It turns out that planning for Canada's 'next great year' has already been seven years in the making.

Since 2010, MASS has been working with hundreds of organizations across Canada to begin imagining and planning Canada's Sesquicentennial in 2017.

What started as a 2009 TED Talk in Toronto about the origins of the Centennial quickly evolved, becoming a major conference for 400 policy-makers and community-builders at the National Arts Centre in 2010. Next came the birth of Imagination 150 — an organization dedicated to helping Canadians get organized for 2017. Then came 2017 Starts Now, a cross-Canada roadshow with CBC/Radio-Canada, VIA Rail and the Community Foundations of the Canada that travelled to every province and the North, featuring more than 100 prominent Canadians. In 2014, we travelled to Prince Edward Island to help the birthplace of Confederation mark the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference with a four-day event that brought together 100 youth delegates to imagine Canada's next 50 years. In 2015, we helped to launch the 150 Alliance, a national organization supported by the Community Foundations of Canada to help energize and coordinate 150 activities across the country from among more than 500 organizations.

Follow the links below to learn more about preparations for Canada's 150th.


TEDxToronto: Imagining Canada's Next Great Year

In 2009, MASS Principal Peter MacLeod was asked to speak at the inaugural TEDxToronto event on a topic that seemed very far away: Canada's Sesquicentennial in 2017. In his talk, MacLeod examines the surprising origins of Canada's 1967 Centennial and reminds his audience of the audacity of the era. He also looks forwards to describe several enduring themes and principles which he believes should help guide Canada's 150 celebrations.

150!Canada Conference

In 2010, MASS partnered with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) to host the "150!Canada" Conference, bringing together 400 policy-makers from all levels of government, business leaders, representatives of leading NGOs, community and arts organizations, and members of Canada's Aboriginal community. The program combined more than two dozen major presentations with a full day of creative workshops. Supporting this work, we also published The Politics of Participation, Helen Davies' book examining the 1967 Centennial year.

Videos / The Politics of Participation /  Report


2017 Starts Now

MASS partnered with CBC/Radio-Canada and Community Foundations of Canada to host "2017 Starts Now" conferences in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, St. Johns, Halifax, Yellowknife, and Ottawa. We recruited local leaders, engaged citizens, business leaders, artists, and community activists to animate and inspire conference attendees. We also designed a conversation kit to focus discussions on identifying how Canada's cultural and democratic life has changed since Confederation, and determining concrete ideas for celebrating 2017.

Videos / Conversations Kit / Website / Report


150 Alliance

The Community Foundations of Canada recognizes that 2017 is a chance for us to think ahead about our future as a country.  We were pleased to partner with them again in 2015 to help launch the 150 Alliance, a network of individuals, organizations, and groups working together to make the most of Canada’s sesquicentennial. The Alliance's first major project was a national tour with stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax, where we heard ideas for celebrating and reimagining Canada as the country turns 150. These conversations have been captured on the 150 Alliance website.

Website / Resources and Summaries

New Canada Conference

In 2014, MASS brought 100 young Canadians together from every corner of the country in Charlottetown, PEI, to reimagine their country’s future. In just 72 hours, delegates in 8 teams —each with its own theme— worked together to define the major opportunities and challenges facing Canada and to describe their goals for our next 50 years. Drawing on a series of talks by guest speakers, as well as their own personal experiences, the delegates laid out a plan that reimagines the country’s future. The New Canada Conference Ideabook is a publication for anyone who is passionate about the country’s future.

Website / Ideabook

imagiNation 150

imagiNation 150 brings together an ensemble cast of Canadians who love this country.  imagiNation 150 is about creating Canada on purpose: generating a citizen-led movement where each one of us reflects on the best that our nation could be, and begins living and building that vision as a gift to Canada. MASS was commissioned by imagiNation150 to design their handbook, which assists local groups to begin planning for 2017.

Website / Handbook