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November 29, 2011
Toronto's Scarborough Museum to lead Youth Diversity Experience across Canada
The City of Toronto's Scarborough Museum has been recognized as a leader in engaging youth and newcomers to Canada, having recently received a $400,000 grant from the Inter-Action Multiculturalism Grants and Contributions Program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The grant will allow the museum to expand and enhance its Canadian Museums and Youth Diversity Experience program, which is designed to integrate newcomer youth (ages 14 years and older) into their community through heritage and cultural projects.

Scarborough Museum will provide guidance, training and support to three other Canadian museums as they launch their own versions of the program. The three museums are Surrey Museum in British Columbia, Musée McCord Museum in Quebec, and Markham Museum in Ontario. The grants will sustain these programs through to 2014.

These projects, which include everything from day camp, to live performances to the collection of local oral histories train youth for employability and enable them to develop new skills and interests. Once through the cycle of a program, usually about three months in length, participants are invited to mentor new members of the team. Youth mentoring youth is an important component in the success of these programs.

Scarborough Museum has seen great results for many years with its style of engaging youth and has developed a Youth Mentorship Tool Kit to share with other institutions.

Participant feedback on Youth Diversity Experience has been extremely positive, with 100 per cent of those surveyed feeling more connected to their community. Participant Dillon Caliph reflected on how the project affected him: "I learned how to come out of my shell. With so many people, it's easy to make new friends."

Scarborough Museum curator Madeleine Callaghan has spoken about the program, models and best practices in community building at a number of national and provincial museum conferences.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Senior Communications Coordinator



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