National Parks, Museums, and Grade 9 Civics – It’s about the Experiences that Bring Us Together

Jun 11, 2019 8:30 AM ET

Deciding to put roots down in a new location or a whole new country can be overwhelming. There are many reasons that can lead people to move, but what draws a person to stay? Feeling a sense of belonging to your community and society is one factor that can influence how comfortable you feel with where you live – whether you’re a newcomer or long-term resident.

With a population of 36.7 million, every city, community and neighbourhood in Canada has a personality of its own. Trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle – both digital and on the ground – we are all looking for ways to connect and get involved.

The Cultural Access Pass Program (CAP) is one of the ways that we are helping more people feel at home in Canada. CAP was first founded in 2008 by the Institute of Canadian Citizenship, a national charity helping new Canadian citizens learn about the country’s history and culture. The program provides Canadians in the first year of their citizenship the opportunity to visit and explore over 1,400 cultural attractions, institutions, parks, and historic sites across Canada, for free. The only program of its kind in the world, CAP is set to go digital and double in size and help even more Canadian citizens share experiences with their families, friends, and community members as they lay down roots.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is another organization working to engage youth in their community. YPI is a charity that encourages secondary school students to learn about local issues and the impact of philanthropy through Grade 9 and 10 Civics. In 2018, YPI supported 17,663 students, with a focus on at-risk youth in Canada, to build life-long skills and interest in civic engagement. In early 2019, we expanded our support with YPI to the United States, where it will work with 360 high school students to provide a total of $20,000 to local charities identified in New York City. After students identify a cause to support they have a chance to receive a $5,000 grant, which they can give to a charity of their choice, supported by TD.

For more stories like this, read TD's 2018 report on The Ready Commitment.