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The Canada Volunteerism Initiative

The Canada Volunteerism Initiative (CVI) aims to improve the ability of organizations to benefit from the contribution of volunteers, to encourage Canadians to participate in voluntary organizations, and to enhance the experience of volunteering. Announced in December 2001, the CVI represents the first ongoing program to be implemented under the broader Voluntary Sector Initiative.

The CVI established three national centres and thirteen local networks, one in each province and territory. The national centres deliver a range of programs and services related to volunteerism, as follows:

  • The Knowledge Development Centre provides support for both local and national research to improve our understanding of volunteerism. The Centre is operated by Imagine Canada (formerly the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy).

  • The Information, Capacity-Building and Awareness Centre manages a resource centre, an awareness campaign, and a capacity-building program. The Centre is operated by Volunteer Canada

  • The Community Support Centre provides support for organizations to develop and test innovative methods for sustaining volunteerism. This Centre is also operated by Volunteer Canada.

The local networks ensure the CVI responds to the needs of voluntary organizations and volunteers in each province and territory. Through these networks, voluntary organizations of all sizes and representatives from various levels of government meet to exchange ideas and develop a better understanding of local priorities. Each network has developed a volunteerism action plan and community investment strategy for their respective region.

A Strategic Management and Coordination Committee oversees all aspects of the CVI. The Committee is co-chaired by Volunteer Canada, on behalf of the voluntary sector, and the Community Partnerships Program at the Department of Canadian Heritage, on behalf of the federal government. The CVI is funded by the Community Participation Program.

The Canada Volunteerism Initiative is the result of a year-long effort by the National Volunteerism Initiative Joint Table. Composed of representatives from voluntary organizations and the Government of Canada, the Joint Table’s task was to develop proposals that would sustain and enhance volunteerism in Canada and serve as a lasting legacy of International Year of Volunteers 2001.


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Last Updated: 2007-01-04