Oct 26, 2023
When was that first moment when you took that big step from dock to deck? Where was it? River, lake, ocean? Who was the thoughtful soul who steered you in that new direction, when you – suddenly – sailed away from that stationary life on land, the only way of being you had ever known?
For 25 years, Broad Reach Canada has been providing those first moments of wonder, adventure, and learning, to young people whose lives would never have been steered in that new direction without our programs, which are truly accessible, being completely free to all qualified participants.
Many of the young people we welcome aboard are challenged by difficult circumstances. Some have no housing, are living in shelters or experiencing trans-generational conflict, or living with health problems. Some have left school and need skills to find work. Other are Newcomers, striving for integration and securing employment. Some young people are members of the Francophone and Indigenous communities.
Many came to Canada from faraway places including Afghanistan, the Middle East, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, and now, Ukraine.
Exploring the Great Lakes, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the East Coast
In 2023, 218 young people sailed the East Coast, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Great Lakes in our Ships2Shores Program. We are proud that the project is now in its third year, underscoring the value of our work and reinforcing our credibility.
In Toronto, six keel boats sailed 5-10 days with every youth cohort. Afterwards, 12 stepped forward to volunteer with Broad Reach. Partnerships with tall ship sail training organizations made it possible for 117 youth to crew on tall ships for voyages of up to 17 days. Many thanks go to Brigs Youth Sail Training in Hamilton, Tall Ships Expeditions Canada in Kingston, Ecomaris in Montreal, and the Nova Scotia Sea School in – of course! – Nova Scotia.
We all know that sailing teaches us many values that we can carry over from sea to shore. With our Ships2Shores program, all the participants committed to putting those values into action. They agreed to provide 120 hours of volunteer community work, through projects that they designed and are executing themselves, with the support, guidance by the dedicated Broad Reach.
The result: 26,160 hours of building the seven Cs which we believe that sailing can strengthen in all of us: Competence, Confidence, Character, Connection, Compassion, Courage, and Contribution!
Ensuring our Programs Remain Free of Charge
Since we remain the only sailing-based organization in Canada where our programs are free to all our participants, we invite you all to contribute your good spirits, good humour, and good will towards our shared impact!
Please join us on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at the Boulevard Club, Toronto, to celebrate sailing and its impact on our lives, and the lives of the young people who deserve access to knowledge, skills, and social belonging – through sailing!