The Canadian Commission for UNESCO

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates within the Canada Council for the Arts . The Commission act as a forum for governments and civil society, mobilize the participation of Canadian organizations and committed individuals in UNESCO's mandated areas: education, natural and social sciences, culture and communication and information.


March 21, 2014

CCU-UNHCR Student Poetry Contest on Refugees and Human Rights

On this UNESCO World Poetry Day (March 21), the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU) is proud to be partnering with the Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada to launch a contest for students on the theme of “Refugees and Human Rights”.


The contest is open to students between grades 7 and grade 12, in schools across Canada, in French and English, until Friday April 25th 2014. We hope this opportunity will showcase how youth can use art as both a form of expression and a way to engage important social themes. The winners will be featured on the websites of the CCU and the UNHCR and be featured for the UN World Refugee Day on June 20th 2014.

Here is how to participate:  Information Package    Entry Form

Read UNESCO Director-General's message for World Poetry Day 

March 11, 2014

Canadian launch of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is pleased to announce the Canadian launch of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Entitled Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all, this year’s edition sounds the alarm on a worldwide learning crisis. This report is particularly relevant in the post-2015 context as it presents 10 education development strategies for all while showing world decision-makers the social and economic value of quality education. The launch is part of the Revisioning Education for All conference to be held in Toronto from March 10 to 15, 2014.

To learn more…

March 10, 2014

Professor Kieffer, Director at the Douglas Institute in Montreal, awarded the International L’Oréal-UNESCO Prize!

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO would like to congratulate Professor Brigitte Kieffer, Scientific Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, for her L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

Photo: UNESCO website

Each year, five outstanding women scientists (one per continent) are honoured for the their research, the strength of their commitments and their positive impact on society. The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2014 Awards Ceremony will be held on March 19, 2014 at the Sorbonne in Paris (France). It will be presided by Professor Günter Blobel, 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation, will also participate.

Find out more on Professor Kieffer and the Douglas Institute

February 13, 2014

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson Pays tribute to Women in Radio

World Radio Day 2014

February 13 is World Radio Day. On this occasion, former Governor General of Canada the right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson joins the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and invites Canadians to celebrate the power of this media as a means to achieve cultural outreach, freedom of expression, and social transformation.

Press Release

Audio message: mp3 wav

November 29, 2013

L’Oréal Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO honoured Canadian women researchers

On November 28, distinguished Canadian women researchers were honoured and rewarded by L’Oréal Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO as part of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Programme. The 11th National Awards Ceremony, who took place at the Embassy of France, showcased the work of the 2013 laureates, Dr. Évemie Dubé and Dr. Laura McKinnon, and highlighted their scientific excellence in research. Both outstanding and talented scientists were recognized for the contribution of their research, their commitment to overcome the global challenges of tomorrow and for their contribution to the advancement of UNESCO’s ideals in science. A Mentor fellowship was also awarded to a UNESCO associated schools student. For more information on the programme, visit the For Women in Science website, and watch the 2013 promotional video.

November 21, 2013

Let's celebrate the 150th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy!

The Embassy of Greece, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Parnassos Hellenic Cultural Society of Ottawa, in collaboration with the Museum of Classical Antiquities of the University of Ottawa, are pleased to invite you for an evening of poetry in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933). UNESCO is associated with this celebration because Cavafy was instrumental in the revival and recognition of Greek poetry. He is also credited with establishing many facets of 20th century European poetry. 

October 29, 2013

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO participates at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

Preparation Youth Forum

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO participates at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum from Oct. 29th to 31st 2013 in Paris, France. Check out the Blog of the Canadian Youth Delegation, Betsy Leimbigler and Claire Paetkau who will be taking you step by step through the process of preparation and consultation for the Youth Forum, and also providing updates as the Forum takes place.

October 15, 2013

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and the University of Saskatchewan has produced a publication aimed at demonstrating how collective efforts and knowledge sharing can be beneficial to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and education. The publication entitled Learning from each other: proven good practices in Canadian Biosphere reserves will be launched on the occasion of the EuroMAB 2013 conference, to be hosted by the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, in Brockville, Ontario, from October 15-19, 2013.

September 21, 2013

International Day of Peace!  Education for Peace!
21 September is International Day of Peace (IDP). Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. ''Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts.''-
Message from Irina Bokova on the occasion of IDP 2013 . Peace Day provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.  To learn more about this initiative and be inspired, visit the United Nations website 

August 12, 2013

Happy United Nation's International Youth Day to all !

This year’s theme of “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward” is set to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that migration presents for young people globally. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is proud to support youth engagement across the country. One way of doing it is through the participation of its Youth Advisory Group’s composed of 25 members.  This fall, the Commission will provide support for two youth delegates to travel to Paris in order to attend the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum and carry the voices of Canadian youth.The Commission is also proud to support the Associated Schools Project Network’s (ASPnet) 62 member schools in Canada as the program celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013. Through this commitment, youth are being inspired, engaged and given the opportunity to speak up and participate in building both their communities and a world of peace.

To learn more, visit: United Nations International Youth Day.

July 17, 2013

Upcoming Conference on Intangible Cultural Heritage: ’Landscapes to languages: What shapes us?’’

The Alberta Museums Association (AMA) and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO are pleased to present the AMA’s 2013 Conference dedicated to the exploration of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, from September 19th-21th, 2013. The conference entitled ’’Landscapes to languages: What shapes us?’’ will cover topics such as oral traditions and expressions, performing arts and social practices, traditional craftsmanship, and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. On this occasion, the Commission will be leading a symposium aimed at fostering the discussion around the importance of culture in our society and will be featuring presentations by recognized experts including members of the Commission.  For more information about the program, please visit the event page.