On-Site with Young Canada Works

By Kevin Parker, Young Canada Works Coordinator for the National Trust for Canada

For over 15 years, the National Trust for Canada, in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage, has administered financial contributions under the Young Canada Works (YCW) program. This past year, the National Trust funded 16 internships and 100 summer student positions. The program is designed to fund built heritage-focused organizations from across Canada to hire students and recent graduates.

As the program coordinator for YCW at the National Trust, I work with organizations on a daily basis and help them through the application period, hiring process, and reporting requirements. Part of my duties involve travelling to various work sites across Canada to monitor the progress of the project. Each year, a different region of the country is chosen for on-site monitoring, and this past year, I travelled to Atlantic Canada to see first-hand how the YCW program is helping young Canadians and organizations.

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador hired a student and an intern through YCW. Left to right: Architecture student Eddy O’Toole, Memorial University graduate Katherine Harvey, and the Foundation’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer Dale Jarvis.

My first stop was in St. John’s, NL to visit Dale Jarvis, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer. In 2017, the Foundation hired a student and an intern through YCW. Eddy O’Toole, a University of Toronto student in his third year studying architecture, was hired as the Heritage Documentation and Monitoring Officer for the Foundation. He spent his summer travelling to communities in Eastern Newfoundland then reporting on the condition of heritage buildings and historic structures. Eddy enjoyed his work, which provided him with a better understanding of the architectural history of his home province.

The Foundation was fortunate to hire Katherine Harvey, a Memorial University graduate with a Master’s degree in Folklore. Katherine was responsible for travelling to communities across the province to collect stories, and document the intangible cultural heritage of these regions. She used this information to write articles, update records, and promote the cultural history of the province. Both Katherine and Eddy greatly benefited from the YCW program, as did the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Foundation hired two young Canadians both eager to learn, gain experience, and contribute to the overall success of the organization.


I spent the rest of my trip visiting different organizations in St. John’s, NL and Fredericton, NB and in each case I saw the same thing: young Canadians from all types of educational backgrounds furthering their experience and learning about their local architectural and cultural history. Being able to see first-hand the YCW program in action was an amazing experience. The funding the program provides to organizations is essential in growing the built heritage community throughout Canada and provides valuable experience for both students and recent graduates.


The application period is now open for the 2018-2019 program year and there are more funds available than ever before. January 15, 2018 is the deadline for Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations (summer jobs) and February 1, 2018 is the deadline for Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage (internships). More information on the program, eligibility, and deadlines can be found here.

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