Company of Young Canadians

Company of Young Canadians

The Company of Young Canadians (CYC) was a short-lived Canadian youth program sponsored by the Canadian federal government, which existed from 1966 to 1977.[1] It was inspired by the U.S. Peace Corps, but was designed to be run autonomously without government direction.[2]

It generated considerable controversy shortly after its founding: coordination with volunteers in small communities was poorly organized, and several of the youth involved in the program were prominent political activists. Among other things, it was accused in 1969 of harbouring terrorists by municipal officials from Montreal, including Mayor Jean Drapeau. These claims were never verified. [3] In March 1970 its administration was taken over by the federal government, and in 1977 it was formally abolished.

The CYC was a co-sponsor of the National Film Board of Canada's Indian Film Crew in 1968, the NFB's first foray into Native-made filmmaking.[4]

Notable alumni of the CYC include Gilles Duceppe, Georges Erasmus, Barbara Hall, Phil Fontaine and Michael Valpy.


  1. ^ (nd) Population Report. Canada Public Service Agency. Retrieved 7/7/07.
  2. ^ (nd) Company of Young Canadians Fond. McMaster University. Retrieved 7/7/07.
  3. ^ (1969) Company of Young Canadians Accused of Terrorism. CBC. Retrieved 7/7/07.
  4. ^ Cardinal, Gil. "The Aboriginal Voice: the National Film Board and Aboriginal Filmmaking through the Years". NFB Playlist. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 

Further reading

  • Hamilton, I. (1970) The Children's Crusade: The Story of the Company of Young Canadians. Toronto: Peter Martin Associates.

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