Named in honour of the year that slavery was abolished in Canada, the 1834 Fellowship will seek out 20 high-potential Black youth every year who wish to enter, or increase their capacity for civic leadership roles and support them in their skills and career development.

Applications will be open every year between December 1 to January 31 of the following year.

Meet the program team
Meet the fellows
Meet the alumni

1834 Fellows are expected to demonstrate:

  • A clear understanding of the organizational environment in which public policy is developed.
  • Practical knowledge of the key issues that policy analysts, policymakers, and advocacy practitioners face in influencing, developing or implementing policy.
  • A clear understanding of the Canadian policy development process in theory and in practice.
  • An ability to apply theoretical and practical understanding regarding the creation and implementation of public policy as a civic leader.
  • A deepened confidence in their ability and competency to successfully pursue civic leadership roles.










  • Permanent resident or Canadian citizenship
  • Black/African Descent
  • Available for official online launch
  • Available for policy mixers and networking events
  • Available for weekend conference 
  • Available for weekend intensive policy program in Toronto or Ottawa (depending on the year).

Candidates are assessed on the basis of the following criteria. Candidates’ experiences should demonstrate these competencies. Referees are asked to address these criteria in their letters of reference.

  • Maturity (self awareness/respect for others)
  • Leadership (initiative/ability to work with others)
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Research and writing abilities
  • Motivation
  • Language skills

Candidates are selected by a committee comprised of 1834 Fellowship coordinators, OBVC Board and advisory members.


Eligible candidates must apply using the secure online 1834 Fellowship application system.  Each candidate will be asked to submit the following documents to support their application:

  • Personal Statement: Candidates must describe in 400 words or less how they anticipate contributing to and benefiting from the Programme.
  • Contact information for letters of reference: Candidates must provide at least TWO letters of reference in support of their application. One referee should be academic and one must be from an employer or community member. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that letters are submitted prior to the application deadline. If referees would like to submit letters of reference directly, they may send the letters to
  • A resume that includes the following information: Contact information, education, employment experience, extracurricular and volunteer activities.

All applications are strictly private and confidential.


Candidates are selected by a committee comprised of OBVC Board and advisory members.

The Selection Committee will review all applications completed by the January 31 submission deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their application is complete.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews in February or early March. All candidates will be notified about their application status by the end of March.

Next Application Period


The application process for the upcoming Fellowship opens every year on December 1, and ends on January 31 of the following year. The next cohort is open to candidates across Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cost for the fellowship?

There is no cost to participate in the fellowship. If travel restrictions are lift and we are able to travel during the fellowship,  travel and accommodations cost will be covered by the program. 

How long is the fellowship?

The Fellowship will be 9 months each year. March to December. 

In which province is the fellowship held?


In year 1, the fellowship was held in Ontario. In year 2, the fellowship will be held in Quebec and Alberta.


Are Fellows expected to attend mixers in person?


For now, the fellowship program will be online.  If we are able to meet in person, you will be required to attend the scheduled mixers and one-week residency in person.


What is the age of Fellows?

Fellows are 18-25 years old at the start of the program. 

Will Fellows get paid to be in the program?

No, fellows will not be paid. However,  if restrictions are lift and we are able to meet face to face, travel and accommodations will be covered. 

Our Partners

Brock University logo
Ryerson University Faculty of Arts logo
Democratic Engagement Exchange logo
Unifor logo

Our Sponsors

Canadian Heritage logo
MIT Global Consulting Group Inc logo
Via Rail Canada logo
Nursing & Homemakers Inc logo