CBYF Gathering 2021 banner EN

  Français  What is Communities Building Youth Futures?

Communities Building Youth Futures (CBYF) is a five-year pan-Canadian project to work with up to 13 communities to develop system-wide solutions for supporting youth as they build and act upon plans for their future. Working in partnership with the Government of Canada, through the Goal Getters program, Tamarack Institute is committed to improving outcomes for youth who face barriers as they pursue their education and transition to employment and understands that this work requires collaborative, community-championed solutions with youth leadership and youth engagement.

Goals for the National Gathering 

  • Bring together 400 attendees to create connections between communities, with National Collaborative, youth serving organizations, and learners

  • Amplify youth voice through event planning, workshop presentation and participation 

  • Provide skills development and community coaching sessions

  • Inform policy and systems change opportunities

  • Inspire through stories and emerging practices from communities


youth gathered around computer

Features of our Learning Agenda

  • Building Youth Futures is a critical step in Ending Poverty in Canada – Investing in and supporting young people through their education to employment journey includes building youth resiliency, youth voice, and youth leadership. Creating communities which meaningfully engage young people is essential to ending poverty in Canada.    The May 6th plenary will be held jointly with Tamarack's Cities Reducing Poverty practice area

  • Renowned Keynote Speakers – featuring Melody Barnes, who worked directly with President Barack Obama, who will share her expertise with an emphasis on Ending Youth Poverty and Building Youth Futures

  • Creating Space for Youth as Change Makers – Change is already happening.  Across Canada, 13 communities are focused on amplifying youth voices.  These youth have something to say and through youth-focused CBYF workshops they will share their progress, lessons learned and advice

  • Community-Developed Projects that Build Pathways to Education & Employment – Innovation is at the forefront of Communities Building Youth FuturesCommunities will be showcasing emergent and innovative practices developed through their work. 

  • Learning that is Emerging through the Work of Supporting Youth – highlighting the work and stories of communities, youth and partners as they build youth resilience and engagement, community mobilization, social innovation, bridging the digital divide, and collective impact

  • Daily Small Group Discussions creating space for networking, discussion, brainstorming and troubleshooting amongst event registrants

  • Inspiring Workshops building foundations and allowing learners to dive deeper into the latest thinking and practice around youth engagement, collaborative leadership, community engagement:

    • Collaborative Leadership for Systems Change

    • Evaluation – how developing our meaning of evaluation can increase the benefits

    • Developing Meaningful Youth Engagement

    • Engagement in a Virtual World

    • and more …

  National Gathering Agenda  

 Our Thought Leaders 

Throughout the gathering, we will be guided by a number of keynotes and thought leaders from the field who will share their experiences and inspire group conversation.

MP Carla Q Square

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough is the Member of Parliament for Delta, British Columbia. She has been a Cabinet minister since she was first elected in 2015, first serving as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and then as Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister of Accessibility. She currently serves in the senior role of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. She is active on a number of Cabinet committees and has been at the centre of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is responsible for many emergency measures, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Employment Insurance and the one-time payment for persons with disabilities. As Canada works to recover from the effects of this pandemic, Minister Qualtrough is leading the charge on creating jobs, upskilling workers and implementing a historic Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

Bardish Chagger

The Honourable Bardish Chagger

The Honourable Bardish Chagger is the Federal Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and was previously Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In 2012, she was recognized as one of “40 under 40” who would lead the Region of Waterloo into the future. Minister Chagger has supported elections and was involved in the democratic process since she was 13 years old.

Melody Barnes-1

Melody Barnes

While Melody Barnes was leading the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama, the DPC was supporting the work of the White House Council on Community Solutions with honorary chair Michelle Obama and leaders from the private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. Two key recommendations of that council were to focus on solutions for Opportunity Youth (youth whose futures had stalled in or after high school) and to ensure that every community was able to access a collective impact approach to community change. She left the White House to chair the prestigious Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and co-founded the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund that has supported more than 1 million youth to realize opportunities for ending poverty and build better futures.

Ana F. Gonzalez headshot

Ana Gonzalez Guerrero

Ana is the co-founder and Managing Director of Youth Climate Lab, a youth-for-youth lab dedicated to creating innovative projects for more ambitious climate action. Ana has been working on climate change issues for over 15 years, focusing on sustainable local economic development and the empowerment of diverse actors such as young people, women and girls. She is a also a member of Tamarack's board of directors.

 More Speakers Here 

Who Should Register

This virtual gathering is open to everyone. It will host members, learners and partners who are intentionally mobilizing to build a future where young people will thrive.

Youth, community leaders, government, funders, business leaders, and youth serving organizations will join together to learn and share emerging practices to build youth futures.

Register your Team today, to join us as we celebrate the progress and impact of Communities Building Youth Futures and journey toward the End of Poverty in Canada.

The registration rates (in Canadian dollars) are as follows:

• $199 for a single registration

• $175 per person for groups of 3 or more colleagues from the same collaborative attending together

• $150 per person for groups of 5 or more colleagues from the same collaborative attending together

Communities Building Youth Futures 

Communities Building Youth Futures (CBYF) members receive 15 complimentary seats to send representatives on behalf of your collective impact initiative to this event. You will also receive an additional 5 complimentary seats for youth from your collective impact initiative. (Please contact your Manager of Cities if you have any questions).

Members from the CBYF National Collaborative will also receive a complimentary seat.

If you are a member of Communities Building Youth Futures or the CBYF National Collaborative, register here.

Building Youth Futures Scholarships

We want everyone to learn how to improve their community! To ensure this, Tamarack supports youth through the Building Youth Futures fund. Please reach out to Trisha if you would like a scholarship. 

Register for the Virtual Gathering

Register as a CBYF Member


Register as a non-member


  Register as a National Collaborative member  


For questions regarding this event, reach out to Trisha.
For questions regarding invoicing and payments, reach out to Mikayla.