National youth volunteer pilot project to include Iqaluit

In the Liberals quest to develop a national program to inspire young people to volunteer, Iqaluit will be a testing ground.

Iqaluit will be the 5th city Apathy is Boring's pilot project will roll-out in

Apathy is Boring is rolling-out its youth community service program in seven cities, Iqaluit will be the fifth. (Michael Salomonie/CBC)

In the Liberal government's quest to develop a national program to inspire young people to volunteer, Iqaluit will be a testing ground.

The federal government announced the "design phase" of the Canada Service Corps on Tuesday and the charity Apathy is Boring received funding as part of the announcement.

The youth-led organization encourages youth to be active citizens in Canadian democracy, according to executive director Caro Loutfi. 

It's piloting a program called Rise which will start its roll-out this February in Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton. In the summer, Toronto will be added to the list of cities it operates in, and in January 2019, the charity will start its work in Iqaluit.

By March of 2020, in addition to those five cities, the program will be in Halifax and Vancouver.

For Loutfi, this program is a natural progression for the charity — its initial campaign was inspiring youth to vote.

Caro Loutfi, executive director of Apathy is Boring, says she's looking forward to hearing what projects youth in Iqaluit will come up with. (CBC)

"It's always in our mission of creating opportunities for youth locally to decide for themselves how they want to get involved and what it is they want to do to build more resilient communities."

Across the seven cities, Loutfi expects there will be 25 different community projects with opportunities for 875 youth to get involved.

Each project will have a local youth coordinator who runs the activity, between five and seven youth ambassadors, and another 20 to 30 youth organizers at work on the project.

The team of young people will work together for about six months, after which a new group will be encouraged to get involved.

Apathy is Boring will help support the youth initiatives and connect them with other related organizations, Loutfi says.

Applications for Iqaluit projects are not open yet, but for the initial cities, youth aged 18 to 30 can apply to be lead creatives on a project until Jan. 24. They are expected to put in about six hours a week for the five-month project duration.

"We're really excited to learn from the youth in Iqaluit, and hear about the issues that they care about and just see what they come up with. And I think every community is going to have its own flavour and its own identity," Loutfi said.

With files from Eva Michael