Youth running into the sunset

12 organizations awarded a total of $2.4 million to improve educational outcomes for youth across Canada

Catapult Canada
July 8, 2021

Ottawa, ON – July 8, 2021 – Today, the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is thrilled to award $2.4 million to 12 community-based organizations through its Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund. The Fund is designed to support youth-serving organizations using innovative approaches to improve educational outcomes for Canadian youth, including the over 11% (more than 1 million) not in education, employment or training (NEET).

“The RHF is committed to the transformative power of education,” said Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the Rideau Hall foundation. “Through Catapult Canada and our Access Innovation Fund, we’re able to create more opportunities for young people to achieve their own learning and career goals, and build the skills they need to be full participants in their communities.”

The Access Innovation Fund’s first call for proposals resulted in over 140 submissions from a wide range of youth serving organizations from every corner of the country. Organizations were invited to submit proposals for new and innovative ideas for scaling up promising practices during COVID-19 and innovations in supporting NEET youth.

“Each of the newly funded programs takes an innovative approach to increasing equity of learning access, from providing experiential learning opportunities and one-to-one academic support, to projects that focus on the arts and storytelling as a means of community engagement.” said Ikem Opara, Director of National Learning Partnerships at the RHF. “The youth who stand to benefit the most from these programs are Indigenous youth, Black youth, youth from racialized communities, first generation youth, youth living in lower-income households, and youth living in rural and remote locations.”

The first project to receive a Catapult Canada grant through the Access Innovation Fund was Northern Youth Abroad (NYA), whose goal is to support youth from across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to successfully transition from high school to post-secondary education and to acquire fulfilling careers through culturally relevant pathways.

The Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund is funded by the Government of Canada’s Goal Getters program, private philanthropy including the Barrett Canada Fund, and ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups.

The Access Innovation Fund is one of the key components of a wider initiative called Catapult Canada. Powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation, Catapult Canada is a national platform and community that aims to increase equity of access to learning opportunities for youth. Catapult Canada’s online platform provides a single destination to share and amplify resources among a community of organizations serving youth across the country, and eventually support a mentorship program. All with the goal of eliminating barriers for youth to achieve their ambitions and reach their full potential. Visit to learn more.

Catapult Canada’s Access Innovation Grant Recipients

Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA)

The IFSSA will leverage $25,000 over 36 months for multidisciplinary storytelling, media, and art mentorship to empower and educate a cohort of Alberta youth.

Youth Challenge International (YCI)

Youth Challenge International will utilize $50,000 over a period of 12 months to engage hard-to-reach youth in Ontario through a Climate Leadership Program designed mobilize a team of their making around local climate priorities.

Centre lasallien Saint-Michel (CLSM)

The Centre lasallien Saint-Michel plans to use $150,000 over a 12-month period to help young Quebeckers overcome difficulties that prevent them from attending school.

Unity Charity      

Unity Charity will use $150,000 over 36 months in Ontario to offer a free, 16-week rap music program designed to cultivate independent, commercial, and sustainable employability skills for youth aged 13-29.

The Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, B.A. Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House (ANHBC, Frog Hollow)

Frog Hollow will continue its mission of empowering youth by utilizing $150,000 to support youth aged 16-24 complete educational workshops, fulfill work experience placements, and develop leadership, relationship management and employment skills.

Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society   

Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society will invest $300,000 in its community to provide various levels of education, from First Aid Certificates to 2nd year college, and supports to youth, in an Indigenous setting to allow them to access jobs in Northwest B.C.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver will deploy $250,000 to support female youth in British Columbia not currently in employment, education, or training (NEET) by addressing barriers that keep them anchored in poverty or inaction and actively supporting them to pursue alternatives that lead to a better future.

New Brunswick Community College (NBCC)

New Brunswick Community College is committed to using $300,000 to provide innovative and flexible credential recognition and certification pathways for people not participating in Post-Secondary Education (PSE) or the workforce to increase New Brunswick’s PSE attainment rate (currently last in Canada), reduce barriers to youth not in education, and achieve measurable labour market outcomes.

United Way of Calgary and Area

All In for Youth will use $250,000 over 36 months to expand their mission of providing supports to vulnerable Calgary youth in their high school completion journey and in the next phase in their lives with the ultimate goal of contributing to a thriving community.

CNIB Foundation

The CNIB Foundation will use $300,000 over 36 months to reach blind or partially sighted Canadian youth through a series of experiential learning opportunities allowing them to develop the confidence and essential skills to create the bright futures they want, expect, and deserve. 

Pathways to Education Canada (Pathways Canada)

Pathways Canada will leverage $300,000 over 36 months to carry out a large-scale expansion of the Pathways to Education program in Quebec and implement innovative digital tools to increase graduation rates and reduce drop-out rates.

The Boys & Girls Club of Moncton (Moncton BGC)

The Boys & Girls Club of Moncton is dedicated to using $300,000 over 36 months to support youth in New Brunswick navigate their learning path by strengthening their employability and social emotional skills.

Media contact:

Allison MacLachlan
Director, External Relations and Public Engagement
Rideau Hall Foundation
[email protected]

About the Rideau Hall Foundation

The Rideau Hall Foundation is an independent and non-political charitable organization established to mobilize ideas, people, and resources across the country to tap into our national spirit and help realize our shared aspirations. The RHF works closely with many partners, including the Office of the Governor General, to connect, honour, and inspire Canadians across four key programmatic areas, including: (1) learning initiatives that strive for excellence and promote equality of opportunity; (2) strengthening Canada’s culture of innovation, (3) widening the circle of giving and volunteering; and (4) building and celebrating excellence in Canadian leadership, and increasing public awareness about and commitment to Canada’s multi-faceted democracy. Learn more at

Login or Register to connect with a mentor

Login or Register to save this resource