Courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, a program particularly popular among northern students has folded.
The Encounter with Canada program announced its closure last week.
“When Encounters with Canada launched in 1982, its mission was to promote ‘a better understanding of Canada among young Canadians,’” the program said in the announcement.
“Since then, the Ottawa-based program has been a formative experience for more than 113,000 youths who have travelled from across Canada to attend week-long sessions.
“It has been a flagship program of Historica Canada since 2006, when we assumed responsibility for operations,” the program said in the announcement.
“Unfortunately, the challenges and costs of navigating the program through COVID-19 have reached the breaking point. We are therefore announcing the full closure of the program, which suspended operations last March.
“We regret the impact on young Canadians who hoped to attend the program in future.”
The grounds, facility and other elements of the program’s physical infrastructure – the Historica Canada Centre – will be put up for sale later this year.
Initially, some local principals, such as Peter Giangrande of Porter Creek Secondary School, were eager to do an interview with the Star on the subject of the well-respected program.
However, officials from the Department of Education kiboshed the idea.
They said the program is not a Yukon project, and the principals were “too busy” to comment on a non-territorial program.
In the end, Susie Ross, a communications spokesperson for the department, would offer only this statement.
“During the 2019-20 school year, 28 students from Yukon participated in the program.
“Encounters with Canada was a great opportunity for our students to interact with students from across Canada.”