A National Voice
A core activity of the CRRF is to research and report, and give voice to, the current issues that impact Canada’s democratic principles and multiculturalism policies. These include issues and events connected to race relations, Canadian identity, belonging, and the mutuality of citizenship rights and responsibilities.
The CRRF regularly posts press releases via the Canadian Newswire Service, and articles and announcements via the website and the Foundation's monthly newsletter. The Foundation's spokespersons regularly comment on issues related to contemporary race relations.
The CRRF recognized and celebrated the important contributions of our many volunteers during National Volunteer Week this month. Governor General David Johnson summed up our feelings well in a tweet: "Volunteerism is an expression of citizenship and an integral part of Canadian culture."
Reports such as Statistics Canada's 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating (CSGVP) confirm what many of us know and experience, namely that Canadians are engaged with their communities, generously donating their time, skills and resources to causes that are important to them and in this way making a real contribution to the social fabric of their individual communities.
Our recent Report on Canadian Values confirmed that Canadians see volunteering and contributing to society as one of the primary responsibilities of every Canadian citizen.
The results of the CSGVP Survey clearly document that Canadians are committed to contributing through volunteering. For example, 84% of Canadians contributed money to a cause, 47% volunteered their time through a group or organization while 83% acted as "informal" volunteers, mostly helping others with daily chores.
It would appear though that we as Canadians are more likely to volunteer within our own immediate and known communities. Consider some of the findings of the CSGVP Survey including that religion plays an important role in formal volunteering, that parents with school age children are more likely to volunteer and that almost half of volunteers indicated they do so because their friends were already involved. Indeed compared with the number of Canadians who volunteer formally, about twice as many provide direct help to family, friends and neighbours. Local involvement is vitally important of course, but there is always the opportunity to extend the practice of volunteering beyond one's own community needs.
The CRRF's Our Canada project promotes a cross country dialogue around putting Canadian values such as volunteering into practice. A national perspective on volunteering means reaching out to others beyond our own immediate communities and by doing so taking the opportunities afforded of better understanding each other. So, as we continue to celebrate the spirit of volunteering, let's take the opportunity to get out of our own backyards so we can interact with each other as we work together to build Canada's future.
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Why the Dress Matters For a few intense days recently, people around the world were fascinated by the differences in the ways we perceived the colours of a dress: was the dress in the photograph white and gold or was it blue and black? The dress's true colours and the reasons why our brains perceived those colours differently were the subject of endless debate even after a second photo posted online revealed its true colours. The dress challenged our perceptions and – to take it a step further ...
A busy year ahead … This has been a very busy time for the CRRF, as the three-year Our Canada project is well underway and we continue to advance the overall mission of the Foundation. This year promises to be one of our busiest and most productive yet, so we are also launching a new monthly newsletter to help keep you informed about our many interesting activities. CRRF February newsletter > To learn more about some of the thought-provoking programs we have offered recently, be sure to take ti...