Youth Ambassadors Origins

This program provides Barrie youth with a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, new friendships, and the unforgettable experience of life in one of our twinned cities. Additionally, those selected have made a further commitment to our city as they serve as host families for the visiting delegations and share their new perspectives with the Barrie community through a series of presentations to sponsors, Council, schools and service clubs. Although this program has expanded to include Germany, China, and in 2023 Arras, France, it began with our very special relationship with Murayama, Japan. Below are images of exchanges run through Youth Ambassadors.

Images of students exploring Japan and Germany throughout the years of the Youth Ambassador programs.

Over a number of years in the mid-1990’s, the City of Barrie and Murayama City built a relationship that was eventually formalized with a “special friendship” designation. In 1997, hoping to extend our links beyond the political and administrative level, Mayor Sato of Murayama and Barrie’s Mayor Janice Laking worked together to send a youth delegation to Japan that summer. We’ve been going strong ever since!

Photos of Youth Ambassador related experiences.

For almost 25 years this program has provided extraordinary local youths with one of the most remarkable experiences of their lives. The organizers are exceptionally proud of the program not only for its success with youth but also of the community partners that allow us to send the best delegates yet spend no taxpayers’ money!

More information on the Youth Ambassadors program can be found under the Youth Ambassadors dropdown menu above.