We began as a small, dedicated group of very young people building towards the first ever Student Vote program that took place during the Ontario provincial election of 2003. Our work has grown into a wider range of democratic engagement activities during and between elections, within Canada and abroad.

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed four unique civic education programs
  • Organized 32 Democracy Bootcamp conferences
  • Involved 11,000 Canadian schools in CIVIX projects
  • Opened the CIVIX-Québec office in 2017
  • Expanded our programming to Colombia in 2019
  • 8 million Student Vote ballots cast through 56 parallel elections

Our Story

With a very limited amount of resources, a small but committed team built an engagement model for schools that would secure the participation of 300,000 students in the first ever province-wide parallel election program in Canada during the 2003 Ontario provincial election. Rather than student voting taking place at official polling stations coordinated by adults, the voting took place in schools, coordinated by students themselves – offering a more empowering experience.

Encouraged by the results, they began to expand their network across the country, offering the parallel election program in other jurisdictions. During the 2004 federal election, schools participated in every province and territory in the country. Student Vote soon became a meaningful tool for Canadian teachers as they delivered curriculum on government and democracy, and ultimately became cemented as part of electoral process in Canada.

Recognizing that democratic engagement goes beyond voting, the team began exploring opportunities to grow its programming beyond elections, including budget consultations for youth, meetings with elected representatives and professional development for teachers.

In 2011, Student Vote merged with Operation Dialogue, a citizenship initiative founded by the late Warren Goldring of AGF Management. Operations were consolidated in 2013 and the organization was renamed CIVIX.

To better meet the needs of teachers in Quebec, CIVIX established a Quebec office in 2017: CIVIX-Quebec. Its mandate is to adapt and create new programs aimed specifically at Quebec schools in order to support local students and teachers.

While CIVIX has always incorporated media literacy activities in its programming, this topic became a much more prominent focus in 2017 as a means to tackle the challenge of “fake news” and information disorder. In recent years, CIVIX has developed learning resources to promote increased awareness about the role of journalism in democracy, algorithms and filter bubbles, as well as disinformation and online verification skills.

CIVIX programming has received international recognition and interest, and CIVIX has started to share its programming with democracies around the world.

In May 2018, the trial program of Voto Estudiantil in Colombia was conducted in parallel to the first round of the Presidential election. The program was delivered in partnership with the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil (RNEC), Colombia’s national election agency, and implemented by local partners. Following a successful trial program, CIVIX has been offering its own civic education programs in Colombia since late 2019.

2002

Student Vote is born under the name ‘Kids Voting Canada’

2003

First-ever Ontario Provincial Student Vote
335,000 VOTES CAST

2004

First-ever Federal Student Vote in every province and territory
263,000 VOTES CAST

2004

First-ever Alberta Provincial Student Vote
63,000 VOTES CAST

2005

First ever British Columbia Provincial Student Vote
61,000 VOTES CAST

2006

2nd Federal Student Vote
468,000 VOTES CAST

2006

Organized the Students’ Assembly on Electoral Reform in Ontario

2008

3rd Federal Student Vote
503,000 VOTES CAST

2008

First-ever municipal election program (Nova Scotia)

2011

CIVIX is born

2011

First large-scale Democracy Bootcamp

2011

4th Federal Student Vote
563,000 VOTES CAST

2011

First-ever provincial/territorial elections in MB, PE, NT, SK, YT

2012

First-ever Student Budget Consultation (Ontario)

Launch of Federal Student Budget Consultation

2013

Launch of Rep Day with MPs across Canada

2015

Five Democracy Bootcamp events held across 5 provinces

2015

5th Federal Student Vote
922,000 VOTES CAST

2017

Opening of Quebec office

2018

Launch of Digital Literacy Initiative

2019

6th Federal Student Vote
1.2 MILLION VOTES CAST

2019

Launch of Voto Estudiantil in Colombia for the local elections

2020

Launch of CTRL-F program

2021

Launch of CoDECo program in Colombia

2021

7th Federal Student Vote
800,000 VOTES CAST

Awards & Recognition

2020

Future of Good, Canada’s top 100 recovery projects : CTRL-F

Awarded to volunteer-run or professionally-run projects that help communities bounce back from the pandemic’s economic and social impacts while also tackling the United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs).

2019

International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, First Time Voter Award

Awarded to Electoral Management Bodies or non-governmental organizations that have taken outstanding measures to facilitate optimize the electoral experience of first time voters.

2019

International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, Citizens’ Engagement Award

Awarded to Electoral Management Bodies or non-governmental organizations that have put citizens at the heart of the electoral process and maximize their engagement and their satisfaction.

2019

International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, International Engagement Award

Honours initiatives in the field of election assistance and election observation that successfully contributed to an increase of legitimization of the electoral process and a growth of public confidence towards democratic procedure.

2016

Ontario Teachers’ Federation, Greer Memorial Award

Awarded to a single recipient for outstanding contributions to publically funded education in Ontario.

2014

Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation, Lamp of Learning

Awarded annually to a single recipient for significant contributions to publically funded education at the secondary level.

2014

Elections Nova Scotia, Quality, Service and Value Award

Formal recognition of initiative and effort in support of Elections Nova Scotia’s goals and values during the 2013 provincial election.

2011

Canadian Teachers’ Federation, Special Recognition Award

Awarded annually to individuals for meritorious services to education and the teaching profession in Canada.

2010

Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Best Practices Award in Civic Education

2005

Ontario Teachers’ Federation, Fellowship

Awarded annually to a single non-member for outstanding service to education and/or to the Federation.

2005

Public Policy Forum, inaugural Emerging Leaders

Awarded annually to recognize the contributions of young Canadians who personify leadership in the area of public policy and civic discourse.

2004

Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, Special Recognition Award