Past Projects

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These initiatives are part of our commitment to engaging youth in CED across Canada.

Community Development Service Learning Initiative

The Community Development Service Learning (CDSL) Initiative is a national project of the Canadian CED Network that is coordinated in partnership with a member organization, Storytellers' Foundation of Hazelton, British Columbia. The first phase of this project has been completed with additional phases currently under development.

The CDSL Initiative emerged out of an identified need from members of the Canadian CED Network to strengthen peer-learning opportunities and increase strategies to highlight the role of learning within community economic development (CED). The aim of this project is to strengthen opportunities for intentional and meaningful learning in CED organizations as they work towards social and economic change.

CDSL is a form of experiential education where local people identify what learning outcomes and actions will contribute to positive social change. Local practitioners consciously create opportunities for people (often youth) to learn in community, fostering development that contributes to positive local change and individual citizenship.

Check out the CDSL resources!

1.We have developed the following tools and resources to generate a national dialogue amongst community organizations, youth and universities about learning in community for social outcomes:

  • A discussion paper for CED organizations on community development service learning;
  • A critical reflections paper detailing the Storytellers' Foundation's experience using service learning as a strategy to mobilize citizens around community development.
  • A practical "CDSL Tester Kit" for those CED organizations who may want to embark on a community development service learning initiative, including the replication of tools used by the Storytellers' Foundation for service learning initiatives.
  • A PowerPoint presentation given at the 2008 National CED Conference.
  • Learning For A Change project report

2. We convened a national CDSL Network Advisory Committee with youth, community organizations and learning institutions representatives. We have hosted two national tele-learning calls on the topic of Learning in Community.

3. We introduced the CDSL initiative through workshops at the Community University Expo (Victoria, BC) and the National CED Conference (Saskatoon, SK).

In the first phase of this project the Canadian CED Network worked closely with a small group of CED organizations to test these approaches and tools while providing training and support for integrating intentional learning into their CED work.

To read a backgrounder on this project, click here.

The first phase of this work was supported by the McConnell Foundation.

Youth Mentorship

As part of its youth engagement strategy, the Canadian CED Network conducted a national initiative to strengthen engagement of youth in community economic development (CED) through their voluntary involvement and mentorship with younger members of their communities. This initiative was developed in partnership with four primary partners who were supported in developing and documenting CED approaches to youth mentorship. Our four partners, representing different typologies of population and setting, were:

• FINALY (St John's, Newfoundland )
• Learning Enrichment Foundation  (Toronto, Ontario)
• Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
• Multi-cultural Health Brokers Co-operative (Edmonton, Alberta)

Our partners' four demonstration projects engaged youth in activities providing support and mentoring for children and teens involved in existing local community programs. This civic engagement process provided the opportunity for the youth to learn mentoring skills and receive a basic grounding in CED principles and methods while enhancing the existing child and teen programs with CED activities. Working with our four partner organizations, the youth volunteers from local community programs, high schools, colleges and universities were involved in designing and implementing a range of program activities that linked them in a mentoring role with children and teens.

The project was funded by the Government of Canada's Social Development Partnerships Program to help local organizations be better able to serve the needs of disadvantaged and at-risk children and their families.

For a detailed project description, please click here.

For the final project report, please click here.

Youth In Charge

Our "Youth In Charge - Leading Change through CED" project engaged youth in community economic development (CED) to create economic and employment opportunities for young people in BC communities. The goal of the project was to create community action plans with a variety of stakeholders including youth, community groups, educational institutions, employers, youth organizations, and municipalities. The action plans enabled young people with barriers to create CED opportunities in their local areas.

In 2008, four rural and three urban community partners of the Canadian CED Network were engaged in the project. In each community youth representatives were selected to help develop and implement the project, working with local host community organizations.

A youth action planning workshop was provided for all community youth representatives. The youth representatives, with support from the Canadian CED Network, implemented workshops and participatory action research projects in their communities. The workshops resulted in youth-led CED action plans, such as:

• Social enterprise options for young people
• Local job banks
• Community gardens
• Eco-tourism
• A farmers' market
• A community facility that meets local needs and provides space for community enterprises
• A CED plan with stakeholders to revitalize local economies and retain youth in the local area.
• Employability training for youth within the local labour market.

To support the work of the seven communities a Learning Network was created and facilitated by the Canadian CED Network to share resources, tools and learnings.

Check out our Youth In Charge Resources!

  • Our Youth in Charge Tool Kit will help you and your organization to successfully deliver youth focused and youth led projects in your community. Both service providers and youth will find useful information in this kit that is accessible, easy to understand and user friendly.
  • A summary report on labour market and CED in the communities of our urban partner.
  • Our rural and urban partner profiles.

This project was sponsored by Service Canada under its "Youth Awareness" program funding.

Youth in CED Profiles

Running from November 2005 to April 2006, the Emerging Leaders research project profiled stories of Youth and CED across Canada.

The goal was not only to continue building the information and knowledge base about young people and CED in Canada through evidence-based research, but to inspire people of all ages with the amazing diversity and creativity of the stories shared.


Storytellers Foundation (Hazelton, BC)
The Right Stuff
(Trail, BC)
Santropol Roulant
(Montréal, PQ)
QQS Projects Society
(Bella Bella, BC)
La fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne
(Ottawa, ON)
Environmental Youth Alliance
(Vancouver, BC)
Falls Brook Centre
(Knowlesville, NB)
Eva's Initiatives
(Toronto, ON)
Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op
(Saskatoon, SK)
Bamfield Community School Association
(Bamfield, BC)
Lifecycles and Common Ground
(Victoria, BC)

Final Report

Final Report: Youth in Community Economic Development

This project was funded by Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the Muttart Foundation, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, and Industry Canada.

Youth Engagement in CED and Employment

Working between generations, youth from four rural and isolated communities in BC created an action plan to build partnerships that will strengthen understanding of CED and employment needs in their communities.

The project was funded by Service Canada, and supported by the Canadian Rural Partnership, BC Rural Network and the Canadian CED Network.