Thousands of Canadian Kids Rally for their Rights Ahead of National Child Day

Event honours the strength and resilience of children during COVID-19 pandemic and calls on governments to prioritize children’s well-being

Calgary, November 16, 2021 - Today, nearly 5,000 children and youth from across Canada are joining together for what is expected to be the largest ever National Child Day event in the country. The viral event to rally for their rights will be streamed into participating classrooms and schools nationwide and will honour the power and resilience of children and youth, and their importance in Canadian society.

The event has been organized by Children First Canada, a national children’s charity, and will take place today, Nov. 16, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET streaming from www.nationalchildday.org, with special appearances from:
• Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon
• Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Karina Gould
• Colonel Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut (Ret’d), Engineer, Pilot and Author
• Indigenous Elder Verna McGregor
• Residential “school” survivor and former Member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph and Karen Joseph, CEO of Reconciliation Canada
• Canadian Paralympian, Marissa Papaconstantinou
• Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer of TELUS, Jill Schnarr
• Members of the Young Canadians’ Parliament

The theme for National Child Day 2021 is #8MillionStrong in honour of the power and resilience of all 8 million kids in Canada and their right to survive and thrive. The occasion also marks the 30th anniversary of Canada ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and recognizes the rights of every child, while also acknowledging the unique rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children.

“National Child Day is an important occasion to reflect on 30 years of progress in implementing the rights of children in Canada, and to mobilize action to address the challenges that remain,” says Sara Austin, founder and CEO of Children First Canada. “Today we are coming together to honour the resilience of kids and their role not just as leaders of the future, but as leaders today. But we must also acknowledge that the pandemic has been especially cruel to children, and that we, as adults, have a duty to protect their rights to survive and thrive. Children have suffered immensely, and it is time for all levels of governments to prioritize children.”

Members from the Young Canadians’ Parliament (YCP) will also participate in their classrooms across the country with their peers, where they will discuss the top issues that they care most about (mental health, climate change, poverty, housing and food insecurity, discrimination and systemic racism) and how they want Canadians to ensure that children can survive and thrive and remain #8MillionStrong.

Children First Canada is committed to improving the lives of all 8 million kids in Canada, and the event aims to reach children, youth and adults through the website, social media and interactive activities. Children from across the country have also been sharing photos and artwork illustrating their resilience, which will be shared at the event and on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

For more information about the event, or for an interview with Sara Austin or a youth participant, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou
Director, NATIONAL Public Relations
achrysanthou@national.ca
416-797-8194

À propos d'Enfants d'abord Canada:
Children First Canada (CFC) is a national charitable organization with a bold and ambitious vision that together we can make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up. We are a strong, effective, and independent voice for all 8 million children in Canada. CFC is harnessing the strength of many organizations that are committed to improving the lives of children in Canada, including children’s charities and hospitals, research centres, government, corporations, community leaders, and children themselves. Visit childrenfirstcanada.com for more information.

Children First Canada gratefully acknowledges our National Child Day sponsors and partners, including:
• Exclusive Telecommunications Sponsor: TELUS
• National Partners: SickKids, CHEO, IWK Health Centre, McMaster Children’s Hospital, and Alberta Child Health Research Institute
• Community Partners: Mastermind Toys, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Giant Tiger, and Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation