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The Voluntary Sector Awareness Initiative

In June 2000, the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector joined forces under the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) to strengthen the capacity of the voluntary sector and improve its relationship with the federal government. The VSI was jointly led and jointly managed by the federal government and voluntary sector.

To carry out the work associated with these goals, the VSI established six joint tables, which included the Awareness Joint Table. At the end of its work in September 2002, the Joint Table approved a framework, outlining the goal, intended results, audiences, and approach for the Voluntary Sector Awareness Project (VSAI).

VSAI’s objective is to position the voluntary sector in Canadian society so that its contribution to Canada’s way of life is valued and supported by individuals, communities, public and private sectors. To achieve this objective, Social Development Canada posted a Call for Proposals in the summer of 2004. A small committee, composed of equal numbers of representatives from the government and the voluntary sector, selected for their expertise in communications, met in the fall to review the proposals. Based on their recommendations a proposal was selected for further development.

In May 2005, the Minister of Social Development, announced this national project “to help Canadians understand the role of the non-profit and voluntary sector in Canadian society.” The project will “encourage Canadians to come together to talk about how non-profit and voluntary sector organizations shape our communities. It will help all Canadians gain a better awareness of what the sector means to our country.”

The Voluntary Sector Awareness Project will be delivered by a committee of seven national umbrella organizations representing a number of the larger sub-sectors of the voluntary sector:

  • The Canadian Council on Social Development
  • The Sport Matters Group
  • The Canadian Environmental Network
  • The Canadian Conference of the Arts
  • The Canadian Council for International Cooperation
  • Volunteer Canada
  • Imagine Canada (project administrator), and the
  • A Health Charities perspective is being brought to the project, in a voluntary capacity, by Sharon Baxter of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

For more information on the Voluntary Sector Awareness Project please click on one of the following links:


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Awareness Initiative | Awareness Committee | Reports | Background Information
Last Updated: 2007-01-03