Blog Posts

Thoughts on Canada 150 / Réflexions sur le 150e du Canada

Texte français ci-dessous Leading up to Canada Day this year, we’ve seen festivities and events, patriotism and participation. And for good reason! Canada’s 150th birthday is a time to show pride in our country and our people, and to be grateful for the incredible diversity of cultures and backgrounds that populate the mosaic of Canada. Boys and Girls Clubs have been an important part of Canadian history for 117 years. We are lucky to live in a strong, vibrant country

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In Defence of Youth Councils

Photo by Ben Welland.

I am very pleased to share this op-ed, written by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada’s National Youth Council. An inspiring defence! “The work we’ve done to plan [the Get Loud 2017 National Youth Forum], which is by youth and for youth, gives us confidence in our opinions and ideas, and it should assure all Canadians that when youth come together with a common goal, great things can happen.” Read the full op-ed here.

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Federal Funding For STEM Empowers A New Generation Of Canadians / Un budget qui prend le pari des jeunes et de l’innovation


Scroll down for French / Texte français ci-dessous Over March break, Isabella got to try her hand at engineering. Volunteers from Tru Grit Engineering showed her and other members of Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay how to make toy cars. Technically, they were introduced to problem-solving, propulsion physics, mechanics and mathematics. But Isabella summed it up in a much simpler way: “I really loved it because it was really fun.” Stories like this give life to the rows

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Canada Can Do More to Protect Our Children Online

BGCC - op-ed photo (web res)

My 7-year-old uses a tablet. I can monitor what he downloads and plays. But recently he has been tempted by ads and clickbait in his favourite games, targeted to his age group. Personalized ads. Suggested posts. Recommended follows. Every day, adults consent to monitoring, to habit tracking, to “tailored experiences.” But rules regarding consent don’t apply to Canadian children. The Wall Street Journal reports that popular children’s websites in the US install more tracking software than sites aimed at adults.

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At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the terrible guns of the Great War ceased. It was, they said, “the war to end all wars.” It was, unfortunately, another statement of human folly. Today, we remember all those who have served, and who serve today on behalf of our country, on behalf of our ideals and values. In the Battle of the Somme, on July 1st, 1916, 800 Newfoundlanders went ‘over the top’

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First thoughts on a new U.S. President – Une réflexion sur la présidence américaine

Texte français ci-dessous Once again, we wake up to see the evidence of Winston Churchill’s words of warning: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I say ‘once again,’ as Trump’s election comes on the heels of the UK’s Brexit vote and increasing isolationist and protectionist sentiments in developed countries. Whatever your political leanings, this election result is a surprise. But it is not the surprise result

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Gold Medal Ambitions – Reflections on the Olympics

Rosie MacLennan at Toronto Kiwanis BGC

On Wednesday, I was fortunate to be at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club to welcome home our gold-medal gymnast, Rosie MacLennan.  It was exciting to watch the kids surround her, getting t-shirts autographed and enjoying some messy and creative painting (using sports equipment to imprint soccer balls, tennis balls, racquets, hockey sticks, etc. on large sheets of canvas).  And of course, they all wanted to see and touch those two gold medals (one from Rio, one from London). 

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A Mid-Summer Update – Mise à jour pour l’été


It’s mid-summer and camps are in full swing.  Despite reminders that school’s back in just over a month (and don’t forget to support the Old Navy campaign), there’s lots of summer left.  Many of you are planning your own vacations if you haven’t already taken yours, and I wish you all safe travels.  This is a quick mid-summer update on a few items before we all get back to the busy-ness of fall planning and activities. As one of the

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Cheryl Doherty’s retirement


I am sharing with you the news from Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary of Cheryl Doherty’s retirement, to take effect at the end of January 2017. Below, you will find the official announcement from Shawn Cornett, chair of BGC of Calgary. Having recently visited Cheryl and her team in Calgary, I can speak to the incredible leadership Cheryl has provided to her Club and her community, and most importantly to the children and youth of Calgary. She is an

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“One hundred is a lot, dad!”


My son is just learning about how many ‘things’ make up a hundred at school.  In some respects, it is a lot, but sometimes it seems like just a few, depending entirely on context. I’m writing this on my one-hundredth day in the role as CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and it’s been an amazing one hundred days. While I couldn’t even imagine 100 days out when I started, the weeks and months have flown by already.

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June 2018
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