WHO WE ARE
The Canadian Gap Year Association (CanGap) is a registered non-profit organization filling a gap: support for young people looking for an alternative step in educational and/or career pathways through taking a gap year.
Our mission is to build a healthier, happier, more resilient and experienced Canadian youth population by connecting families with the resources they need to have purposeful gap years.
Our resources include online and in-person events, connection to gap year and youth-specific programs and activities, a recognition program, and knowledge and expertise for all those connected to gap years.
We achieve this through professional collaborations with passionate and qualified professionals in secondary and post-secondary education, travel, volunteering, personal and professional development, and government.
Families who engage with us and apply the best practices of purposeful gap years will see the young adult emerge with more confidence and independence, more awareness of their talents and passions and more driven to use these to contribute to society.
We lead the Gap Year Movement in Canada.
In the early 2000’s Julie Newton and Tara Rinomato, two mothers from Toronto experienced the transformational growth that gap years and travel had on their respective children. They identified that there was no dedicated resources for young people choosing this journey and quickly became the local experts on guiding young people through their gap year. By 2008, they had incorporated mygapyear and launched a formal program that included life coaching and personalized gap year planning. The program evolved to also include Emotional Intelligence assessments and coaching soon after.
Over the years, the team grew and more associated joined the movement and, in 2015, Michelle Dittmer and Madelyn Steed, two long-standing team members took over the leadership when Julie and Tara retired.
mygapyear established itself as the leader in Canadian gap year services and has been featured in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail and McLean’s, and has provided training and information to thousands of Canadian educators, parents and gappers. We have supported hundreds of gappers and their families on their journeys – from the decision to take a gap year, to the planning process, the execution and capturing all of the learning and growth that occurs on a gap year. We have helped these young adults with their successful transitions to next steps.
As gap years gain traction in Canada and the population of gappers grows in size and in breadth, mygapyar realized that we needed to also evolve to support this growing need. Almost a decade later, in 2017, mygapyear made the leap in founding a non-profit, the Canadian Gap Year Association – an organization dedicated to Canada-specific gap year research, education and advocacy and creating and curating gap year resources for Canadian Gappers.
Building on our industry and gapper experience knowledge, the practice of working with thousands of educators, families, gappers and travel/program providers, and the longevity of watching the gap year industry evolve, the Canadian Gap Year Association is well positioned to be the hub for all information and resources related to gap years.