What We Do

CIVIX provides authentic learning opportunities to help young Canadians practice their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and connect with their democratic institutions. Instead of studying about democracy from a textbook, they experience it first-hand with real issues in real-time.


Student Vote

Coinciding with general elections, students under the voting age learn about government and the electoral process, research the parties and platforms, discuss relevant issues and cast ballots for their official election candidates. The results are shared publicly and with the media for broadcast and publication following the closing of the official polls.

Participating schools receive free pedagogical materials along with posters and election supplies to create an authentic voting experience. The program provides young Canadians with an opportunity to experience the voting process first-hand and practice the habits of informed and engaged citizenship.

Since 2003, our team has conducted 36 Student Vote programs: 5 federal, 21 provincial, 4 territorial and 6 municipal. In total, the Student Vote program has reached over 10 thousand schools and 4 million students across Canada.


NewsWise

NewsWise is a news literacy program to provide school-aged Canadians an understanding of the role of journalism in a healthy democracy and the tools to find and filter information online. CIVIX will be collaborating with Canadian Journalism Foundation to develop the project, with support from Google Canada.

The program will be a part of the Student Vote campaign, rolling out to coincide with the Ontario provincial election in 2018, and other upcoming local and provincial elections, culminating nationally with the 2019 federal election.


Student Budget Consultation

The Student Budget Consultation program provides youth with an opportunity to learn about the government’s revenues and expenditures, discuss important political issues and suggested policies and offer their insights on the priorities of the upcoming budget. Student opinions are collected through a survey and results are shared with the Department or Ministry of Finance.

This program is linked to a wide variety of subject areas including: citizenship education, social studies and government, personal finance, economics, current affairs and media studies. The program aims to increase knowledge about government and public policy, improve financial literacy and encourage informed and active citizenship.

To date, CIVIX has conducted five Student Budget Consultations. Five thousand students participated in each of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 federal consultations and 1,300 were engaged in the Ontario provincial consultation in 2012. More than 7,500 students participated in the 2017 Student Budget Consultation.


Rep Day

Rep Day is a nationwide civic education initiative that connects elected representatives with high school students to encourage dialogue on current political issues. Rep Day aims to break down negative stereotypes that young people have of politicians and the political process and for students to develop a better understanding of and sense of trust in the people and institutions within our democracy. 

CIVIX has delivered the Rep Day program with Members of Parliament since 2013. In 2016, the Rep Day program saw over half of all Members of Parliament – representing 12 provinces and territories and all five political parties represented in Parliament – visit classrooms in their riding, engaging in dialogue and answering students questions about issues that resonated with them. The 2016-2017 Rep Day program connected 9,000 students with more than 90 MPs from across Canada.

Please contact rep@civix.ca if you would like to register for the 2017-2018 school year, and we would be happy to work towards organizing a visit from your MP into your classroom!


Democracy Bootcamp

Democracy Bootcamp is a professional learning conference for elementary and secondary school teachers designed to improve their democratic engagement and instructional capacity, and enhance their delivery of the Student Vote program.

The first Democracy Bootcamp was held in April 2011 and brought together over 300 Ontario teachers in advance of their fall provincial election. Since then, CIVIX has trained over 1,000 teachers across Canada.