By investing in our young people today, we're making our communities better in the future.
Sears Canada has a proud, long-standing corporate tradition of sponsoring and contributing to both national and regional youth-related programs that support our community investment mandates.
Why After-School Programming? At Sears, we work for Canadian families. When we asked parents what they cared most about, they told us that it was the health and safety of their kids. In particular, parents worried about what their kids were doing in the hours between the end of school and the time they came home from work. As a result, Sears in Your Community efforts are focused on providing enriching after-school programs for Canadian children and youth. Learn more
Responding to the Concerns of Canadian Parents
Sears co-commissioned a survey with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada of over 500 parents with children aged 6-14 from across Canada to find out what their main concerns were regarding their children. The survey found that, for 65% of parents, safety was their number one concern, followed by worries about their children’s exposure to drugs and alcohol, youth violence, and criminal activity. The underlying questions were:
What are their children doing during the after-school hours – the transition period between the time school ends and the time parents get home from work?
Are their children in a safe place?
Are they doing something positive and productive?
With whom are they spending time?
Are they being supervised?
The feedback indicated that our community investment efforts should be more focused. In response, the Sears Canada community investment program was refocused to support organizations that offer enriching after-school programs for children and youth across Canada, was named Sears Young Futures, and has since been renamed to Sears in Your Community.
In the realm of After-School Programming, Sears partners with Sears Drama Festival®, Canadian 4H Council, Sears Canadian High School Design Competition, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Scouts Canada and Girl Guides of Canada – organizations that provide quality, supervised after-school programs that inspire young Canadians to believe in themselves so they grow up to be healthy, confident adults. Sears also provides support to over 300 local community partner organizations from coast-to-coast, which are each partnered with their local Sears retail store.
Students Take Centre Stage at the Sears Drama Festival
The Sears Ontario Drama Festival is more than 65 YEARS YOUNG! And it’s recently been joined by the Sears BC Drama Festival and the Sears Atlantic Drama Festival.
Since 1953, Sears Canada has been sponsoring the Sears Ontario Drama Festival, which has become one of the largest and longest-running drama festivals in the world. It brings together students, educators and theatre professionals in an all-encompassing theatrical experience, which proves invaluable for students interested in theatre as recreation or even as a future profession.
Student performers, writers, directors and technicians have an opportunity to be recognized and awarded for their hard work and commitment. Bursaries and scholarships ranging from $250 to $3000 are awarded to students during the Festival, hopefully inspiring them to continue their studies and perhaps pursue careers in the performing arts. Some of the former "grads" of the Festival include: David Cronenberg, Franco Boni, Antoni Cimolino, Sky Gilbert, Margot Kidder, Rachel McAdams, Yanna McIntosh, Helen Shaver, Sonja Smits, R.H.Thomson and Brad Wright.
The performing arts can be inspirational and assist in leading students toward positive life choices. The value of team work, problem solving, literacy development and entrepreneurship are all very important skills for young people. The sponsorship of the Sears Drama Festival is consistent with our corporate mission of helping young Canadians reach their full potential by supporting initiatives that contribute to their healthy development.
Learn more about our partners