The Samara Centre Resources and Programming


Designed to amplify our research and engage Canadians in their democracy, the Samara Centre's educational resources and engagement programming provide active citizens and public leaders with the knowledge and tools to drive positive change in our politics. If you're looking for trusted, non-partisan educational tools, explore our resource library below.


Virtual Parliaments

VIDEO: Virtual Parliaments

Paul EJ Thomas and Cristina Leston-Bandeira discuss virtual parliaments during COVID-19.

In Defence of Democracy

EVENT: In Defence of Democracy

A fireside chat between author Anand Giridharadas and journalist Nahlah Ayed.

For Elected Leaders

Resources for Elected Leaders

Non-partisan resources to assist elected representatives define their role and priorities.

Let's Talk Digital

Let's Talk Digital

A non-partisan initiative to engage youth in digital citizenship workshops.


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To learn about previous programming, please see the sidebar.



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VIDEO: Virtual Parliaments

Watch Dr. Paul EJ Thomas, Senior Research Associate of the Samara Centre for Democracy, and Dr. Cristina Leston-Bandeira, Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds, discuss the potential benefits and challenges of virtual parliaments.

Keywords: COVID-19, government response, virtual Parliaments
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Five Questions from a 5th Grader

Canadians have a lot of questions about #COVID19, including 5th grader Luke. In this video, he asks our Research Director about how governments are handling the crisis—and whether we’ll still have enough chips for everyone!

Keywords: COVID-19, government response, civic education

The Reform Act

Learn more about The Reform Act, how it came to be, and what it calls on MPs to do.

Keywords: Reform Act, political party, caucus, Member of Parliament

Expand to see more Parliament resources



What are Minority Parliaments?

In this informative blog, we explain what a minority government is, how it's formed, and what it means for Canadian democracy.

Keywords: Parliament, minority governments

The Throne Speech in 10 Steps

This fun and informative pop-up video guides viewers through ten easy steps to understanding the Speech from the Throne.

Keywords: Parliament

Proroguing Parliament

A quick explainer on why Parliament gets prorogued, what it means, and who decides when it happens.

Keywords: Parliament

Political Leadership



VIDEO: Real House Lives with Michael Morden and Parliamentary Interns

Watch Michael Morden, Research Director of the Samara Centre for Democracy, discuss some of the major ideas and insights in our latest book and respond to questions from interns enrolled in the Parliamentary Internship Programme.

Keywords: Parliament, political leadership, democracy, Members of Parliament

Stronger Democracy Platform

This election-time platform puts forward nine actions that are practical and simple, and can be accomplished within the first year of a new Parliament.

Keywords: Parliament, democracy, political leadership
Engaging Youth Between Elections

Guide to Local Youth Councils

Offering practical advice and insight into local youth councils or advisory boards—an increasingly popular practice by Members of Parliament to involve young people in politics.

Keywords: youth councils, youth and politics, engaging youth, politics, youth engagement

Expand to see more Political Leadership resources



VIDEO: A Day in the life of an MP

Follow Priya, a recently elected MP, as she goes about her day in Ottawa in this animated video.

Keywords: members of parliament, how parliament works, political leadership
The Real House Lives

VIDEO: The Real House Lives Facebook Live Event

Jane Hilderman, former Samara Centre Executive Director, Michael MacMillan, Samara Centre co-founder, and special guest Chis Cochrane, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough, talk about “The Real House Lives”.

Keywords: members of parliament, how parliament works, political leadership
Beyond the Barbecue

VIDEO: Beyond the Barbecue Facebook Live Event

Former Samara Centre Executive Director Jane Hilderman and Samara Centre Research Director Mike Morden sit down with public consultation expert Peter MacLeod of MASS LBP to deconstruct our "Beyond the Barbecue" report.

Keywords: members of parliament, how parliament works, political leadership

Flip the Script

VIDEO: Flip the Script Facebook Live Event

Join Samara's former Executive Director, Jane Hilderman, and Research Director, Mike Morden, as they talk about our "Flip the Script" report.

Keywords: members of parliament, how parliament works, political leadership

Poster for Elected Representatives

An informative resource on how elected representatives can engage young citizens in Canadian politics.

Keywords: engaging citizens, resources for MPs

Member of Parliament Consultation Fortune Teller

A fun and informative "fortune teller" tool with dos and don'ts for MPs on how they can engage everyday citizens.

Keywords: engaging citizens, resources for MPs

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MP Exit Interviews Teacher's Guide

This teacher's guide is meant to be used with the four MP Exit Interview reports in order to help bring university, college, or high school curriculum to life.

Keywords: engaging citizens, resources for teachers, educational resources

Active Citizenship



Let's Talk Digital

A non-partisan initiative with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, aiming to engage youth in a series of workshops and engagement opportunities on digital citizenship.

Keywords: youth engagement, digital citizenship

Field Guide to Online Political Conversations

These colourfully illustrated infographics offer tips to improve the way we discuss politics online.

Keywords: social media, online conversations, politics online, civility

Political Participation Checklist

Wondering how to participate in politics beyond just voting? Find out ways you can make a difference with this easy checklist.

Keywords: political participation, active citizenship

Expand to see more Active Citizenship resources



VIDEOS: Everyday Political Citizen Stories

Everyday Political Citizens from across the country tell their stories on video. Watch them open up about their efforts to achieve positive change for their communities.

Keywords: everyday political citizen, active citizenship, political participation

VIDEO: How to be an Everyday Political Citizen

In this short video, follow Michelle as she learns from her friend Luke, a real-life Everyday Political Citizen and champion of accessibility, about the many ways she can make a difference on an issue she cares about.

Keywords: everyday political citizen, active citizenship, political participation




What to Expect When You're Electing

This non-partisan explainer series focuses on Canada's federal elections by answering FAQs, busting common myths, and supporting healthy political conversations.

Keywords: federal elections, political leadership, voting
What We Talk About When We Talk About Electoral Reform

What We Talk About When We Talk About Electoral Reform

This primer on electoral reform is intended to provide an entry point for Canadians seeking high-quality, non-partisan information about five possible electoral systems.

Keywords: electoral reform, electoral systems, elections, voting
Ontario Election Infographic

Provincial Elections Infographic

An infographic that looks at why provincial governments and elections matter and how Canadians can show their provincial democracies more love.
Keywords: provincial government, provincial elections, political engagement, voter turnout

Expand to see more Election resources



Legacy programming:

Everyday Political Citizen


This now-retired contest celebrated Canada’s advocates, educators, organizers, mobilizers, and volunteers whose work gives life to our democracy.


Democracy Talks


This engagement program, including election module Vote PopUp, has moved to the Democratic Engagement Exchange at Ryerson University.


From our blog:

  • August 18, 2021

    Tracking online abuse during the campaign

    The Samara Centre and Areto Labs have partnered to deploy the Samara Areto Monitorbot (known as SAMbot or SAM), which will use AI to track toxic tweets received by incumbent candidates and political party leaders on the digital campaign trail.
  • August 11, 2021

    Welcoming our New Public Affairs Director: Abra Rissi

    We are thrilled to welcome Abra Rissi as our new Public Affairs Director. Abra has a decade of public experience and has promoted active citizenship and inclusive democracy throughout her career.
  • July 08, 2021

    Samara, Canada, and Democracy: A Consequential Moment

    In the times ahead, our country will be required to make decisions of enormous and lasting consequence. The Samara Centre has an opportunity to influence the important debates that will help determine Canada’s democratic future.
  • April 29, 2021

    Introducing our Next Executive Director: Sabreena Delhon

    As Canadians prepare for historic debates about how to build an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable recovery, we are thrilled to announce that Sabreena Delhon will lead the Samara Centre into an exciting new era for research and civic engagement!