OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2012) - From September 15 to 22, 2012, Elections Canada invites Canadians to celebrate Canada's Democracy Week. The week will include a series of events and activities across Canada, as well as a National Youth Challenge that offers youth the opportunity to creatively express their feelings about democracy.
This year's theme is discovery. Canada's Democracy Week will help young people discover our democratic system and give them an opportunity to have their voices heard, particularly youth who will be voting for the first time in the next general election.
"A healthy democracy depends on high levels of participation," says Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Marc Mayrand. "Canada's Democracy Week recognizes that young people are responsible and capable participants, and encourages them to discover the positive impact they can have on our country."
Here are some of the highlights of Canada's Democracy Week:
- The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Rick Mercer, K'NAAN and George Stroumboulopoulos form the judging panel for the National Youth Challenge. Youth aged 14-30 are invited to submit an image, video, blog post or tweet in response to the question "What are you doing for your democracy?"
- A workshop series entitled "Canada's Democratic Culture: Ideas Worth Spreading" featuring leaders in democratic engagement will be held at the University of British Columbia, Laurentian University and the University of New Brunswick. Participants will discuss and tweet about each panellist's "one great idea" on how to engage more Canadians in democracy.
- Leaders from Canada's civic education community will convene at the University of Ottawa and the University of Alberta's Campus Saint-Jean to discuss with student-teachers how to integrate hands-on civic education into the classroom and prepare the voters of tomorrow.
- There will be a week-long citizen participation program where students from two Quebec high schools will learn about the importance of voting and active citizenship through interactive workshops.
- Elections Canada and Canada's Public Policy Forum will release a report that calls for an ongoing collaborative approach to improving youth civic engagement.
- The celebration of democracy will continue beyond Canada's Democracy Week, with Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand addressing the Economic Club of Canada on September 25 on the issues of youth voter turnout and maintaining trust and engagement in the electoral system.
Canada's Democracy Week was first launched in September 2011 and is built around the United Nations' International Day of Democracy, celebrated worldwide on September 15.
For more information, visit democracy-democratie.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter at @democracyCA #demcda and at facebook.com/canadasdemocracyweek.
Elections Canada is an independent body set up by Parliament. Canada's Democracy Week is an Elections Canada civic education initiative.