JCI Event (2019)


With this initiative, our goal always has been to promote great opportunities and help those in need.

With access to the right resources, people can become empowered by their own abilities and gain the confidence to fulfill their potential.

History of Junior Chamber International & JCI Canada


St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. was the birthplace of the Junior Chamber Movement. JCI founder Henry Giessenbier Jr. put his dream to the reality of forming an organization to study civic and business problems by providing the opportunity to participate in civic community activities. On October 13, 1915, a gathering of 32 young men agreed to form the Young Men's Progressive Civic Association (YMCA), developing their skills as leaders by tackling complex civic problems. The movement for similar organizations grew in the United States. In 1920, 29 local groups formed the United States Junior Chamber. 1915 The first international chapter of the organization began in 1923 with the Young Men's Section of the Winnipeg Board of Trade. It was the first Junior Chamber type organization outside the United States. By 1927 the idea of an international body crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Birmingham, England. 1923 While the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, The United States Junior Chamber reached 42 nations to form an International Executive Council of Junior Chambers of Commerce. When 26 countries replied, they established the International Executive Council.

Duncan McNaughton to the Olympic Games 1932 >
The realization of Jaycees International was on its way. In 1944 the first international gathering called Inter-America Conference was operated in Mexico City. Canada did not attend as all activities were dedicated to the war effort.

Congreso JCI Panama 1944 >
In February 1946, 44 delegates from 16 different countries attended the first JCI World Congress held in Panama City, Panama. Those nations represented at this first Congress included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Hawaii, Honduras, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the United States and Uruguay. At this Congress, the delegates approved a temporary Constitution, set a list of purposeful resolutions, and decided to leave the word "commerce" out of the new international organization's name. Canada became a national organization.

JCI World Congress in Panama City 1946 >
At the 1951 JCI World Congress in Montreal, Canada, Philip T.R. Pugsley was elected JCI World President. He was a leader of the JCI Movement at the local, national and international levels.

President Phil Pugsley stated: "JCI is like a "slumbering giant, available to fight the cause of freedom but not yet organized sufficiently to do so effectively."

It has "tremendous potential as a major non-military weapon of the free world." This fact led President Pugsley to establish a permanent JCI Secretariat to assist with JCI's communications and keep all necessary records.
The Junior Chamber of Kingston, Ontario, hosted the 2nd AMERADA, a fellowship and competition event, the second oldest international JCI event after World Congress, alternating between Canada and the United States each year.

The Junior Chamber of Kingston, Ontario >
For the Centennial Year, the Toronto Board of Trade, with help from the national organization, hosted the second World Congress for JCI held in Canada.

In 1967 upon the death of Governor-General George Vanier, the Junior Chamber created the Vanier Awards for Outstanding Young Canadians, which recognized excellence in the Canadian Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the 1960s, JCI Canada enjoyed the most active and visible period, with over 20,000 members nationwide.

Activities during this era included hosting the Grey Cup festivals, numerous Eaton's Santa Claus Parades.
Junior Chamber formally changed to Jaycees International Inc. It was also the year that the Canada JCI Senate was formed.

At the time, over 1,400 senatorships were awarded to Canadians. The Commission System was replaced by the Areas of Activity concept in 1974 and the Areas of Opportunity Concept in 1979. It was refined to a combination of the Areas of Opportunity and Commission Systems.

Today we still use the four areas of opportunity. Many dynamic programs were undertaken during the beginning years, e.g., "Christmas Package Drive for Korea," which netted 400 tons of relief supplies worth U.S. $1 million; "Operation Brotherhood in Vietnam," and "Operation Warmth" for Greek earthquake
Montreal hosts the JCI World Congress, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau addressed the Congress.

In 1984 JCI was present in 55 countries and was flourishing with more than 500,000 members worldwide. Starting in the 80's organizations like JCI Canada and its chapters focused heavily on equality, internationalism and world peace in response to civil conflicts and terror.

The Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (Jci Toyp) was launched internationally in 1983 to recognize socially responsible young active citizens to inspire the next generation of young leaders.
Throughout the 90's JCI members worldwide and at-home members supported marginalized groups, people with disabilities and senior citizens. JCI participated in drafting the Declaration of the Child's Rights, a list of 54 articles created by the UN General Assembly.

Child's Rights >


Curious about the JCI possibilities? Check out the site and make the first move towards positive change for yourself and the city that you love and call home. Be Better.

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