How Children First Canada is amplifying 10 Youth Across Canada

Children First Canada is a charity with the mandate to “act as a catalyst to ensure every child in Canada thrives – now and for generations to come – by protecting their rights and equipping them as the leaders of today and tomorrow.” They aspire to create a country where children can grow up free from the barriers that prevent them from achieving their full potential – starting with the protection of their most basic rights to childhood. As a charity that’s uniquely focused on the rights of children in Canada, they aim to raise awareness of the issues through research and campaigns, equip young Canadians as the leaders of today and tomorrow, and unite our country around a shared vision and plan to make this the best place in the world for kids to grow up.”

Children First Canada has issued statements around the mental health and well-being of kids in our country, urged changes within government to help see them thrive, and has developed a group of youth who have interest in speaking to government officials through their Young Canadian’s Parliament. 

Founder and CEO Sara Austin shares that, “Kids are Canada’s greatest natural resource, and they deserve our respect and support. We hope these awards not only recognize youth who are courageously leading the charge, but also inspire others to rise as leaders of social change.”

Children First Canada is celebrating their inaugural The Future Is NOW! Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of Canada’s youngest young changemakers. The awards recognize diverse young leaders driving social impact on issues that matter most to Generation Z, including: mental health, racism and discrimination, climate change, reconciliation, bullying, physical activity and more. A star-studded event on May 7, 2024, will have winners announced where they will receive financial awards to support their cause and benefit from year-round coaching and mentorship to increase their social impact.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau serves as the Honourary Patron for the awards, and Peter MacKay, Counsel at McInnes Cooper and former Parliamentarian, alongside Nazanin Afshin-Jam, human rights activist, are the Honourary Co-Chairs. “Canada’s future depends on the investments that we make in children today. The awards bring much needed attention to the urgent challenges that our kids are facing, and the initiative they’re taking to build a more equitable and prosperous country for us all to live in,” says Peter MacKay and Nazanin Afshin-Jam.

The event, which has been dubbed “the Oscars for social impact,” will begin with a Young Changemakers Summit with 50 diverse young leaders from across Canada, culminating with a walk down the red carpet and awards show celebrating the top 10 changemakers under 18, with appearances by Canadian icons, musicians, celebrated athletes, political leaders and other luminaries including Hannah Flores the Poet, Emma Stevens and The Hon. Jenna Sudds. The evening will be hosted by Omar Sachedina from CTV National News.

To support Children First Canada and attend The Future is NOW! Awards visit,

Hillary LeBlanc

Hillary LeBlanc

Hillary is an Acadian-Senegalese queer woman passionate about sharing stories relating to the Black community, fashion, beauty and sustainability.