Encounters with Canada

1805 Gaspé Ave. Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 0A4 (view map)

14 to 17 (Coed )
Overnight camp
Special Needs:
Yes, Mild support (Not all campers have special needs)


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  Christa Irakoze
  Phone Program

About this camp

Encounters with Canada

Encounters With Canada is a unique opportunity for Canadian teens to meet other young people from across the country. Spend an adventure-filled week in your nation’s capital! Explore future career options, discover your country, participate in fascinating workshops and events. For 37 years, EWC has delivered a rich and varied, bilingual program.

The Our Kids review of Encounters with Canada


Historica is an independent organization devoted to growing awareness of the history and culture of Canada. The Heritage Minutes—a long-time staple of Canadian classrooms and broadcasting—are the most visible aspect of their work and give a good sense of what the goals are, namely to educate young people through dynamic engagement. There are lots of other programs too of course, of which Encounters with Canada is, in some senses, the most ambitious. The sessions bring young people together from across the country, meeting in Ottawa to learn about our institutions, meet some of the people that drive them, and to share ideas and perspectives. Running since 1982, the alumni include activists, professionals, at least one Rhodes Scholar, and Leona Aglukkaq, who served as minister of  Arts & Culture (2008-2015); Minister of the Environment (2013-2015), Minister for the Arctic Circle (2012-2015), Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (2012-2015); Minister of Health (2008-2013). The sessions are kept intentionally small, with a maximum of 150 participants in each. The experience, for a vast majority, is transformational.

Session Calendar

Choose the right sessions for your child. Filter by activities offered or search by dates below.

Activity filters:

Activities available at this camp: (Currently showing 8 of 8 sessions)

Available Sessions:

Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Apr 26-May 02$750
ESL|FSL|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Sport (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Mar 22-28 $750
Wilderness Out-tripping|Zipline|Strength and Conditioning|Acro|Archery|Badminton |Baseball/Softball|Basketball|BMX / Motocross|Board Sailing|Canoeing|Cycling|Figure skating|Football|Gymnastics|Hiking|Hockey|Ice Skating|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Lacrosse|Mountain Biking|Paintball|Ping Pong|Rock Climbing|Skateboarding|Skiing/Snowboarding|Soccer|Track and Field|Trampoline|Ultimate Frisbee|Volleyball|Yoga|Zip Line
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Mar 15-21 $750
ESL|FSL|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Feb 23-29 $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Mar 29-Apr 04$750
Animation / 3D design|Computer programming|Minecraft|Technology|Web design/development|Video Game/Web Design|Robotics|ESL|FSL|Leadership training|Engineering|STEM
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
ESL|FSL|Leadership training|STEM|First-aid/lifesaving |Mindfulness Training
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Mar 01-07 $750
Entrepreneurship|ESL|FSL|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Apr 05-11 $750
Military|ESL|FSL|Leadership training
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 17
Education (multi) $0 to $750
1805 Gaspé Ave.
Apr 19-25 $750
ESL|FSL|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate

1805 Gaspé Ave., Ottawa, Ontario

Encounters with Canada
Encounters with Canada
1805 Gaspé Ave. Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 0A4
Contact name:
Christa Irakoze

Phone number:
(613) 744-1290×
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Reviews & Testimonials

  • An unforgettable experience!
    Caci Ladio, North Vancouver, BC, Experience Canada 2015 — Camp alumni

    "This was an unforgettable experience! I was able to learn more about my ever so fabulous country and appreciate it even more. Furthermore, I was able to make new friendships that I hope to carry on once returning to my home province. I will remember my week at Encounters for the rest of my life!"

  • My patriotism has grown stronger
    Keegan Gray, Woodstock, N.-B., Sports and Fitness 2014 — Camp alumni

    "I have had a marvelous time! My patriotism has grown stronger through this program."

  • Meeting fascinating speakers
    Samuel Barrett, Winnipeg, MB, Science & Technology 2017 — Camp alumni

    We met speakers such as scientist Glen Campbell, Chief Dan Richer and Major MacCulloch of the Peacekeeping Corps. They enriched our knowledge of Canada and helped us explore our career options. The country’s best students gathered and will be able to push the future as our elders pushed the present.

  • This experience has changed me
    Cleo Mills, Quesnel, BC, Sports & Fitness 2015 — Camp alumni

    "It was incredible to leave our home town, go across Canada, and meet so many new people and experience new things. If I could choose one thing to have right now, it would be another week with these wonderful people in the beautiful city of Ottawa. This experience has most definitely changed me."

  • "My husband and I met as participants in 1996"
    Heather Mitchell & Michael Correa, Law 1996 — Camp alumni

    "My husband and I met as participants in 1996. We have many fond memories of our week. Thank you for the experience that allowed us to meet. In 2009, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and the birth of our daughter. We are especially grateful, because without your program, she wouldn't exist. We can't thank you enough."

  • "The week I spent at EWC has had a lasting impact"
    Lana Myroniuk Sports & Fitness 2006 — Camp alumni

    "The week I spent at EWC has had a lasting impact. Meeting students from all across this beautiful country and discussing our future plans inspired me to get involved in my community. Encouragement from program advisers motivated me to pursue ambitious personal and academic goals throughout my life. As a university graduate, I can look back and say with confidence that EWC got me thinking about my future and how I can contribute to society. I would recommend this wonderful program to every single student in Canada!"

  • These are our future leaders leading today.
    Catherine Chow Law 1997 & Monitor since 2010 — Camp alumni

    "I attended Law week (February 1997) as a participant. Recently, I was fortunate enough to return for Medicine and Health week, but this time as a teacher-monitor. The perspectives differ tremendously. As a participant, I recall meeting 120 youth from across Canada, the need to make a few good friends, the long line-ups, and the endless new experiences. As a teacher-monitor, I wish for simple modules, nutritious meals, lights out, and helpful participants. However, the best part about EWC is not all these things. It is the celebration of being Canadian, learning about others, respecting cultures and celebrating diversity. In my two weeks here (spread over 15 years), I continue to respect that the founders and administrators continue to fight for this important cornerstone program for youth. I continue to see improvements in programming and activities. I observed friendships and networks being formed and maintained. We are very fortunate to have all this in a country called Canada. These are our future leaders leading today. Thank you, EWC participants, staff, sponsors, governments and volunteers, for keeping this a reality in our nation’s capital."

  • EWC is a great way to meet and stay in touch with students all across Canada.
    Amy Bright Journalism & Communications 2004 — Camp alumni

    "I attended EWC in the fall of 2004 for the Journalism and Communications Program and absolutely loved my experience there. EWC is a great way to meet and stay in touch with students all across Canada. When I moved from Alberta to New Brunswick for my undergrad degree, I found out that I already knew a few people in my program who had been in my EWC group! My first book, Before We Go, was just released in May 2012, and I am starting at PhD in English at the University of Alberta in the fall. Since the program highlights specific categories of interest, I can certainly say that Journalism and Communication week has had a huge impact on my life and where I am now!"

  • I just can't stop talking about all of the wonderful experiences that I had during my week there.
    Nancy (Turner) Sweeney Science & Technology 2001 — Camp alumni

    "When someone mentions the Encounters with Canada program, it's like they open a flood gate - I just can't stop talking about all of the wonderful experiences that I had during my week there. I met so many wonderful people and partook in so many exciting activities, each helping to create memories that I still treasure! Even though it's been almost ten years since I attended, I still keep in touch with many of the friends that I made in Ottawa, and I was even lucky enough to attend university with a couple of fellow participants. Who knew that a mere seven days could have such an impact on the rest of your life? It was the last thing that I expected when I attended, but I know that my life would never be the same without it! And if you are a teen who ever gets the chance to go... go!"

  • An experience no one should miss!
    Nathan Unger Arts & Culture 2011 — Camp alumni

    "Encounters with Canada offered me one of the most memorable weeks of my life. The guest speakers were both entertaining and informative and I was able to choose between a variety of workshops and other activities. I was never bored. Even during the time that we were given just to mingle and talk, I found plenty of people from all over Canada had interesting stories and intriguing backgrounds to learn about. Another great thing about Encounters is that you go on a themed week which means you already have something in common with everyone else there! It’s an experience no one should miss!"

  • One of the most defining weeks of my entire life
    Dayna Schoepp Arts & Culture 2010 — Camp alumni

    "I participated in the Arts & Culture program, November 14-20, 2010. I found this to be one of the most defining weeks of my entire life, and, wanting to share the experience, I wrote an article for my school's newsletter and Youthink Magazine when I got home from the trip. It is my goal to tell as many students as possible about this trip in hopes that they may have this opportunity as well. I only wish every person could have this experience!"

  • Attending the Centre sparked the leadership bug
    Dawn McBride Natural Resources & Environment 1985 — Camp alumni

    "Attending the Terry Fox Centre had a huge impact on me. I still talk of how the Centre changed my life - literally. I came back and dived into my studies so I could attend university. At the time I attended, I was going through great emotional difficulty in my life and attending the Centre sparked the leadership bug and voila... I turned my life around. Today, I have a Ph.D. and I am very active in my community."

  • That one week in Ottawa, everything within me changed...
    Taylor Quinn Business & Entrepreneurship 2009 — Camp alumni

    "When I arrived at Encounters with Canada, I was nothing more than your average kid, who didn't know anything outside of my western society bubble. That one week in Ottawa, everything within me changed, and I became the person that I am today. Meeting William and Kate (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), spending my summers volunteering in rural Africa, speaking to youth about social change, all the things I do and cherish in my life today - I owe it all to Encounters with Canada."

  • One of the highlights of my youth
    Peter Ryan Canadian Experience 1990 — Camp alumni

    “My week at Encounters with Canada/Rencontres du Canada was one of the highlights of my youth. It was the first time that as a young, bilingual Saskatonian I had the opportunity to interact with people of the same age from across Canada. Not only was it a chance to meet and make friends with people that spoke a variety of languages, I was able to learn about how our country's cultures varied depending on where we happened to live. When I reminisce about that week in April 1990, highlights that come to mind include visiting the House of Commons, meeting WWII veterans, taking part in a nation-wide call-in television program and, of course, the talent show and party on the last night before we all (tearfully) said goodbye the following morning as we boarded the school buses for the airport. My time in this program made me appreciate our country that much more, and for me it is a week that will never be forgotten.”

  • I made a lot of friends from all across Canada
    Dave Radmanovich Science & Technology 1992 — Camp alumni

    “I attended EWC in the fall of 1992 and thought the program was excellent. My favorite trips were to the Ontario Nuclear Power Plant and the National Museum of Science and Technology. It was also nice to be staying close to the Canadian Police College and the RCMP Musical Ride stables. It always brings back memories now attending courses at the Canadian Police College, and walking by or visiting the EWC Centre. I made a lot of friends from all across Canada and highly recommend the program to everyone.”

  • It changed the way I thought about my country...
    Trina (Burndred) Jones Arts & Culture 1995 — Camp alumni

    “20 years ago, I participated in an Encounters with Canada Arts and Culture week. I made so many friends and still have so many fantastic memories of this program. It changed the way I thought about my country and formed many opinions that have carried into my adulthood. I still have friends that I made that week, and I still feel so strongly that it was one of the best weeks of my youth. Thank you for all the memories, and I love that you're still going strong and providing the same experience for so many of today's youth.”

  • I was truly learning what Canada was for the first time in my life.
    Dr. Alan MacDonald Law 1987 — Camp alumni

    When I attended Encounters with Canada in 1987, I was not sure what to expect. Coming from a small fishing village in Nova Scotia, the adventure began on the overnight train ride to Ottawa, where I got to meet some of my fellow attendees from the Maritimes. Already I could feel my horizons expanding as I learned about young people whose lives were similar in some ways to my own, and vastly different in others. That experience was magnified a hundredfold when I arrived at the Terry Fox Centre and met students from all over the country. They had different religions, different cultures, different languages, different backgrounds...we were all Canadian, yet I felt that I was truly learning what Canada was for the first time in my life. And my life was richer as a result of the experience. I am so pleased that several generations of students have had their own adventures with Encounters with Canada. It strengthens us to learn more about our identity as Canadians. It informs the path that we take in our lives, fostering tolerance, understanding, and possibility. And, for one week at least, it takes this huge and diverse country of ours and puts it under one roof, telling us that despite living thousands of kilometres from one another, we are part of the same home.

  • ...I came out of a shell, became more confident
    Brian Knowler Science & Technology 1989 — Camp alumni

    EWC marked a turning point in my life where I came out of a shell, became more confident, and started down the path to being the person I am now. I went there knowing no other students, and left a week later with the addresses of dozens of new friends (no emails or texts back then!) as well as my first serious girlfriend. My week at EWC changed me as a person, made me want to become more involved in my school and community, and ultimately led me down a career path dedicated to helping others. I could never recommend a week at EWC for any student enough!

  • A watershed moment in my life.
    Alec Boudreau International Affairs 2011 — Camp alumni

    "Attending Encounters with Canada was a watershed moment in my life. It was my first experience in any forum, and it really opened my eyes to all the opportunities that are out there for the people who look for them. Before attending, I was a shy kid with big aspirations, but no way of attaining them. After, I became inspired to become a leader in my school and community and an advocate for the importance of bilingualism. I now plan to attend the University of Ottawa in International Development and Globalization. In the past year, I have lived some extraordinary experiences, but none of them would have been remotely possible without Encounters."

  • A family affair
    Shawna (Yakubowski) Nicklason Canadian Studies 1985 — Parent

    "I attended Feb 3-9, 1985, had a great time, met new friends, enjoyed Ottawa and am grateful for the opportunity. I still live in Alberta and have a wonderful life. I have three sons who have also attended Encounters with Canada, making it very much a family affair. It is awesome to compare the activities, the residence where we all stayed, the fun times that we all had and the memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone involved with the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre / Encounters with Canada!"

Accommodation & Property Details

Property details

Sleeping Accommodations

  • Dorm or Building


  • Electricity in Sleeping Area
  • Shower in Sleeping Area
  • Toilet in Sleeping Area

Washrooms Facilities

  • Flush Toilets
  • Showers (indoor)

Sports facilities

  • Basketball Court
  • Ice Rink

In the News


June 7, 2019 - North Delta teen takes the trip of a lifetime

Grade 10 student Yasmin Zadunaisky writes about her time in the Encounters with Canada program ...

June 7, 2019 - Ballenas students make most of trip to Ottawa

Program helped pair explore Canadian governance, history, and culture ...

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Contact Name
Christa Irakoze

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