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 for your planning of events.

  • 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.
  • The University of Toronto created a Canada 150 Student Fund which awards $1,000 to student-led initiatives linked to the sesquicentennial. Selected by a Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, the initiatives will also contribute to strengthening the university’s strategic priorities and community life.

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.

  • McGill University and Université Laval are co-hosting a colloquium on the future of Canadian federalism in collaboration with Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • The consortium of universities formed by Université du Québec à Montréal, Concordia University, École de technologie supérieure, McGill University and Université de Montréal are joining forces to host the Conference of the Americas on International Education in Montreal.
  • In close collaboration with the network Université du Québec institutions, École de technologie supérieure is hosting the weeklong event Savoir Affaires which challenges graduate students to present innovative business proposals to key regional stakeholders.
  • McGill University will be hosting the annual congress of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) and inviting all francophone institutions to participate and contribute.

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.

Ideas on how to include reconciliation in your plans

  • As part of its Canada 150 initiatives, Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, is inaugurating the first Chair in Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation in Canada. In the Cree language, oskâpêwis refers to an Elder’s helper or servant, one who brokers relationships; the Chair is to be oskâpêwis between Indigenous traditions and the academic community.
  • OCAD University is celebrating Canada’s 150th by hosting an Indigenous art exhibit at its professional gallery. Entitled Raise a flag: works from the Aboriginal Art Collection, the exhibit will be curated by the institution’s Delaney Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture in consultation/collaboration with the Aboriginal Art Centre.
  • Western University’s McIntosh Gallery is presenting the photo-based installation Battlefields of My Ancestors. The exhibit explores locations of historic battlefields which hold significance to the Mohawks and honours the First Nations troops who fought during WWI.
  • The University of Toronto is presenting the pop-up exhibit Canada by Treaty on the history of Canadian treaties, their importance to Confederation and their contemporary significance as agreements between nations.

Ideas to include the arts in your plans

  • Thanks to a grant from the Canada 150 Fund and the family donation of the artist’s studio, Mount Allison University is developing education and community outreach programs on the life and work of Alex Colville, one of Canada’s best-known artists and former student and faculty member at the university.
  • In celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – in collaboration with the McCord Museum, McGill University, Concordia University and the City of Montreal – is presenting La Balade pour la Paix, un musée à ciel ouvert, a public art exhibition.
  • Western University is producing Western Performs! Concert series: Celebrating Canada 150, a collaborative multi‐media performance event to honour Canada’s 150th birthday.
  • The University of Toronto is hosting Explorations in the Musical Life of Canada, 1867 to 2017, a conference which will include papers, plenary sessions, special guest speakers, and performances from Canadian musical scholarly societies.

Funding opportunities

Canadian Heritage

Commemorate Canada program
The Commemorate Canada program is funding initiatives that commemorate and celebrate historical figures, places, events and accomplishments of national significance.
Deadline: applications may be submitted at any time

Canada History Fund – On the Road to 2017 The Canada History Fund – On the Road to 2017 is supporting projects that commemorate key milestones and celebrate people who have helped shape our country as we know it today.
Deadline: applications may be submitted at any time

Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Funding Program
The Inter-Action: Multiculturalism Funding Program is accepting applications for events that promote intercultural understanding, civic memory and pride or respect for core democratic values grounded in our history.
Deadline: applications may be submitted at any time

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.


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

Logos for the promotion of Canada 150 events

Check out the Canada 150 online boutique for promotional items with Canada 150 logos that could be co-branded with your institution’s logo.

The Canada 150 Federal Secretariat is offering branding material for your 150th anniversary-related events. Guidelines for a multitude of formats and channels are proposed.

More information: Apply now for the use of the Canada 150 logo

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

More information and guidelines: Janis Hass, senior communications specialist

Partnership opportunities


Created by Community Foundations of Canada, the 150 Alliance promotes action, engagement and impact around Canada’s 150th by building a database of organizations and projects in Canada. If you are looking for partners or ideas, check out its database of participating organizations and their projects across Canada

More information: 150Alliance

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

Canadian Wildlife Federation

BioBlitz Canada 150, a Canada 150 signature initiative coordinated by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and its partners, is aiming to document Canada’s biodiversity and connect Canadians to nature through participation in biological surveys from coast to coast to coast. Flagship events, science events and community events are being planned for 2017.

More information: BioBlitz Canada 150 and to contribute contact Elizabeth Gammell

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.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

To ensure Canada’s cities and communities are represented in Canada 150 activities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is inviting all municipalities in Canada to identify a Canada 150 Community Leader to be part of a national network of community voices. Participants will be the voice of Canada 150 at local events and will keep communities abreast of national sesquicentennial events and activities.

More information: Federation of Canadian Municipalities and on social media (#Muni150)

Government of Canada’s funded Canada 150 projects

If you are still looking for partners or ideas for your own sesquicentennial celebration, check out the Government of Canada’s funded Canada 150.

More information: Signature initiatives as well as community projects


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

Quantum exhibit

Quantum – an interactive sesquicentennial exhibition on the wonders of quantum research, information technology, and science and technology – will be stopping in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Calgary, Halifax and Ottawa in 2017.

More information: Quantum and contact Angela Olano to suggest a science and innovation speaker or to leverage one of your campus events as a complementary activity to the tour.

Reconciliation Canada

As part of their Canada 150 Signature Project, Reconciliation Canada is launching an online survey to engage Canadians in the reconciliation process and help shape its programming moving forward. Contribute by adding voices from your campus to the national conversation on reconciliation. They are also offering Reconciliation Learning Experiences, outreach activities or eloquent and inspiring speakers that could be invited to one of your events.

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: National Canadian Film Day or 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

The Campfire Project

The Campfire Project, a research project of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, is seeking partners interested in promoting their interactive web platform to students, alumni and staff while learning whether online storytelling can increase civic participation.

More information: The Campfire Project or contact Leanne Clare


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.

Universities Canada