OTTAWA, April 13, 2021 – Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, announced $6.3 million in funding over three years to the Rideau Hall Foundation’s new Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund. This funding comes through the Government of Canada’s Goal Getters program, which partners with community organizations to support youth facing barriers so they can complete high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education and/or employment.

The Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund will support community-based organizations to improve educational outcomes for youth through a wide range of innovative approaches. Funded projects will focus on how young people learn, how they engage at school and the tools they use to learn.

For example, Northern Youth Abroad will receive funding to run a pilot project that will connect over 20 Indigenous students from across the NWT, Nunavut and the Yukon to online instruction, as well as academic and other supports at Camosun College in British Columbia.

“Through this investment in Catapult Canada’s Access Innovation Fund, up to 7,500 young Canadians will receive the support they need to complete high school or post-secondary education. Canada’s prosperity depends on our young people reaching their full potential. When we set them up for success, all Canadians benefit,” said Minister Qualtrough.

“The Rideau Hall Foundation is delighted to be partnering with the Government of Canada on Catapult Canada’s Access Innovation Fund,” said Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. “The fund is designed to be nimble and responsive, and to quickly deliver resources to youth-serving organizations that are starting or scaling up new learning projects that they might not have otherwise had the capacity to put in place. Most importantly, Catapult Canada offers a unique community to share their experiences and approaches with other organizations across the country, and to build on the success of others.”

The Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund at-a-glance:

  • Flexible financing models to seed innovation and support equity in access to learning and educational opportunity in Canada, while narrowing the gap in students accessing post-secondary education.
  • Accelerator grants to launch new initiatives, and scale-up successful existing programs.
  • A range of funding opportunities from $25,000 – $300,000 being made available to youth-serving organizations demonstrating scale, collaboration, and piloting of new approaches.

The first call for funding is open and available to organizations across the country. Visit for information about eligibility, deadlines, and more.

The Catapult Canada Access Innovation Fund is also supported by private philanthropy, including the Barrett Canada Fund and ScotiaRISE, Scotiabank’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups.

The Access Innovation Fund is one of the key components of a wider initiative called Catapult Canada. Powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation, Catapult Canada is a national platform and community that aims to increase equity of access to learning opportunities for youth. Catapult Canada will work closely with Canadian learning technology leader, D2L, to design a cutting-edge solution that effectively meets the needs of youth around the country. This robust online platform will provide, amplify and share resources among a community of organizations serving youth across the country, and eventually support a mentorship program. All with the goal of eliminating barriers for youth to achieve their ambitions and reach their full potential.


About the Rideau Hall Foundation:

The Rideau Hall Foundation is an independent and non-political charitable organization established to mobilize ideas, people, and resources across the country to tap into our national spirit and help realize our shared aspirations. Learn more at


For media inquiries:

Allison MacLachlan
Director, External Relations and Public Engagement
Rideau Hall Foundation

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada