2018 SMART START Youth Summit

(version français)

May 12th – 13th, 2018, the Young Leaders Advisory Council (YLAC), in partnership with Black History Ottawa (BHO) is hosting the  second annual SMART START Youth Summit at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre. This two day, all-expenses paid retreat equips 180 Ottawa youth aged 13-24 with the tools and information they need to have a smart start into their future.

Created and led by a multicultural group of young adults,  the Summit engages young Canadians of African and Indigenous ancestry; racialized youth; those  in need of societal support, including newcomers; and their allies.

This year’s Summit features a powerhouse lineup of change-making community leaders who will equip, lead and inspire our youth participants to #takeflight. Our guests include:

Keynote Speakers

  • Karlyn Percil-Mercieca – speaker, author and motivator; and
  • Sean Jones – actor (Every Day, Fahrenheit 451, Antithetic), director, and creator.

By the end of the summit, youth will walk away with:

  • encouragement and inspiration,
  • financial literacy knowledge from industry professionals,
  • employment and networking opportunities with mentors,
  • collaboration with like-minded peers, and
  • a platform to showcase their innovative ideas.

The 2018 SMART START Youth Summit would not be possible without its principal partner – the Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI), or its numerous community partners – YMCA-YWCA Newcomer Information Centre, the Somali Centre for Family Services, Jaku Konbit, and Capital Courts. We would also like to recognize the generosity of our sponsors – the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO), Bluesfest, Sobeys, and the St. Laurent Centre.

The first of its kind here in the National Capital, the SMART START Youth Summit is going to continue to be an incredible convergence of young leaders and change makers. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime and certainly the second of many to come.


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For more information contact:

Natalie Domey

Director of Planning & Events




Eldon Holder

Chair and Director of Community Engagement



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