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Questions & Answers

About Ships 2 Shores, Broad Reach, Sailing, and You

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    Broad Reach Canada is a Canadian charity. BRC has been Inspiring Canadian Youth Through Sailing Since 1998.

    Throughout 25 years, there have been many changes in our society. Canada’s youth are facing new and daunting obstacles now, more than ever.

    Under-represented youth are those who are not represented or treated fairly by society, government or policies and laws, mainstream media, and educational institutions amongst others. Groups include people of color, immigrants, those living with physical and mental disabilities, low-income, unemployed, 2SLGBTQ+, homeless, and others.

    Employment in the maritime sector and sailing industry have traditionally been inaccessible to the under-represented youth.

    Broad Reach Canada is committed to fostering greater equity, diversity, and inclusion within these communities and positively influencing the personal growth of all youth. Broad Reach is committed to addressing the socio-economic barriers associated with maritime programming to promote equitable access for under-represented youth. Since 2019 this has resulted in a positive impact on over 7,000 youth, as they explored and learned about the maritime sector, the Great Lakes, the West and East Coast, and the many associated opportunities!

    Ships 2 Shores is a youth-led Broad Reach project providing youth ages 12-30 with access to sailing, tall ship sail training, adventure, skills, fun, community service, and the opportunity to experience life on the water.

    In 2023 youth engaged in Ships2Shores can sail day or overnight sails in cohorts of 6-15 on a variety of boats where they will experience sail training, and where they will conceptualize and plan their community projects. These community projects require 120 hours of commitment: 60 hrs on the boats, 50 in project completion, and 10 in evaluation, reflection, and documentation. All qualified participants will be provided with bursaries for first aid training and certification, sail training, food and accommodations aboard the boats, travel support, completion certificates, and a gift as recognition of their community service.

    Ships2Shores is an exceptional and highly valued opportunity for under-represented young people to experience what is possible in sailing. We have tall ship sail training on the Great Lakes, the Great St. Lawrence, and the East Coast. How great is that!

    Broad Reach is proud to provide youth with these opportunities and skills development both ashore and afloat; to share knowledge and experiences of sailing, coastal communities, and their people, and environmentally significant areas, marine economy, history and heritage, and especially civic engagement and youth service in their communities.

    Broad Reach Canada aims to combat socio-economic barriers associated with maritime programming to encourage equitable access for under-represented youth.

    Our Sailing Access Fund supports youth aged 12-30, who would otherwise not be able to participate. This fund provides access to experience adventure and the wonder of sailing by covering some or all fees associated with the program.

    Broad Reach Canada promotes diversity and inclusion aboard participating vessels and encourages all eligible youth to apply, regardless of ability, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

    The 12+ youth leaders will be driving project activities at 6 partnering sail training organizations, whereas the participants will be building their skills and network through activities guided by the youth leaders.

    The youth leadership team will serve in a support role to the participants. Being a part of the youth leadership team involves an opportunity to grow and serve in an essential role of the project by providing support, guidance, and organizing and carrying out important day-to-day activities to inspire the entire crew on their path to success!

    We will co-develop ideas for community projects, and assist participants throughout this self-directed initiative. We encourage participants to use their knowledge of their community needs, to apply their imagination and creativity, and to engage with the community in ways that are meaningful to them. There are endless possibilities for how youth can make a positive impact on their community. The project’s staff and youth leadership team will be there to support the participants as needed. The goal is to develop the habit of community service and engagement and to create strong networks between people of diverse belonging, traditions, views, and shared experiences.

    You will know if you self-identify as belonging to under-served communities such as Indigenous youth, visible minority/racialized youth, youth with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+, newcomer youth, youth from official language minority communities, youth living in rural or remote areas, and youth from low-income households.

    However, we promote diversity and inclusion aboard participating vessels and encourage all eligible youth to apply, regardless if they are part of these communities.

    Our first trip is June 26 and our last trip is Sept 15.

    Our organizations are in Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, and Lunenburg. We will sail the Great Lakes, Toronto Harbour, the Great St Lawrence River, and Bay along the Atlantic shores in Nova Scotia.

    No, you will be learning as you go. Most participants will be new to sailing.

    This is a variable that we will discuss with you when you register. In Toronto programming, you don’t need to know how to swim because you are required to wear a life jacket at all times on the boats. On other vessels, you will be required to wear life jackets in certain weather conditions and it is best if you can swim - safety first!

    On overnight voyages you will sleep on the boat: either under the stars on deck in good weather, or down below.

    We will be organizing an online orientation session where the larger questions like this one will be answered in detail.

    If you have any other questions please send an email to