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Epic expedition around 3 Canadian coasts leaves Toronto today

The Canada C3 sailing expedition leaves Toronto on June 1 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.

C3 sailing expedition to celebrate Canada's 150th brings diversity of people onboard icebreaker

Canada C3 is taking an assortment of Canadians through the St. Lawrence River, the Northwest Passage, and around Alaska, all the way to Victoria, B.C. in an icebreaker. (Canada C3)

Scientists. Artists. Indigenous elders. Historians.

They'll all on be on board at different intervals after an icebreaker sets sail from Toronto Thursday — marking the start of a 23,000 kilometre, 150-day expedition from coast-to-coast-to-coast in honour of Canada's 150th anniversary.

The Canada C3 project is taking an assortment of Canadians through the St. Lawrence River, the Northwest Passage, and around Alaska, all the way to Victoria, B.C. Each leg of the trip will feature a different group who'll be sharing their journey with the rest of us through videos and blog posts.

Toronto resident Harjot Dosanjh, 27, will be among them for the 12th leg of the journey.

"Our country is so big, so different, from coast to coast," she said. "This expedition, the fact that it goes from coast to coast — it catches all walks of life."

The expedition is being described as a 'voyage of reconciliation.' (Canada C3)

C3 a 'voyage of reconciliation'

Dosanjh, who found out she was accepted for the expedition in mid-May, will be flying from Toronto to Edmonton in September, then heading up to the Northwest Territories where she'll board the icebreaker out of Tuktuyaaqtuuq, an Inuvialuit hamlet.

Right now, Dosanjh is an articling student and works with mentally incapable adults, something she hopes to continue after becoming a lawyer.

"Through my work, we have clients who come from every type of background," she said. "Experiences like this will help broaden my understanding and knowledge, and ability to empathize with individuals from all walks of life."

Toronto resident Harjot Dosanj will be among the Canada C3 participants later this year. (Supplied by Harjot Dosanj)

The journey as a whole has an important purpose, Dosanjh adds.

"The main themes of the expedition are diversity, reconciliation, the environment," she said. "All of those things are so important in today's age, where you have significant powers in the world that are dismissive of climate change, that are advocating against unity."

The ship can hold 60 people at any time, half of which will be crew. As expedition leader Geoff Green of the Students on Ice Foundation previously told CBC, "it's not a tourist trip."

Green says C3 will use storytelling in this "voyage of reconciliation."

At the end of the journey the art, music and scientific data collected will be compiled, and there will even be a cookbook showcasing cuisine from coastal communities sampled on the trip.

"Everyone on there is going to be experiencing it through a different lens, and sharing their experience through a different lens, and taking it back to their communities," said Dosanjh.

With files from CBC News, Metro Morning