The Canadian Gap Year Association (CanGap) is a registered non-profit organization with a mission to grow the passion and talents of young people looking for an alternative learning experience on their educational and/or career pathways.


Gap years have been proven to create resilient and experienced Canadian youth who are driven and motivated to contribute to a stronger society and a brighter future for themselves.


“The mind that opens to a new idea,

never returns to its original size” Albert Einstein


We work closely with families by connecting them with resources, including both online and in-person events, and make recommendations for youth-specific activities that give young people direct access to hands-on expertise and experiential learning from the real world, while also providing an opportunity to work towards an official Gap Year Certification.

Our professional collaborations with passionate and qualified professionals in secondary and post-secondary education, travel, volunteerism, personal and professional development, and government agencies give our gappers a head start on reaching their life goals.

Families who use our proven best practices for a purposeful gap year will see their young adults emerge from the experience with improved confidence and independence, more awareness of their abilities, and a greater drive to make a difference in the world.

We lead the Gap Year Movement in Canada.



What began in the early 2000s with two parents who saw a need for support while their own children were exploring gap years, has grown and evolved into a dynamic and trusted resource for providing gap year information. Our program succeeds by using an effective planning and coaching model that has been featured in several major media outlets including CBC’s Here and Now, Global TV, and CTV News.


Over the years, our team has changed the lives of thousands of young gappers by walking beside them on their individual journeys. We start with planning and strategizing, support learning and growth along the way, and, finally, launch newly passionate and motivated young people as they take their next steps towards an exciting future.

CanGap is currently under the leadership of Michelle Dittmer, an educator with years of firsthand experience in leading and inspiring young adults.

““Young people are more capable and innovative than they are given credit for, but they need guidance and confidence in their abilities to discover and explore their passions and interests outside an academic setting”


Michelle Dittmer

President and Co-founder

As gap years continue to gain attention and traction in Canada, the population of gappers will grow in size and in breadth. With much excitement, CanGap is dedicated to continually evolving to support the dynamic needs of today’s youth.


We are committed to applying research, education, and advocacy to build and curate impactful and meaningful programs and futures for Canadian youth.


We are honoured to be able to recognize gappers, who design and execute purposeful gap years, by awarding internationally accredited Gap Year Certificates in recognition of their achievements.


We can't wait to support you on your journey.


The Canadian Gap Year Association is a non-profit organization leading the gap year movement in Canada. With a mandate to support research, education and advocacy work, developing and curating resources for gap years, it is our goal to elevate the gap year pathway for all Canadians.




  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

© 2020 by Canadian Gap Year Association Inc.