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YMCA Ignite-media advisory



YMCA BC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto launch YMCA Ignite, powered by the RBC Foundation, through RBC Future Launch.


Prince George and Toronto – May 17, 2023 YMCA BC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto are excited to announce the first-of-its-kind digital platform – YMCA Ignite – thanks in part to $1.2 million in funding from the RBC Foundation, through RBC Future Launch. YMCA Ignite is a new virtual platform that will initially focus its offering on employment and leadership development programs for youth across the country, beyond brick-and-mortar YMCA locations.

YMCA Ignite aims to increase availability to critical programs previously inaccessible due to geographic location; increase impact on Canadian youth ages 15 - 29, with a focus on BIPOC and rural communities; and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. This platform aims to serve 25,000 youth by 2025.

“When young people succeed, we all succeed,” said Mark Beckles, vice president social impact & innovation, RBC. “With partners like the YMCA, we’re working to increase access to the resources that young Canadians need to build more inclusive companies and communities where everyone can reach their full potential. We are excited to see YMCA Ignite come to life.”

YMCA Ignite will feature over 70 workshops per month through a range of live, virtual, self-directed and in-person courses. Programming is currently focused on employment and leadership development, tailored to young people ages 15 – 29.

“The past three years have helped us reimagine what “community” means at the Y, through virtual and socially-distanced interactions,” said Medhat Mahdy, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “Community expands well beyond in-person interactions – and YMCA Ignite allows us to use technology to reach communities without a physical YMCA location.” 

Available programs include:

  • Financial Empowerment & Well-being Certificate
    • 12 micro-courses focusing on personal finance, topics include: Income, expenses & budget, Saving & investing, Credit & debt management, Income tax & benefits, Financial planning and more.  

  • Responsible Adult Course
    • Build essential skills for working with children and youth. 

  • Additional Online Courses
    • Topics include: Mental wellness workshops for teens (13 – 18) and youth (18 – 30), Core Skills for Actionable Professional, Leading successful teams, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Practicing Allyship and more.

"YMCA Ignite is a major milestone for YMCA BC, and across Canada,” said Heidi Worthington, President and CEO, YMCA BC. “We’re pushing critical resources and programs beyond brick-and-mortar Y locations, introducing new ways to share programming with a greater number of youth, and of course, reconnecting as a community.” 

YMCA Ignite would not be possible without support from the RBC Foundation, through RBC Future Launch. The YMCA is grateful to the RBC Foundation for their commitment to connecting young people with community leaders and partners to help them prepare for the future of work. Through $1.2 million in funding, YMCA BC and the YMCA of Greater Toronto developed YMCA Ignite to help achieve the joint goal of empowering youth as they plan for their future.

YMCA Ignite is an exclusively digital platform, available at

The Y values diversity and inclusion. If accommodations are required for individuals to participate, the Y will arrange reasonable and appropriate accommodations as required. 

About the YMCA BC 
YMCA BC is the result of the unification of YMCA of Northern BC, YMCA-YWCA of Kamloops and YMCA of Greater Vancouver. As a community-based charity, YMCA BC is committed to fostering belonging and providing people of all ages, stages, backgrounds and abilities with safe and inclusive spaces where they can live healthier lives and connect with others. With hundreds of service locations across the province, children, youth, adults, families and seniors from Fort St. John to the Sunshine Coast can access a wide range of life-enhancing programs, which include employment and training; health, fitness and aquatics; child care; mental wellness; camps; and newcomer services. YMCA BC works collaboratively with the YMCA of Southern Interior BC and YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island to serve British Columbians. For more info, visit, and     

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto
The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 440 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit  

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
YMCA BC: Oliver Lam,
YMCA of Greater Toronto: Camille Cote-Begin, 416-819-2035,