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National Youth Week

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National Youth Week is May 1 – 7 every year, it is a week dedicated to the celebration of youth and their active participation in their community. Whether it is recreation, drama, sport, dance, civic engagement, art, volunteerism or leadership, every day young people are involved in meaningful activities during their discretionary time. National Youth Week is a time to honour their involvement!

Youth, those young people in their teenage years, are an important asset to Canadian communities. One way in which young people learn to successfully bridge the developmental gap between childhood and adulthood is through the activities in which they participate in their time out of school or work.

Through activities, such as recreation and art, youth learn five basic life skills, which include social, moral, ethical, physical and cognition competence. Additionally, through their involvement, young people are meeting the seven developmental needs which they need in order to feel fully engaged in the world around them. These needs are: self-definition, physical activity, meaningful participation, mastery and achievement, positive interaction with adults and peers, structure and clear limits, and creative expression. Programs and services that are designed to meet meets the needs of youth and help them develop their basic skills are called Intentional Youth Development programs.

In making a stand to reinforce the importance of play in the lives of Canada’s next generation, and in working to ensure that communities value the involvement of youth in all aspects of social recreation, a resolution was created by a network of Intentional Youth Development Workers from across the country. This resolution was presented to the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA), an organization representing more than 2,600 members across the country, and tens of thousands of stakeholders through its network of provincial and territorial partners. The resolution resolved that May 1 – 7 be designated as National Youth Week. The resolution was presented to the membership of the CPRA at its Annual General Meeting in 2006 and passed unanimously.


National Youth Week is an opportunity for your community to celebrate youth. It’s a chance for you to host events and support the principles of intentional youth development that National Youth Week stands for. It is a chance to do something in your community, knowing that hundreds of other communities across the country are dedicating their efforts to celebrate youth at the same time as you do!

For its inaugural year in 2007, National Youth Week was promoted through a network of contacts across the country. The goal was to get the word out that National Youth Week was here and to capture online, stories of those wonderful activities that communities, like yours, did to celebrate National Youth Week.

National Youth Week can be a series of new activities that you choose to do to celebrate youth, or you can run your existing program of activities under that National Youth Week banner. The intention of National Youth Week is to recognize the good work that goes on in communities with and for the youth of Canada.


The good thing is that everyone who wants to celebrate youth in his/her community owns a piece of National Youth Week. You can be one person who takes a few teens out bowling to recognize this event. You can be a community agency that hosts a basketball tournament and invites business leaders in the community to come out so that they can show their support of youth. You can be a Councillor in a municipality and bring forward a proclamation for the Council to adopt in support of National Youth Week.

If you as an individual, an agency, or a government body want to support young people’s involvement with play, then you can own a piece of National Youth Week. National Youth Week is not a program, it’s a movement, and – with interested people who are passionate about working with and supporting youth – it’s going to grow in Canada over the next few years. You can be a part of this movement! Click here if you’d like to promote National Youth Week and its tagline so you can attach it to your email address.


National Youth Week will be driven by what happens in local communities across Canada. Anything you do or that you know of, happening in your community during the week of May 1 through to the 7th and that celebrates, encourages, or showcases the involvement of youth in play in your community, can be part of National Youth Week.


Whenever you are tweeting about National Youth Week, what is going on in your community, or about an event you are attending, don’t forget to add the hashtag #youthweekcanada to help spread the good news of the great things that are happening May 1 – 7th!


If you’d like do something to help the movement along, please send your comments and suggestions. You can, because you own National Youth Week! Send your comments.

National Youth Week tag line options:

Short Version:

Celebrate National Youth Week, May 1 – 7, 20xx. Include NYW website

General Support:

Celebrate the involvement of adolescent youth in activities such as the arts, recreation, drama, sport, dance, fitness, civic engagement, volunteerism, leadership, leisure! Do something with and for the youth in your community during National Youth Week, May 1 – 7, 20xx.

Specific Generic Support:

The NAME YOUR CITY OR GROUP supports National Youth Week, May1 – 7, 20xx.

Specific Support:

The NAME YOUR CITY OR GROUP supports National Youth Week, May 1 – 7, 20xx. To see the great events and activities being held in celebration of youth, please go to (include your own website address here)

National Youth Week logo designed by Lashbrook Group Inc.


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