THUNDER BAY – Peter Kent, the Minister of the Environment and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, along with Mr. Alan Latourelle, Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada, have announced that Canadian students in Grade 8 will once again receive free passes to Canada?s beloved places.
“Canada’s future lies in the hands of its young people, and today, I’m proud to hand Grade 8 students across the country an entry key to Canada?s most treasured natural and historic areas,” said Minister Kent. “Throughout this centennial year for Parks Canada, young Canadians will have many opportunities to develop strong and meaningful connections to the very essence of Canada.”
This is the second year that Parks Canada, working in collaboration with the Historica-Dominion Institute and Nature Canada, offers the “My Parks Pass” Program.
My Parks Pass is a Canada-wide program that provides all Grade 8 / Secondary 2 students free access (for one year) to any national park, national historic site or national marine conservation area administered by Parks Canada. Additionally, all Grade 8 / Secondary 2 classrooms, including split classes, will receive free admission to these parks and sites as part of a classroom field trip, organized by the school.
“Never before has Parks Canada offered so many imaginative and innovative programs aimed at young Canadians than in this, our Centennial year,” concluded Mr. Latourelle, Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada. “I’m very excited about what this year will bring and look forward to building lasting relationships between these students and Canada’s treasured places.”
In collaboration with Nature Canada and The Historica-Dominion Institute, the Government of Canada is continuing the My Parks Pass initiative, which grants Grade 8 / Secondary 2 students across Canada free access for one full year to any of Parks Canada’s 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites and 4 national marine conservation areas. Also, Grade 8 / Secondary 2 class visits will continue to enter free of charge at all these parks and sites. As well, through Canopy Planet Society, each of these students school will receive a copy of the Canada’s National Parks: A Celebration book.
In addition to today’s announcement, Minister Kent and Mr. Latourelle were pleased to announce an exciting contest in connection with VIA Rail Canada, entitled Canada’s Ultimate Family Adventure. The Grand Prize Winner will get a trip for four by rail to Jasper National Park for an adventure of a lifetime.
Another exciting program to help connect young Canadians and their families to Canada’s treasured places is Operation Unplugged. In collaboration with GlassBox media, HLP + Partners and VIA Rail Canada, Parks Canada is launching this broadcast and web venture that will provide opportunities for eight urban young people to trade their “techno-dependent” lifestyles for a summer “unplugged” in Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas where they will compete in challenges under the guidance of a host and Parks Canada staff.
As part of its year-long Centennial Celebrations, Parks Canada has planned a signature centennial launch event on May 21st to bring the “Parks Canada Experience” to downtown Toronto, with activities between various downtown sites, including Union Station, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower and Rogers Centre.