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Lead the way!

Team up with your peers, develop projects in response to the need of your local community and we will help bring your project to life.

Program Objectives

The YMCA Community Action Network (YCAN) is an innovative national program

Engaging leaders across Canada to
address community needs through
service projects


Supporting youth with opportunities to
identify and execute a local service
project that is meaningful to them


Enhancing employability skills in youth
through their local project execution
and experience

YCAN is a good fit for you if:

  • You are between the ages of 15-30.
  • You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada.
  • You are passionate about learning new skills, building community connections, and making a difference in your community.

The YCAN program can also be delivered virtually

Please contact your Regional Coordinator to know more about it. Contact Info


Mental Health Awareness

One such project was the mental health awareness campaign for frontline workers put together by YCAN Alliston in partnership with Georgian College in August 2020. The project entailed getting glow-in-the-dark bracelets with semicolons on them, as well as virtual cards, to almost 250 front line workers from 4 different hospitals in Simcoe/Muskoka. The semicolon was meant to raise awareness about suicide prevention and support the mental health of front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meaning of the semi-colon is this: "A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.“


Men in Black Project

Another YCAN COVID-19 response project was the ‘Men in Black’ project completed by a YCAN group in Halifax. The group was able to meet in small groups in person as per the COVID guidelines at the time. The project had the goal of providing a safe space for BIPOC males in the community to discuss important issues affecting them, network, and celebrate heritage month. There were 11 participants and 3 guest panelists at the meeting.



The YMCA Community Action Network program is funded in part by Canada Service Corps, a national movement that empowers youth aged 15–30 to gain experience and build important skills while giving back to their community. Learn more at