Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce a partnership with Encounters with Canada to enrich the experience of young Canadians during Canada’s sesquicentennial year.

Encounters with Canada participants visiting Ottawa in 2017 will have the opportunity to represent Ottawa as Youth Ambassadors. The students, aged 14 to 17 years, will participate in Ottawa 2017 events, help with marketing and media activities, including social media outreach, and join the Ottawa 2017 volunteer program for certain events. Upon their return home, they will then serve as special representatives of Ottawa, making presentations in their communities about their Ottawa 2017 experience.

“Thanks to Encounters with Canada, every year thousands of young Canadians have the opportunity to discover our country and immerse themselves in our culture and heritage,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “In 2017, as we host the world for Canada’s 150th anniversary, we want those students from coast to coast to coast to experience their nation’s capital and share what they experience with their family, friends and local community.”

Added Linda Brunet, Director General of Encounters with Canada: “Each year, more than 3,200 young people from across Canada cross our doorstep to live a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our partnership with Ottawa 2017 will provide Encounters’ participants with the unique opportunity to be part of history, becoming ambassadors for Canadian youth and representing their provinces, territories and their communities during Canada’s 150th celebrations.”

“As we celebrate both Canada’s and CIBC’s 150th anniversaries, we are proud to work with an organization such as Encounters with Canada, to engage and involve youth in marking this milestone,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “These celebrations present a wonderful opportunity to foster and develop stronger connections to our country and each other.”

“Our partnership with Encounters with Canada will engage teens to connect their communities to the festivities here in Ottawa,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “As Youth Ambassadors, they will help us build a truly national celebration and allow Canadians across the country to share in their experiences.”

Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-calibre experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017:

Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

About Encounters with Canada

Encounters with Canada is our country’s largest and foremost youth forum. Every week of the school year, 120 to 148 teens from across Canada, aged 14 to 17 years, come to Ottawa. Here they discover their country through each other, learn about Canadian institutions, meet famous and accomplished Canadians, explore exciting career options, develop their civic leadership skills and live an extraordinary bilingual experience.