National Seminar

Each year the Canadian Student Debating Federation holds the National Debating Seminar, an event which aims to expose students to the art of debating while providing an opportunity for cultural exchange between young people from all regions of the country. Over the course of a week-long event, delegates will attend debate and thematic workshops, debate in practice rounds critiqued by experienced coaches, experience a sample of the host province’s unique culture, and wrap it up with a fun tournament.

The C.S.D.F. embraces both of Canada’s official languages, offering students the opportunity to attend the Seminar as English, French or Bilingual delegates. The only bilingual speaking event in Canada, this component of the Seminar involves delegates switching from one language to another during their speeches and debates in true recognition of Canada’s bilingual nature.

Students are selected for the National Seminar by their provincial or territorial debate organizations. Each Member may send to a Seminar one student delegate in each of linguistic category (English, French and Bilingual) and up to three additional delegates. There are four criteria which we ask Members to strive for in their selection processes; that it should:

  • Be transparent, publicized, and accessible to all students in the region;
  • Select students as individuals, with no more than one delegate selected from any school;
  • Encourage diverse representation from and the expansion of debate within the region; and
  • Select delegates who are keen to learn more about debate, whose selection will most benefit themselves and their school, and who have no national or international debate experience.

The National Seminar is an event which has been made possible in the past by the support of the Government of Canada, through Exchanges Canada, a program of the Department of Canadian Heritage aimed at creating opportunities for young Canadians to connect with one another and experience the diversity of cultures and languages that make up our country. To ensure that debate remains an activity available to all Canadian students, the travel expenses for student participants and one adult delegate per province are subsidized through a grant from Exchanges Canada.