The Abbotsford School District is hosting the first Canadian Student Leadership Conference (CSLC) in the community since 2004, and families are needed to host the hundreds of youth who will attend.
The conference takes place from Sept. 24 to 28 at Yale Secondary.
Co-chair Doug Primrose said about 850 students are expected to participate from 200 schools across the nation, and 750 of those will need to be billeted.
So far, homes have been found for about half of them, Primrose said.
The event is also welcoming volunteers in a variety of areas.
This year is the 35th annual CSLC, which began in Yorkton, Sask. in 1985, with the goal of bringing together some of Canada’s young leaders to work together and bring back positive change to their schools and communities.
Primrose said each participating school is invited to send three delegates, with a waiting list for more if space permits.
This year’s student delegates include 150 from B.C. and about 25 from Abbotsford. Another 100 youth “spirit leaders” from the community will be leading the conference.
Approximately 275 teachers will also attend.
The conference starts with a parade of delegates and opening ceremonies on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 24.
The next three days are filled with workshops, a trade show on Sept. 26, and keynote speakers, including Canadian senator Romeo Dallaire, founder of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative; Olympic gold medallist Heather Moyse; retired professional football player Angus Reid; and Fred Fox, younger brother of Canadian icon Terry Fox.
The conference concludes on Saturday, Sept. 28 with the delegates performing community service such as helping out at the food bank and cleaning local parks.
Primrose, who has attended 10 past conferences, said the event is “very high-energy with lots of positivity.”
Details on billeting can be found online at cslc2019.studentleadership.ca. A link is also provided there for those interested in volunteering.