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The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) has secured Government of Canada funding via the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Program to support job placements for youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment. Officially entitled the CPRA Youth Employment Experience, this program will provide direct financial support (via 100% wage subsidies) to local governments, allowing them to offer placements that will focus on youth gaining a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience in the community parks and recreation sector. Not only will this program provide hands-on training, but each youth will be paired with a mentor at their place of employment to provide an immersive experience. Via this program, local governments will be able to hire additional youth to advance their parks and recreation priorities.

Over the course of this three year program, which ends December 2023, over 350 youth will be engaged in the CPRA Youth Employment Experience program. The final call for applications is happening now. Applications are due February 17, 2023.

The CPRA Youth Employment Experience will be hosting Application Walkthrough Webinars for potential applicants. Sign-up for the webinar in English on February 8, 2023 at 12:00 pm ET and the webinar in French on February 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm ET.


The goals of the CPRA Youth Employment Experience are to:

  • provide job placements for youth, particularly those facing barriers, allowing them the opportunity to gain skills and build experience in the community parks and recreation sector
  • enable youth to connect with a mentor, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in a workplace setting
  • build skills, expand networks, and increase knowledge of the parks and recreation sector for both youth and mentors
  • engage a diverse group of young Canadians in the program
  • increase the recruitment and retention of youth facing barriers to employment in Canada
  • provide much-needed support to communities to hire additional youth to advance their parks and recreation priorities


This is an open competition, and eligible organizations are invited to apply in English or in French.

  • February 17, 2023: Application deadline
  • March 24, 2023: Notice of Decision letters released
  • November 30, 2023: Final eligible day of employment
  • December 31, 2023: Program end date


CPRA encourages applicants to submit proposals in English or French and commits to ensuring high quality review of applications submitted in either official language.

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