1977 — Genesis and ideals
Katimavik (which means “meeting place” in the Inuktitut language) is founded. The initial driving impulse was to educate youth and spur lifelong civic engagement through community service. In its first year, Katimavik mobilized 1,000 volunteers, who worked on projects in more than 80 communities.
1977-1986 — Maturity and growth
In its first glory years, many Canadians discovered other regions of Canada for the first time. They learned languages and acquired skills, while growing in body and mind.
In 1985 — Katimavik honoured
As its alumni ranks swelled to 15,000, Katimavik’s influence also grew. During International Youth Year, the United Nations honoured Katimavik with an award for its environmental involvement.
By 1986 — Over 17 000 volunteers
Katimavik contributed to the education of over 17 000 young Canadians by engaging them in volunteer service, community involvement, cultural discovery, the practicing of Canada’s official languages and environmental protection.
1986-1994 — The difficult years
Katimavik’s federal funding was interrupted. The program survived, much diminished, as an outdoor recreational and training centre in the Montréal suburb of Île-Perrot.
1994 — Rebirth
Katimavik’s budget was reinstated, and in 1994, 66 participants from Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick took on projects in six communities. Annual participation has since grown to over 1,000 yearly in some 90 communities.
1999 — International recognition
Katimavik took part in the IANYS conference in El Paso. A five year strategic plan was being deployed and to help guide Katimavik into the new millennium and the first Meet Your MP events were held on Parliament Hill.
2000-2001 — Two new leadership programs established: Leader 16-19 and Leader Plus 22-26.
2004 — Katimavik participated in the International Association of National Youth Service (IANYS) international conference in Accra, Ghana. Katimavik signed a partnership with Vancouver Island University that provided university credits for our volunteers.
2005 — University credits
Capilano College in North Vancouver, British Columbia, recognized the Katimavik program by awarding credits to students who successfully complete the program.
2006 — ROI proven
Katimavik was able to report that each dollar spent by the Katimavik program generates a return of $2.20 in each of the communities that work with our volunteers.
2007-2008 — Program modernized
Several modifications were made to the learning program. The objective is to allow Katimavik to more efficiently and scientifically measure the progression of each youth’s personal development progress.
2008-2009 — Competency model adopted
Katimavik restructured the learning program for volunteers. Instead of focusing solely on improving skill-sets, the new model favours the development of our volunteers’ personal, social and professional competencies.
2009-2010 — 6 month programs introduced
Starting in September 2009, Katimavik offered the following programs: “Eco-citizenship and Active Living”, “Second Language and Cultural Identity” and “Cultural Discovery and Civic-Engagement”.
2009-2010 — Post-secondary credit
Cégep Marie-Victorin (QC, 2009) and George Brown College (ON, 2010) recognized the Katimavik program by awarding credits to students that complete the program.
2010-2011 — A renewed focus on community impact
The communities that host Katimavik groups are selected based on criteria that reflect the areas of impact targeted by Katimavik: social services, poverty reduction, formal & non-formal education (focus on literacy), arts, culture & heritage, sports and leisure, environment & sustainable development - media & communications and social justice .