Katimavik Day of Action – Volunteer / Journée d'action Katimavik – Bénévoles

Protest through volunteerism / Protestation par le bénévolat

Unique Canadian Protest Event

Not an insurmountable obstacle!

Not an insurmountable obstacle!

Saturday June 23  marks a unique protest event in Canada. A Day of Action that gives back to YOUR community.

With over 100 participants offering over 600 hours of service we are showing that Katimavik is a both a force for good in Canada and a force to be dealt with.

We have volunteers working individually in their own communities,  volunteers working as a group in the Katimavik way and even have volunteers working around the world in South Dakota, Nepal and Cambodia!

Lets’ take a look at a few of these personal stories:

Holly Vukobrat

“Katimavik alumni who returned to her placement in the Canadian Arctic and successfully obtained employment with her katimavik partner. ”

Rebeccah Redden

“I am a Katimavik alumni who believes that Katimavik should continue, and am actively pursuing its reinstatment.” 

Jenny Ferguson

“I am a former Project Leader who has seen what Katimavik does for youth, communities and Canadians.”

Jessica Klaassen-Wright

“I am a past alumni of Katimavik. I’ve participated in other Canadian volunteer programs and I regularly volunteer in my home community.”

Colleen Cleve

“Mother of two of the youth selected to volunteer with Katimavik to leave in July and not able to go due to the government cutting funds for the program.”

 Andrew Porter

“Passionate Katimavik alumni from 1982 seeks to right this wrong”

Meghan Chorney

“I’m a former Katimavik participant who is now a political studies honours student at the U of M. I am outspoken and firm in my belief that Katimavik is a life changing opportunity, and have begun my own petition and have been in contact with my MP.”

Colin Arratoon-Roy

“The 6 months in Katimavik drastically changed my life, my perspective of life, my direction in life, our Katimavik house burned down in Labrador which was an amazing experience, I could talk for days about the things I learned.”

Justin Chen

“I am in Burnaby, BC. Katimavik has changed my life it is a glorious yet individual experience so contacting many Katimavikers would be great to fully appreciate the scope of the program.” 

John Miedema

“Volunteering in Wakefield QC.  I was a Katimavik participant in 84-85. Over nine months I volunteered in three communities with a group of other young Canadians. We raised the original foundations of Fort Frontenac in Kingston Ontario. We helped build the historic cable car park in North West River Labrador. We volunteered in the school library of St. Brieux Saskatchewan. This experience was the foundation of my lifelong participation in Canadian communities and cultural life. On Saturday June 23 I will volunteer my IT skills to build the volunteer coordination website of the Wakefield Public Library.”

Arlene Labossiere

“I will be working in Selkirk, Manitoba. I am a past participant from 1985-86 and have been a billet family for the last 10 years.  In addition, my son was signed up for the January 2013 departure and had carefully planned that 6 months to be part of his “gap year” after graduating high school in June 2012.  Now that the program has been cancelled, he has not found anything else remotely similar that he can participate in during that time, so is very disappointed and at a loss as to what to do.  Katimavik had a strong impact on my life as a young participant, and I’ve always been a very vocal supporter of the program.  It’s a wonderful experience for young people that cannot be duplicated through any other means, and a great way to provided much appreciated reliable volunteer services to communities and non-profit organizations.  I believe it is important to raise awareness of the program, and hope that either this government (or the next!) will reinstate funding for Katimavik.  Canada needs Katimavik, and Katimavik needs Canadians to show support and rally together to save the program!”

Erica Tutt

“Having done a small amount of travelling myself I really feel that Canadians struggle with their national identity. Too many people (from all over) just see canada as a part of the states. Being a canadian, that is often seen as a negative thing 😉 Theyre like our older brother, we re family, but we still want to be recognized as our own person with our own ideas and opinions. Programs such as Katimavik really represent the holy grail of what it means to be canadian ( from what i understand of the program for i never got the chance to participate). My mom did this program when she was 19 & having heard such great things about it i was really excited to share the experience. I fear for the future of our country with Harper in control. harshly spoken he reminds me of previous president bushs bitch. Ive never been an extremely political person, and fairly spoken id say my awareness is still quite minimal. but the one positive thing that could come out of the cancellation of katimavik is that young people will hopefully strive to be more aware of whats going on in their government, to try and take part because the feeling of how helpless we were made will force people to take action and to lose their apathy.” 

Wade Walker

“I am 19 years old and from Markdale, ON. I am currently on a gap year after graduating high school and before going to McGill in September. I have always been very keen to get out and do things, but have never had enough money to do certain types of programs. Katimavik ended up being a perfect fit. It is not easy to find low cost programs, especially life changing ones but, I’ve been lucky enough to find a few. 

During high school I volunteering in my community and participated in many extra curriculars. I also did a smester of grade 12 at the Ontario Science Centre Science School. This program does not have tuition cost, it is covered like regular high school, you just need to find a place to live in Toronto and cover your living expenses. After graduating, I knew I wanted to take a year off to volunteer somewhere else in Canada and then somewhere internationally. I knew that, if I chose to volunteer instead of work before university, I would need very low cost programs. When I found Katimavik, I knew it would be perfect.

My host communities were Amqui, QC and Hamilton, ON. During my time in Amqui, I volunteers for the neighbouring Municipality of Val-Brillant. I, with another volunteer, did gardening, painting, cleaning trails, archiving and helped with a day camp. However, our big project was to design and build a municipal compost site. This site would have not been built, due to lack of man power, without Katimavik involvement. In Hamilton, I volunteered for Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. I helped sort food, in the food bank, in the office and anywhere I was needed. My main task, however, was working the their Christmas Hamper program, which helps 1500 families on Hamilton Mountain. I was in charge of the “Toy Room”. I had to train and organize 5-15 volunteers per day. The room was used to sort, count and pack all the toys, knit items, toiletries, stockings and family gifts for the Christmas hampers. I also wrote a manual to help ensure smooth operations in the future. Katimavik filled the first half of my gap year and I am currently in the second.

I am on a volunteer internship with Child Haven International (CHI) in Nepal. CHI is a Canadian based INGO that run children’s homes in central asia. They have 1 home in Nepal, 1 in Bangladesh, 1 in Tibet and 6 in India. The Nepal home has over 100 children in its care. The homes are run by local staff and can run with out western interns present. I am just extra help. I work in the kitchen, in the school library and generally play with the children, who range from 2-18 years old. Katimavik was good preparation for my time in Nepal. Although I was never spoilt but it taught me to live with less, a concept taken much further in Nepal. It also taught me that if you want to, you will love whatever community you live in. I first thought Amqui was small and boring but now I’m left with my wonderful memories of my time there. Being from southern Ontario, I knew of a certain reputation of Hamilton. All my preconception were quickly blown away and now I think it’s a wonderful, vibrant city. In Nepal, I’ve quickly come to terms with frequent load shedding blackouts, not always having running water, questionably paved roads and a big plate of rice and curry every breakfast and dinner. Katimavik taught me to appreciate the experiences while I’m in them. Of all the experiences so far in my life that could be considered life changing, Katimavik still tops the list.”

And some are working as groups:

Winnepeg, MB

“On June 23rd, a group of Katimavik supporters will be volunteering at the Selkirk Food Bank. The Selkirk Foodbank is a registered non-profit charity and has been around since the early 1980’s. The foodbank serves the communities of Selkirk, St. Andrews, and St. Clements, Manitoba. Funding is provided solely by donations and events such as bake sales, garage sales, etc. and the organization is staffed by volunteers. Approximately 150 to 200 people per week are assisted with donations of food provided by the foodbank and the generous supporters and volunteers.

“Arlene Labossière, Jordan Labossière, Marie Ellen, and Meghan Anne will be providing much needed help to the foodbank on Saturday morning. We aren’t sure exactly what our assigned duties will be, but we are up for anything! We belong to a group of Katimavik supporters and alumni here in Winnipeg (and surrounding area) who believe in the value of community volunteer work, and we are excited to provide our assistance to a non-profit organization that assists many of the disadvantaged people in the area.”

Burnaby, BC

“We have 11 people volunteering for the Kingsway Imperial Neighbourhood Assocation (KINA)’s Spirit Day Car Show and Family Carnival in Burnaby. We’ll be helping with:

  • Bouncy Castle Supervision
  • Bike Rally Marshall
  • Cake Walk (It’s a game kind of like musical chairs except with cake)
  • 50/50 ticket sales
  • Environmental Fishing Game (Kids fish for magnetic cardboard fish on a blue tarp with plastic bottles and junk lying around)
  • KINA Garland (Community members answer “what it means to be in a community” and create a garland)
  • And general etcetera.

“We will also have 5 alumni volunteering with the BC Lung Assocation’s Race and Urban Scavenger Hunt (RUSH) in Vancouver. They will be helping with one of the following:

  • Checkpoint Challenge Volunteer
  • Registration & Finish-line Volunteer
  • Route Marshall
  • Volunteer Driver”

What can YOU do to help?

On  June 23, 2012, Katimavik alumni and supporters are giving back to the communities hurt by the abrupt termination of Katimavik funding.  We hope YOU can help by writing your MP and let them know you think Katimavik is an indispensable part of the Canadian mosaic and must be maintained.


One comment on “Unique Canadian Protest Event

  1. Andrew Porter

    Check out our FB page for responses in the media.

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