian Heritage. The package cost for week-long experience - supplies, activities, visits and tours, and travel within Ottawa - is paid for by OJSH. All that the OJSH students need to bring is their own pocket money for souvenirs and incidentals.

Participants take part in exciting activities and excursions: there is a tour of the  nation’s capital, a visit to Parliament where students attend a Question Period,  tours of the many museums, a stop at Rideau Hall and perhaps a meet and greet with the Governor General. Teens take part in discussions about important issues in our country, and they discover more about Canada’s history, culture and heritage. They explore future career options related to the theme of the week that they have chosen. For example, there is Arts & Culture Week or Science & Ecology Week – in total, 15 career-orientated themes are offered. 

The one highlight that the majority of our OJSH students have mentioned is making friends with a variety of teens from a variety of backgrounds and cultures from all across Canada.

This year, three OJSH students have been accepted into Encounters with Canada. Grade 10 student, Caitilin Harrison, is excited to be attending the February 3rd to  February 9th  Medicine and Health week. Two other Grade 10 students, Trumaine Alexis and Isobel Bourassa are scheduled to attend the Arts and Culture week from March 31st to April 6th.

If you are a high school student, 14 to/ 17 years old, and are interested in this educational trip of a lifetime, please see one of the OJSH counsellors for more information and to apply.

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