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'O Canada' - The Listening Behind the Canada Volunteerism Initiative

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At the recent Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City many non-Canadians would have heard our national anthem, "O Canada," for the first time. Of course, it is a young anthem, adopted only 35 years ago. Canada is a young country but we have a long history of volunteerism. During 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, I had the privilege of co-chairing what was called the National Volunteerism Initiative Table. This gave me the opportunity to examine volunteerism, to take flight and travel this young and beautiful country from coast to coast. The flight had its spells of turbulence along with periods of very smooth skies. It was really a privilege to be able to view volunteers in Canada from a position way up in the clouds. I listened to volunteers and those who work with volunteers. I had a most unique opportunity to learn about this country and its volunteers. They have many differences and much that is incredibly the same.