1975 — Some idealistic educators had a great idea: to create a bilingual, non-partisan youth education program to promote understanding of the role and function of our national government and the meaning of Canadian citizenship. The idea would be to have today's young leaders interact with the nation's leaders on Parliament Hill. The Foundation for the Study of Processes of Government was incorporated and its first program, the Forum for Young Canadians, was launched.
1976 — The first Forum for Young Canadians ("Forum") was run in March at Ashbury College, with 100 high school students (aged 15-19 years) from all over the country in attendance. Three more week-long sessions would take place that year.
1985 — The Foundation created the Forum Teachers' Conference which offered teachers the same week of intense activity on Parliament Hill and other national facilities as the Forum students, making it one of the best professional development conferences in the country on learning the processes of government.
2000 — The Foundation created its first international program for students and teachers from eleven countries around the world who had attended, along with the Canadian team, the "World Parliament of Children" in Paris in 1999. Together, they attended Forum and presented the World Parliament of Children's "Youth Manifesto of the 21st Century" to the Parliament of Canada.
2001 — The Foundation created the Canada-U.S. Youth Forum in partnership with the University of Ottawa. This program, for which participants can receive academic credit, was developed along the lines of Forum's educational "hands-on" approach, but with more emphasis on issues relevant to the bilateral relationship between Canada and the United States. The program brings together primarily university-aged students from both countries for a one-week forum.
2003 — The Foundation partnered with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin to launch the Canadian-German Young Leaders Forum. This program, which the Foundation ran jointly with the ICD until 2006, gave young business, government and academic leaders from both countries (aged 28-38) a practical understanding not only of the processes of government at an international level but also of the international community in which governments operate.
Today — The Foundation began with the simple formula of bringing together interested and engaged youth from across the country to participate in a constructive and educational exploration of their national institutions. Our experience has shown that it was a formula for success.
The participants in the programs of the Foundation, who now number more than 16,000, reap a tremendous reward. They benefit greatly from the educational aspect of the programs, which is the original objective of the Foundation. They become better informed, more involved citizens, which in turn serves the public good across Canada.
Participants also have the important experience of meeting their peers from other parts of Canada. For many, their attendance at a Foundation program is their first such experience, and it brings with it an important awareness of themselves and each other. What's more, they become a part of a broader network that extends across Canada.