from our President & CEO

I wanted to share some reflections at the end of my first week with Thrive Youth Development Canada (henceforth Thrive) as we wrap up the 2021-2022 season. 

Firstly, it has been a pleasure to be welcomed by a board of directors and staffing team that is so clearly dedicated to connecting youth art and experiential learning as a pathway to self-confidence, skill development, and success. The challenges associated with historical underinvestment in youth have only been exacerbated as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. From coast to coast to coast we know that children and youth in Canada continue to struggle in a myriad of ways. We also know that these challenges are disproportionately impacting Indigenous, racialized, and otherwise marginalized youth- and, by extension, their families, and communities. The diverse problems we face as a human family, whether it be climate change, poverty, structural racism, or the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic, require equally diverse solutions. The children and youth across Canada represent our most precious resource in cultivating the innovation and transformation needed to create health, prosperity, and sustainability across Canada and beyond. It is a privilege to join Thrive and to have the opportunity to play a part in moving this work forward.


At Thrive we use arts-based experiential learning to teach youth the power they have to innovate the world around them in exciting and revealing ways. The goal of our programs is to contribute to global learning and leverage points that offer the most potential for positive change. We use these experiences as a catalyst to support self-confidence, skill building, and leadership in youth as our leaders of today and tomorrow. I look forward to collaborating with youth, staff, partners, funders, artists, and community members to continue building a world where all youth thrive and reach their full potential in ways that create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all Canadians. 

Jeff Schiffer