Publications, opinions, and speeches


Social Capital and the ‘Our Millennium’ National Project

Published on 01/04/2001

This report is an analysis of the Our Millennium gift registry. Our Millennium was a special project initiated by the Community Foundations of Canada to mark the new century. It was designed as a nationwide public engagement program that used the occasion of the millennium to strengthen and celebrate community. Our Millennium invited Canadians to make lasting “gifts” to their community group projects or activities that would make their communities better places. The report first discusses the overarching concept of social capital and how it links to this national project. It identifies the underlying values that shaped this work. The report then explores the key themes and provides project examples with respect to gift-giving, learning, leadership development, making connections, inclusion, visioning and celebration. Finally, it presents some important “lessons from the ground” i.e., what the raw data in the form of 6,558 database entries teach us about national and local efforts to foster civic engagement. Notice to Readers In August 2001, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister responsible for the Government of Canada”s millennium initiative, The Honourable Herb Gray, wrote to the Caledon Institute to point out an omission in our recent report entitled Social Capital and the “Our Millennium” National Project. In the report”s discussion of sectoral involvement, it failed to mention that the federal government, through the Canada Millennium Partnership Program, contributed $2.5 million to the Our Millennium project. The Government of Canada”s millennium initiative provided up to one-third of the eligible cost of projects that met the criteria. The remaining two-thirds came from other organizations and the private sector. This federal contribution had a significant impact upon the success of the Our Millenniumnational project.

ISBN – 1-894598-77-6



This report is an analysis of the Our Millennium gift registry.