The Canadian Commission for UNESCO


October 13, 2016

Canadian Leadership on Inclusive Cities

Canadian Commission for UNESCO to co-host major panels at Habitat III

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) is pleased to co-host, along with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), two panels on inclusive cities. The panels are part of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development, or Habitat III, taking place in Quito, Ecuador between October 17 and 20, 2016.

Culture, Social Innovation and Indigenous expertise will be at the heart of the discussions featuring Canadian leaders such as Mayor of Montréal Denis Coderre and Becky A. Sasakamoose Kuffner, Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Consultant for the City of Saskatoon (Treaty Six Territory). The City of Montréal and the City of Saskatoon are both signatory municipalities of our Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD). Read more

Visit our webpage dedicated to Habitat III for different resources for inclusion and follow us on Twitter @CCUNESCO_Canada

October 4, 2016

New documentary series on Canada's Biosphere Reserves!

Striking Balance is an eight-part documentary series coming to TVO starting October 4th at 9:00 p.m., which explores Canada’s Biosphere Reserves. People have been a part of nearly every Canadian landscape for thousands of years, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are a way to think about nature that includes people as part of the environment. For those living in Canada’s Biosphere Reserves (approximately 2,000 000 people), the environment is only healthy if human communities and the ecosystems that sustain them are both thriving. Read more 

‘‘Innovative community engagement is at the heart of these initiatives, which balance biodiversity protection with local needs. We are pleased to see this work recognized by TVO’s new series, which will further help connect Canadians to these extraordinary places.’’ - Sébastien Goupil, CCUNESCO Secretary-General

Each episode will be available across Canada at following the first broadcast. Watch the series trailer:                                    

September 22, 2016

CCUNESCO is now accepting applications for its Youth Advisory Group (YAG)

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) has positions to fill in its Youth Advisory Group (YAG). If you are between the ages of 18-30, are actively engaged in your community and connect with UNESCO’s mission and vision, submit your application now!

Members of our YAG help identify the issues and concerns of youth in their communities, provide recommendations, and help us develop new initiatives and activities locally, regionally and nationally. They also take part in UNESCO-related events, such as our Annual General Meeting and the consultations in preparation for the UNESCO Youth Forum, and act as liaisons between their organizations and networks, and the Commission.  YAG members are key players to ensure youth engagement in UNESCO programmes and activities in Canada. 

If interested, please submit your application form along with your résumé before October 17, 2016 to  
For more information on the YAG please click here. 

September 7, 2016

Launch of CCUNESCO’s Report on Activities 2015/16 
A fresh new digital experience

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Report on Activities 2015/16  is out! Completely web-based, this interactive report features the accomplishments of our network of networks in implementing Agenda 2030 as well as CCUNESCO’s overarching priorities of peace, equity and sustainable development. Help us promote UNESCO’s work in Canada by sharing this report with your networks!

NEW this year: Members’ Corner

Our Report on Activities now includes a Members’ Corner that displays stories about how members followed through on the 2015 AGM’s Call to Action for Bridging Cultural Divides. The aim is to provide our members and partners with a public platform to feature their initiatives and inspire Canadians.    

Showcase your success stories on Members’ Corner by filling out this form to share your news with your networks!

July 22, 2016

New Job Opportunity at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Our dynamic and dedicated team is looking for a Programme Manager. Click here to learn more about the role. Deadline to apply is August 4, 2016. 

July 17, 2016

''When Life Got Big'' - Canada's New World Heritage Site Holds the History of Life On Earth

ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 17, 2016 — The coastal cliffs of Mistaken Point (south-eastern tip of Newfoundland) have been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Of deep marine origin, these cliffs date to the Edicarean Period (580-560 million years ago), representing the oldest known assemblages of large fossils anywhere. These fossils illustrate a watershed in the history of life on earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost three billion years of micro-dominated evolution. Learn more.  There are now 18 World Heritage Sites in Canada. 

Photo: Mistaken Point by Dr. Guy Narbonne

June 27, 2016

Sébastien Goupil Appointed Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Ottawa, June 27, 2016 – The Canada Council for the Arts is delighted to announce the appointment of Sébastien Goupil as Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO). 

''I look forward to working with Mr. Goupil in these exciting times as we join forces with UNESCO to implement the Sustainable Development goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030'' said Christina Cameron, CCUNESCO’s President.

Mr. Goupil is currently Acting Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada at Library and Archives Canada. He will take up his functions on August 8, 2016.  Read more

June 21, 2016

National Poetry Contest on ''Refugees & Human Rights’’ 

To raise awareness on Human Rights and to reflect on the situation of the refugees, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and COSTI Immigrant Services invited students grade 4 to 12 to write a poem on the theme of ''Refugees and Human Rights''. Hundreds of students from schools across the country submitted touching and inspiring poems and some of them were read during the celebrations of World Refugee Day in Ottawa, on June 20, 2016. 

Read all the winning poems here

Check out photos of the award ceremony 

For more info, contact UNHCR Canada at

May 3, 2016

18th Annual World Press Freedom Day Awards Luncheon

OTTAWA. On World Press Freedom Day (May 3), CCUNESCO and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF) hosted the 18th Annual World Press Freedom Day Awards Luncheon. Suzanne Legault, Canada’s Information Commissioner, gave an address at the luncheon, along with Élaine Ayotte, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, and Simon Brault, CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts.

The CCWPF has chosen Ben Makuch, a Canadian national security reporter with Vice News, as the 18th winner of the Press Freedom Award. This year, honourable mentions were also given to Linda Gyulai of the Montreal Gazette, and to Josée Dupuis and Emmanuel Marchand of Radio-Canada. Read more 

Photo: Michelle Chawla, Acting Secretary-General, Elaine Ayotte, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, Mohamed Fahmy, Winner of the 2014 Canadian Press Freedom Award, Ben Makuch, Winner of the 2015 Canadian Press Freedom Award, Pauline Dugré, Program Officer, CCUNESCO, and Simon Brault, CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. Photo: Michelle Chawla, Acting Secretary-General, Elaine Ayotte, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, Mohamed Fahmy, Winner of the 2014 Canadian Press Freedom Award, Ben Makuch, Winner of the 2015 Canadian Press Freedom Award, Pauline Dugré, Program Officer, CCUNESCO, and Simon Brault, CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Winners of the International Editorial Cartoon Competition were announced at the luncheon

“The right to be forgotten” was the theme of this year’s International Editorial Cartoon Competition and is in reference to the removal of valuable records from the Internet. This year, over 400 cartoon entries from around the world were received. The first prize went to Dale Cummings of Winnipeg. Two citations of merit were also given to RogerTweedt of France and Bruce MacKinnon of Halifax.  See their powerful cartoons here

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Learn more about WPFD

Dale Cummings, Canada. World Press Freedom Cartoon 2015

March 31, 2016

UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, and Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Élaine Ayotte, visited us in Ottawa on March 29. Ms. Bokova was ''very impressed by CCUNESCO members’ engagement towards issues related to learning to live together, gender equality and human rights, to name but a few.'' Needless to say that was music to our ears!

For more information

Photo: Simon Brault, CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, Irina Bokova, UNESCO's Director-General, Christina Cameron, CCUNESCO's President

Photo: Michelle Chawla, Acting Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Director General, Strategy and Public Affairs at Canada Council for the Arts, Christina Cameron, CCUNESCO's President, Élaine Ayotte, Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and Simon Brault, CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

March 21, 2016

OTTAWA, March 21, 2016 – Tsá-Tué (Northwest Territories) and the Beaver Hills (Alberta) have been designated as biosphere reserves by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Currently, the Canadian Biosphere Reserves network consists of 18 sites distributed over nine provinces and territories. Biosphere reserves are recognized under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme as ecologically significant regions that promote sustainability and conservation by engaging all community stakeholders and supporting research and monitoring.

For more information

October 22, 2015 

CCUNESCO Networks contribute to a Canadian publication on Climate Change!

The UNESCO Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability (McGill) has launched the e-publication ‘‘Acting on Climate Change: Extending the dialogue among Canadians’’. This collection of texts is a response to ‘‘Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars’’, a publication released earlier this year. CCUNESCO has led the inclusion of perspectives from youth and local communities through its Youth Advisory Group and Biosphere Reserves. The publications were also presented to students from theUNESCO Associated Schools Network across Canada via webinars.    

Download the publication 

The conclusion text is a Call to Action produced by the two students from Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve, who participated in the latest Students on Ice Arctic Expedition through the support of CCUNESCO and the Government of Quebec. This very inspiring video on the topic has been presented at the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum (Paris, October 26-28):

October 16, 2015 

Fall 2015 represents a turning point in the field of Education both nationally and internationally 

While world leaders were adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in September, UNESCO has committed to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all (Goal #4).

In this short newsletter, CCUNESCO wishes to highlight some recent publications as well as education-related events taking place in Canada. 

Download the newsletter

Watch the Can we keep the Education promise video by the Global Education First Initiative 


September 24, 2015 

Canada Returns Cultural Property to Lebanon 

In July 2015, the Government of Canada formally returned a 6th century BCE Phoenician antiquity to the Government of the Republic of Lebanon. The return was made in accordance with Canada’s obligations under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property to which Lebanon is also a signatory. The Convention is the first international instrument dedicated to the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and requires the repatriation of illegal exportations. As of July 2015, 129 states are parties to the Convention.  

About the artifact (Photo: Canadian Conservation Institute)
jpegThe antiquity, an exquisite glass pendant in the shape of a man’s head, was intercepted by Canada’s customs officials when it was brought to Canada in 2006. The import was assessed by the Department of Canadian Heritage under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act and a Federal Court determined that the antiquity was illegally imported into Canada.The return marks the 20th return by Canada to a fellow State Party to the 1970 Convention, and the first return of cultural property to Lebanon.  

See related article by CBC News

September 17, 2015

CTV National News Chief Anchor Lisa LaFlamme is first Canadian appointed to prestigious UNESCO/ World Press Freedom jury 

Lisa LaFlamme, the Chief Anchor and Senior Editor for CTV National News, has been appointed to the international jury that will select the 2016 winner of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. She is the first Canadian journalist to be appointed to the 11-person jury in the history of the award. “The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is delighted that a leader in the Canadian journalism community has been named to the 2016 jury. She’s an excellent choice, given her vast experience in international affairs and her commitment to raising awareness for, and defending the importance of free and independent media and the respect of human rights.” - Louise Filiatrault, Secretary-General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO


August 12, 2015

UNESCO Youth Forum: Have YOUR voice heard!
Participate now in CCUNESCO’s National Youth Consultation on Climate Change & Global Citizenship!

 Fill out this survey by no later than October 2, 2015

In preparation for the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum (October 26-28, 2015), we want to hear what young Canadians think about:

  • How can we, as global citizens, address climate change in this country and internationally?  
  • What is the role of education in changing economic patterns towards a green economy? 
  • How does the sustainability of our planet affect youth employment?  
  • What is the role of youth in addressing climate change?

The results of this survey will identify a set of youth-led recommendations in preparation for the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum to be held in Paris under the theme “Young Global Citizens for a Sustainable Planet”.  The Forum will focus on how young women and men, as global citizens, can contribute to building sustainability, from the global to the local level.  

This will also provide a strategic opportunity for UNESCO to connect these youth voices with the new Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs (September 2015) and at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC (30 November – 11 December 2015). 

Background documents:

On Global Citizenship:The National Youth White Paper on Global Citizenship
On Climate Change: Acting on Climate Change: Solutions form Canadian Scholars 

August 6, 2015

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO partners with the 2015 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition!

Student on ice expedition-artist Jaime KoebelSOI is driven by a passion for the Polar Regions and believe in the power of connecting youth to nature. Education is the foundation of the SOI approach to inspire and support youth by providing them the necessary tools to instill positive change in their communities and around the world.  
Through an Aboriginal Arts Residency (pilot) supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and CCUNESCO, the Canadian artist - Jaime Koebel is taking part in the Expedition.  Through artistic expression, Ms. Koebel will explore with youth participants the relationship between people, the land, culture and nature.  

''The program creates awareness among students and staff about Arctic Indigenous People, their history, culture, current issues and opportunities … ''Blog- Jaime Koebel

Follow the Expedition on Instagram ! Discover the Arctic and the impact of climate change through the eyes of 2 youths from a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Corine Cadoret and Noah Picard-Simon, on this inspiring and life-changing journey!

June 30, 2015

Advancing Equity And Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities

''ADVANCING EQUITY AND INCLUSION: A GUIDE FOR MUNICIPALITIES'' is a compendium of promising practices aiming at engaging different community stakeholders in the development of more sustainable, equitable and inclusive cities.  CCUNESCO is proud to support this initiative by City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) and wishes to highlight the contribution of signatory municipalities of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination! Have a look!

June 25, 2015 

Photo UNHCRRefugees and Human Rights
Student Poetry Contest: 

The winners announced!

Again this year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), has organized a pan Canadian poetry contest in celebration of both the March 21, 2015 UNESCO World Poetry Day and the upcoming June 20, 2015 UN World Refugee Day.

The contest invited students from Grades 4 to 12 to express their feelings on the theme of refugee and human rights issues and use art as both a form of expression and a way to engage on important social themes.

CCUNESCO wishes to congratulate the 18 winners of this year’s edition, of which 8 are UNESCO schools students!  Please take a look at their touching and inspiring poems! 

May 29, 2015

twitterTwitter contest!

Win tickets to Zukerman, Shaham & Mahler’s First on June 4 at 8 pm in the National Arts Centre’s Southam Hall. The performance will be dedicated to UNESCO’s 70th anniversary. Contest details here.

May 22, 2015

Launch of the 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report!

Global Monitoring Report

The 2015 Global Monitoring Report – Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges provides a complete assessment of what has (and has not) been achieved since the adoption of the 6 Education for All goals in 2000.  The report also identifies key lessons for shaping the post-2015 global education agenda. The Canadian launch of the report will be held during the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Annual General Meeting.

Details: June 5, 2015, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
RSVP: Please contact

April 15, 2015

Just launched! A special edition of Canadian Diversity commemorating CCMARD’s 10th Anniversary

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD), the Canadian Commission for UNESCO has commissioned the publication of a special edition of Canadian Diversity entitled “The Fight is Ours: The Potential of Municipalities to Eliminate Discrimination”. The issue draws together contributions of a broad range of stakeholders (municipalities, researchers and organizations) to reflect on the work, challenges and successes of municipalities in the field of antidiscrimination and look forward to the next decade of CCMARD in Canada. Canadian Diversity is published by the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS).

April 8, 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Signatory municipalities are celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

January 8, 2015

CCUNESCO President appointed to the Order of Canada!

Photo Christina CameronMs. Christina Cameron receives this prestigious honour for her contributions to heritage preservation through her work with Parks Canada, with UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, and as a Professor and Chairholder, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, School of Architecture, Faculté de l’aménagement, Université de Montréal.




October 24, 2014

October 27th is UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage


“Archives at Risk: Much more to do”


Audiovisual documents such as films, radio and television programs, audio and video recordings, contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is urgent that we protect it.


To mark this day the Canadian Commission for UNESCO partnered with CINEMAexpo67, Cinématheque Québécoise, NFB, and the City of Montréal for the event Polar Life. Polar life is one of Expo 67's most ingenious multiscreen experiments. The Expo 67 films attracted worldwide attention and over 50 million visitors during its exhibition from April 22 to October 27 1967. Polar Life is the first of a series of re-creations that will lead up to the 50th 2017 of Expo 67.

Did you know that IMAX is a Canadian invention?

Come meet with Graeme Ferguson co-founder of IMAX at the Cinematheque québécoise, November 1st at 2 pm.

October 3, 2014

World Teachers’ Day 2014: Invest in the future, invest in teachers!

150On October 5th, UNESCO and its partners invite you all to help spread the message that investing in our teachers is key. As countries are shaping the post-2015 development agenda, it is essential that teachers remain a priority.  Fostering high-quality and inclusive lifelong learning for all is not only essential to developing more just and equitable societies, but also to strengthen education systems worldwide. An education system, after all is only as good as its teachers.

Learn more about WTD and UNESCO’s priorities in Education

Share your plans and put your Canadian event on the map!

September 26, 2014

For the first time in North America!

The 8th Extraordinary Session of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) will be held in Quebec City, October 1st and 2nd.  It will bring together 40 people, among whom are experts in ethics, scientists and researchers from various academic and professional fields.

Themes to be discussed

The Revision of the Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers (1974).
The convergence of technologies and their implications for sustainable development. 
Ethical governance of science and technology as ways to address global inequalities.

Organised by the
Commission de l’éthique en science et en technologie du Québec and UNESCO in collaboration with the Quebec Governement, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and Laval University.

To register and attend (at no cost) the COMEST session please send an email to :  
More information :
8th extraordinary session of COMEST

Please note that the COMEST meeting will be followed by a symposium on water security, on October 3

August 21, 2014

Danika Billie Littlechild appointed Vice-President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

''Canada Council for the Arts is proud to announce the appointment of Danika Billie Littlechild. She is the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to the Bureau of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in its almost sixty years of existence. Danika has been contributing to the work of the CCU since 2003 on a range of issues including youth, culture, the environment and human rights. Her experience and knowledge will continue to enrich the accomplishments of the Commission.'' said Christina Cameron, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Ms. Littlechild takes up her duties immediately. (Photo: Kelly Bell)

Read more

August 12, 2014

International Youth Day 2014: Mental Health Matters

The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is ’’Youth and Mental Health‘‘. Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion. On August 12, let’s take action to overcome this stigma and ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives, free of isolation and unnecessary shame. Let’s talk about inclusion!  #InternationalYouthDay #MentalHealthMatters

Learn more about IYD and the UN Campaign on Youth and Mental Health

Have a look at the International Youth Day 2014 Map of Events

August 11, 2014

8th UNESCO Youth Forum: Recommendations and Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021!

The Commission wishes to thank the Canadian Youth Delegates, Ms. Betsy Leimbigler and Claire Paetkau, for their outstanding contribution to the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum held in Paris, from October 29-31, 2013. The national consultations, in which they took part in preparation of the Forum, enabled them to bring to the world stage Canadian perspectives on youth and social inclusion. This in turn meaningfully contributed to the elaboration of final recommendations which were approved at the end of this international event. These recommendations are now guiding the implementation of the newly released UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021. 

Learn more about the Youth Forum and UNESCO Youth Program

July 17, 2014

Louise Filiatrault is named Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

The Canada Council for the Arts is very pleased to announce the appointment of Louise Filiatrault as the Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, beginning September 2, 2014.

“Ms. Filiatrault brings to this position a deep content knowledge of culture and heritage. Her interest and expertise in communication, reinforcing networks and leveraging new technologies will advance the Canada Council’s and the Canadian Commission’s strategic priorities,” said Mr. Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council.

“I strongly believe that Ms. Filiatrault’s demonstrated capacity to collaborate with partners to develop content and deliver programs to a wide range of stakeholders will assist in advancing UNESCO’s values and programs in Canada,” said Christina Cameron, President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Read more

July 4, 2014

Christina Cameron is named President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Photo Christina CameronOttawa-July 04, 2014- The Canada Council for the Arts is very pleased to announce the appointment of Christina Cameron as President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Her term began at the Commission's Annual General Meeting held in Victoria from June 5 to 7, 2014. She was appointed for a term of 2 years, renewable once. Ms. Cameron was formerly Vice-President of the Commission from 2010 to 2014.

read more.


June 21, 2014 

June 21st is National Aboriginal Day! 

On June 21st, Canadians from all walks of life are invited to celebrate diverse cultures and heritage and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. National Aboriginal Day, proclaimed by Governor General Roméo Leblanc in 1996, is celebrated through events taking place from coast to coast to coast

Youth from the Youth Advisory Group and from the Songhees community at the 54th AGM © Jimmy Ung 

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is dedicated to promoting intercultural and inclusive dialogue among all Canadians with the ultimate goals of fostering peace and striving for equity. On June 21st, let’s celebrate the different ways of seeing the world and let’s learn from one another!  

Learn more about the Governor General’s Proclamation 
Read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

June 20, 2014

World Refugee Day 2014: 1 refugee family without shelter is too many

On June 20th, the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day (WRD). This celebration is to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution. In 2013, millions of families in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, amongst others, were forced to flee their homes due to armed conflicts. The 2014 WRD campaign invites individuals throughout the world to tell their refugee stories. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO has done the same through a cross-Canada poetry contest organized in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada. 

Learn more about World Refugee Day and share your refugee story!
Events taking place across Canada on June 20, 2014 

June 12, 2014

Poetry for Refugees and Human Rights


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU), has organized a cross-Canada poetry contest in celebration of both the March 21, 2014 UNESCO World Poetry Day and with perspective on the upcoming June 20, 2014 UN World Refugee Day. The contest provided some 200 students from Grades 7 to 12 with the opportunity to express their feelings on the theme of refugee and human rights issues and use art as both a form of expression and a way to engage on important social themes.

Learn more about the contest and the winners

June 6, 2014

The Commission’s 2013-2014 Report on Activities and the Strategic Plan

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO connects Canadians with the work of UNESCO. Its aim is to create a society in which Canadians share knowledge and learn from each other, locally and globally, in order to build peaceful, equitable and sustainable futures. Learn more about the Commission’s activities and future plans in its 2013-2014 Report on activities and Strategic plan presented at the Annual General Meeting, June 6 2014.

May 21, 2014

Join the team!

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is looking for a Administrative Coordinator and Assistant to the Secretary-General, more info

April 25, 2014

Let us celebrate International Jazz Day 2014 through Music!

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canada Council for the Arts invite you to celebrate International Jazz Day 2014 in the premises of the Canada Council. Join us in the entrance hall of the 150 Elgin Street, Ottawa, on Wednesday April 30th, 2014, from 12:00 -1:00 pm and jazz up your lunch! 

Come and enjoy a musical performance by The Roddy Ellias Trio, refreshments and a rhythmic atmosphere!

April 25, 2014

Simon Brault named New Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

Photo: Maxime Côté

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO welcomes the appointment by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages of Simon Brault as the new Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1957, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO was established by the Canada Council for the Arts, a federal Crown corporation, following the Canada Council for the Arts ACT and an Order-in-Council.

”Simon has been a tireless champion of public engagement in the arts. We believe this is vital to the sustainability of the Canadian arts sector. The Canada Council will benefit from the vision of such a forward-looking and credible individual. Simon’s intellect and creativity will help set a strong course for the Canada Council’s future.‘‘ - Mr. Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of the Canada Council. Mr. Brault will assume the role on June 26, 2014 for a 5-year term.

Read more

March 11, 2014

Canadian launch of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is pleased to announce the Canadian launch of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Entitled Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all, this year’s edition sounds the alarm on a worldwide learning crisis. This report is particularly relevant in the post-2015 context as it presents 10 education development strategies for all while showing world decision-makers the social and economic value of quality education. The launch is part of the Revisioning Education for All conference to be held in Toronto from March 10 to 15, 2014.

To learn more…

March 10, 2014

Professor Kieffer, Director at the Douglas Institute in Montreal, awarded the International L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize!

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO would like to congratulate Professor Brigitte Kieffer, Scientific Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, for her L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

Photo: UNESCO website

Each year, five outstanding women scientists (one per continent) are honoured for the their research, the strength of their commitments and their positive impact on society. The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2014 Awards Ceremony will be held on March 19, 2014 at the Sorbonne in Paris (France). It will be presided by Professor Günter Blobel, 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation, will also participate.

Find out more on Professor Kieffer and the Douglas Institute

February 13, 2014

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson Pays tribute to Women in Radio

World Radio Day 2014

February 13 is World Radio Day. On this occasion, former Governor General of Canada the right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson joins the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and invites Canadians to celebrate the power of this media as a means to achieve cultural outreach, freedom of expression, and social transformation.

Press Release

Audio message: mp3 wav

November 29, 2013

L’Oréal Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO honoured Canadian women researchers

On November 28, distinguished Canadian women researchers were honoured and rewarded by L’Oréal Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO as part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme. The 11th National Awards Ceremony, who took place at the Embassy of France, showcased the work of the 2013 laureates, Dr. Évemie Dubé and Dr. Laura McKinnon, and highlighted their scientific excellence in research. Both outstanding and talented scientists were recognized for the contribution of their research, their commitment to overcome the global challenges of tomorrow and for their contribution to the advancement of UNESCO’s ideals in science. A Mentor fellowship was also awarded to a UNESCO associated schools student. For more information on the programme, visit the For Women in Science website, and watch the 2013 promotional video.

November 21, 2013

Let's celebrate the 150th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy!

The Embassy of Greece, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Parnassos Hellenic Cultural Society of Ottawa, in collaboration with the Museum of Classical Antiquities of the University of Ottawa, are pleased to invite you for an evening of poetry in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933). UNESCO is associated with this celebration because Cavafy was instrumental in the revival and recognition of Greek poetry. He is also credited with establishing many facets of 20th century European poetry. 

October 29, 2013

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO participates at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

Preparation Youth Forum

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO participates at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum from Oct. 29th to 31st 2013 in Paris, France. Check out the Blog of the Canadian Youth Delegation, Betsy Leimbigler and Claire Paetkau who will be taking you step by step through the process of preparation and consultation for the Youth Forum, and also providing updates as the Forum takes place.

October 15, 2013

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and the University of Saskatchewan has produced a publication aimed at demonstrating how collective efforts and knowledge sharing can be beneficial to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and education. The publication entitled Learning from each other: proven good practices in Canadian Biosphere reserves will be launched on the occasion of the EuroMAB 2013 conference, to be hosted by the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, in Brockville, Ontario, from October 15-19, 2013.

September 21, 2013

International Day of Peace!  Education for Peace!
21 September is International Day of Peace (IDP). Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. ''Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts.''-
Message from Irina Bokova on the occasion of IDP 2013 . Peace Day provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.  To learn more about this initiative and be inspired, visit the United Nations website 

August 12, 2013

Happy United Nation's International Youth Day to all !

This year’s theme of “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward” is set to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that migration presents for young people globally. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is proud to support youth engagement across the country. One way of doing it is through the participation of its Youth Advisory Group’s composed of 25 members.  This fall, the Commission will provide support for two youth delegates to travel to Paris in order to attend the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum and carry the voices of Canadian youth. The Commission is also proud to support the Associated Schools Project Network’s (ASPnet) 62 member schools in Canada as the program celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013. Through this commitment, youth are being inspired, engaged and given the opportunity to speak up and participate in building both their communities and a world of peace.

To learn more, visit: United Nations International Youth Day.

July 17, 2013

Upcoming Conference on Intangible Cultural Heritage: ’Landscapes to languages: What shapes us?’’

The Alberta Museums Association (AMA) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO are pleased to present the AMA’s 2013 Conference dedicated to the exploration of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, from September 19th-21th, 2013. The conference entitled ’’Landscapes to languages: What shapes us?’’ will cover topics such as oral traditions and expressions, performing arts and social practices, traditional craftsmanship, and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. On this occasion, the Commission will be leading a symposium aimed at fostering the discussion around the importance of culture in our society and will be featuring presentations by recognized experts including members of the Commission.  For more information about the program, please visit the event page.