Tools, tips and resources

Resources and ideas to help universities in their plans for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.


Ideas on how to build momentum for Canada’s 150th on your campus

Consult these guiding principles that Carmen Charette at the University of Victoria used in their planning.

  • We will be forward looking. What do we want Canada to be like in 50 years?
  • We will provide our students, faculty and staff an opportunity to reflect on what Canada means to them and what it means to be Canadian.
  • We will integrate and build celebration and recognition with existing campus activities (e.g., programs, events, curriculum, courses, etc.) rather than creating standalone activities, which will help minimize costs
  • We will go for quality rather than quantity.
  • We will collaborate and leverage activities with municipal, provincial, federal partners, Universities Canada, community partners and First Nations.
  • We will be mindful of the TRC recommendations and find opportunities to promote reconciliation, tell the stories of the contribution of First Nations to Canada and the importance of their contributions moving forward.

Ideas to engage students and faculty around Canada’s 150th

Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening on campuses across Canada.

  • Students are invited to submit short digital films to the Bishop’s University Film Festival which is celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Winners of the Canada 150 prize will be awarded a trip to Ireland in May 2017 to present their film.
  • The University of Calgary hosted the country’s first imagiNation Café by inviting a group of students from different faculties and disciplines to have a conversation about the kind of Canada they imagine is possible.
  • OCAD University and Queen’s University are among those contributing to the Landmarks 2017 project. As part of their curriculum, students will create works of art and develop curatorial proposals. Selected student projects will result in the installation of public artworks in Parks Canada sites.
  • Simon Fraser University is aiming to offer 150 students meaningful experiential learning opportunities related to Canada 150 projects in 2017. Student volunteers will complete 40-100 hours of volunteer work on Canada 150 celebratory projects, events or exhibitions planned by community partners.
  • The fall edition of Université de Sherbrooke’s Revue d’Histoire magazine is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation. It will feature texts from students and researchers that look at various historical themes.
  • The University of Winnipeg partnered with TakingItGlobal to deliver an on-campus student workshop on defining and understanding youth’s role in creating change in Canada.

Ideas on how to partner

Here are some examples of how Quebec universities are sharing major events and collaborating to create a bigger impact during 2017.

Ideas on how to bring communities to your campus

  • Laurentian University is considering hosting an on-campus citizenship ceremony to welcome new Canadians and their families to the country and community. The ceremony will culminate in a celebration of Canada’s cultural heritage coordinated by Laurentian’s international office and student volunteers. If you are interested in hosting a citizenship ceremony on your campus, information can be found on the Immigration and Citizenship
  • The University of Manitoba will welcome some of Canada’s top amateur athletes and their supporters during the 50th Canada Summer Games in July 2017.
  • The University of New Brunswick is launching 150th anniversary celebrations with an on-campus “I pledge” event where community members are invited to commit to making Canada a better place.
  • York University is hosting the 2017 Ontario Provincial Heritage Fair, an annual celebration of Canadian history. Students and teachers from all over Ontario will showcase posters on various topics of Canadian history for peers, special guests and the general public.

Ideas on how to showcase your 2017 events online

  • The University of Toronto’s comprehensive Canada 150 web portal promotes their initiatives and events, and celebrates the university’s history and contribution to Canada over the last 150 years.
  • York University has designed an institutional Canada 150 logo and a visually arresting 150 Canada@York web portal to provide information on the university’s public events, conferences and symposiums organized for the sesquicentennial.
  • Carleton University‘s CU75 webpage outlines programming for 2017 – the university’s 75th anniversary as well as Canada’s 150th Events linked to Canada’s sesquicentennial are identified with “Ottawa 2017” logos.
  • McGill University is organizing events to honour both Canada’s 150th birthday and Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017. The McGill site highlights the university’s upcoming events as well as links to the Canada 150 and Montreal’s Alive375 websites.

Funding opportunities

Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is offering artists and organizations New Chapter – 2017 and Beyond grants ($50,000 to $500,000) to support the creation and sharing of exceptional artistic and literary works.
Deadline: October 31, 2016.


 Community Foundations of Canada

Community foundations across the country are currently accepting applications for projects/events through the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th. Grants from the Fund may range from $100 to $15,000 and deadlines vary according to each local community foundation.


Government of Canada

Phase II of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is providing an additional $150 million to support the renovation, expansion or improvement of community and recreational infrastructure. Deadlines vary according to each Canadian region.


Government of Nova Scotia

The Government of Nova Scotia is inviting applications through their 150 Forward Fund.
Deadlines: October 31, 2016 and a second application period will be December 1 – February 15, 2017.


 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is offering Connecting for Canada’s 150th grants ($7,000 to $25,000) to support sesquicentennial-related initiatives organized by postsecondary institutions and scholars, and other outreach activities (up to $50,000).
Deadlines: November 1, 2016 and February 1, 2017


The Rick Hansen Foundation

In partnership with the Government of Canada, The Rick Hansen Foundation is awarding up to $30,000 for accessibility infrastructure improvement projects across Canada in 2017 through its Barrier Buster Fund.
Deadline: March 31, 2017

Apply or contact Lison Daubigeon for more information.


Logos and toolkits


Several partner organizations are sharing resources to help host events in 2017.

To discover them, check out the following web links:

Branding materials

The Government of Canada is offering a distinctive graphic emblem – the Canada 150 logo – to provide helpful visuals for your Canada 150-related events. This logo is available for everyone to use.

More information: consult the detailed instructions on how to apply.

We encourage universities to co-brand their events with Universities Canada.

More information and guidelines: Janis Hass, senior communications specialist

Partnership opportunities


This October, the 150Alliance is hosting regional events in the cities of St. John’s (N.L.), Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Richmond (B.C.). Local organizations are invited to join and discuss how they can collaborate to mark Canada’s 150th.

More information: Register for the event closest to you.

Aga Khan Foundation

Interested in hosting an innovative exhibit that explores how Canadians can be the drivers of global change? The bilingual exhibit Together: An exhibition on global development will be touring Canada in 2017.

More information: Together exhibition

Air Canada

Planning a conference or colloquium in 2017? Air Canada’s Meetings and Conventions Travel service offers discounted travel and other valuable benefits to groups of 10 or more.

More information: Meetings and Conventions Travel Service

Canada Council of the Arts

Interested in promoting the work of Indigenous artists? Discover the {Re}conciliation projects funded by Canada Council of the Arts and consider becoming one of their exhibiting venues.

More information: {Re}conciliation projects

Canadian Heritage River

As part of the “Eau Canada – celebrating 150 years of our rivers’ Canadian heritage” project, river organizations across the country will be celebrating the importance of rivers for Indigenous peoples, the economy, communities and the environment.

More information: Contact the Canadian Heritage River organization closest to you

Canadian Mosaic Project

The organization is looking for sites that could host its inspirational interactive and educational pavilion on wheels. It is also seeking university students to complete its online mosaic.

More information: Canadian Mosaic Project  or contact Tim Van Horn

Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation

The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation is offering universities the opportunity to highlight their STEAM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) academic programs and innovations through public programming and a speakers’ series it will be organizing in 2017.

More information: Contact Tobias Keogh

Canadian Roots Exchange

Through Indigenous and non-Indigenous shared leadership, this organization provides customized educational workshops, experiential land-based exchange programs, youth leadership training and youth conferences focused on reconciliation.

More information: Canadian Roots Exchange

Experiences Canada

Experiences Canada is seeking speakers and youth ambassadors (ages 21-30) for their 150&Me project.

More information: 150&Me project or contact Jamie McCullough if your institution is interested in contributing to this project.


Created by a group of Calgarians, imagiNation 150 provides information on what other organizations are doing to highlight Canada’s 150th as well as offer a template for student-led Imagination Café Conversations that other postsecondary institutions can build upon to hold their own events.

More information: imagiNation150 

Innovation 150

Innovation 150 invites universities across Canada to share the people, places and innovations that have already transformed our country, or shine a spotlight on current innovators who’ll be celebrated 150 years from now.

More information: Innovation 150

Institute for Canadian Citizenship

The Institute can assist you in hosting a citizenship or reaffirmation ceremony in 2017.

More information: Institute for Canadian Citizenship or contact Mandy Joseph

Legacy of Hope Foundation

The foundation provides support for educators and administrators in raising awareness and understanding of the history and legacies of the residential school system. It offers bilingual educational resources that would allow you to host a workshop on your campus.

More information: Legacy of Hope Foundation

National Youth Orchestra of Canada

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada is holding auditions to recruit musicians for their Canada 150 signature event – The Edges of Canada Tour. Students may audition to join this unique opportunity to tour Canada and participate in a summer tuition-free training program.

More information: Share the online audition guidelines with your music departments.

Ottawa 2017

The City of Ottawa is interested in connecting with international students to help host foreign national days during 2017 in Ottawa and assist volunteers for Ottawa Welcomes the World.

More information: Ottawa 2017 or contact Chantal Lemay

Reconciliation Canada

If you are looking for Reconciliation Learning Experiences, outreach activities or eloquent and inspiring speakers to invite to one of your event, contact Reconciliation Canada.

More information: Reconciliation Canada 

Red Couch Tour

Encourage your students to share their stories about what Canada means to them. The Red Couch Tour will be collecting 150 testimonials in 2017 and is seeking sites for their emblematic couch, as well as collaborators for the production of a documentary about the making of the project.

More information: Red Couch Tour


On April 19, 2017 REEL CANADA will present the National Canadian Film Day 150, an opportunity to watch, discuss, and above all celebrate Canadian cinema. Join the party by arranging a screening at your university.

More information: Contact the organizers


SESQUI is an immersive mobile dome experience that will tour Canada in 2017, to showcase Canadian culture and innovation through 360° cinematic experience, interactive content, live events, online activities and education programs. Contact SESQUI to become a partner.

More information: SESQUI

TakingItGlobal – Explore 150 project

TakingItGlobal through their Explore 150 project is looking for opportunities to engage youth in the sesquicentennial through workshops where participants explore their role in creating change in Canada.

More information: TakingItGlobal or contact Jennifer Corriero


Planning a major event in 2017? ViaRail is contributing to Canada’s 150th celebrations by offering discounted fares and free tickets to facilitate participants’ travel to select events taking place across the country in 2017.

More information: Fill out ViaRail’s sponsorship form to find out whether your event could be eligible for this offer

Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Art Express’d project will travel throughout Canada to engage communities in collaborative art-making and educational activities where Canadians will explore their vision of Canada and their place within it.

More information: To learn more or to be a host on their summer 2017 tour, connect with Judy Slivinski.

Contact us

Are you looking for ideas on how to build momentum on your campus? Want to share your tips with others? Please get in touch with us.

Karine Lacoste
Partnerships specialist
Universities Canada
Tel: 613 563-1236, ext. 254

Universities Canada