ICOMOS Canada launches the Youth in Heritage program

The new initiative provides wage subsidies to connect employers to the next generation of cultural heritage practitioners.

The Canadian National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Canada) in partnership with Parks Canada, announced the launch of the Youth in Heritage program.

The program is an employment and mentorship initiative connecting employers to the next generation of cultural heritage practitioners between the ages of 15-30.

“We need to trust our youth, their ideas and their new way of doing things to take us further as a society. Our heritage sector has that necessary openness,” says Julien Silvestre, Executive Director of CMAQ.

With the financial support of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program, ICOMOS Canada is currently offering wage subsidies for new and existing employees, apprentices or interns working in the cultural heritage sector.

In achieving these goals, ICOMOS Canada states that it is proud to collaborate with CAHP (Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals) and CMAQ (Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec).

“It is important for our sector to open paths for youth and emerging professionals from diverse backgrounds who may not have considered a career in the heritage sector before. This work experience will also be key to increasing the capacity of the heritage field which has an important role to play in creating the sustainable and liveable communities of the future through conservation of existing places,” says Chris Uchiyama, CAHP President.

Based on the ICOMOS policy paper entitled Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals: Policy Guidance for Heritage and Development Actors, this project brings cultural heritage within the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring that new expertise and fields of knowledge sustain the sector.

“Cultural heritage is about the future. Investing in training, youth and knowledge-sharing is critical to prepare for climate change and envision a sustainable future for communities across Canada. This program sets the stage for the next generation of practitioners in cultural heritage to become leaders in sustainability and climate change adaptation,” says Christophe Rivet, ICOMOS Canada President.

ICOMOS Canada is accepting wage subsidy applications until March 2022. Visit Youth in Heritage for more information.