Who We Are:
Friendship Force International is a non-profit corporation chartered in the USA in 1977. It is governed by a Board of Trustees which sets policy and guarantees
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that legal requirements and fiscal responsibilities are met. The founders .
The Friendship Force of Edmonton and Area is a chartered chapter of Friendship Force International. It is managed by an elected Board of Directors which is responsible for upholding the policies and managing the affairs of the club in accordance with by-laws approved by Freindship Force International.
There are over 350 Clubs in 55 Countries Worldwide!
The Friendship Force of Edmonton and Area provides the structure and leadership to conduct exchanges between clubs as requested through Friendship Force International. It also provides year-round opportunities to develop friendship among its members through participation in cultural and social events at the local level.
The Friendship Force achieves its goals by arranging for ordinary citizen Ambassadors to share the lives of Host Families in another country for one week.
How It Works
Host families receive no payment for opening their homes to friendship Ambassadors... Ambassadors pay their own travel expenses plus an administration fee which covers most of the operating cost of Friendship Force International.
The Friendship Force of Edmonton and Area appoints Exchange Committees which are led by volunteer Exchange Directors and are organized to conduct Inbound (Host) or Outbound (Ambassador) Exchanges.
Inbound Exchange Committee
The Host Club is responsible for recruiting members and citizens from the community who will open their homes to the visiting Ambassadors. The Inbound Exchange Committee will arrange local tours and group activities that reflect community life and local culture, with time for the Hosts to share their everyday lives with their guests.
Outbound Exchange Committee
The Club is responsible for recruiting and preparing Ambassadors for the Friendship Force homestay experience. Ambassadors may be members of any club in Canada. Edmonton members may also apply to join any Outbound Exchange being conducted by another Canadian Club. After the homestay, members may choose independent travel in the region, participation in a group tour organized by the Exchange Committee or a direct return home.
Official Club Name The Friendship Force of Edmonton and Area
Edmonton is situated in the province of Alberta on the Yellowhead Highway 16 (east/west)and Highway 2,Queen Elizabeth 2 Highway which runs north/south.
Approximate Driving Time to:
Calgary - 3 hours south
Banff/Lake Louise- 5 hours southwest
Jasper/Rocky Mountains - 4-1/2 hours west
USA Border with Montana - 8 hours south
Vancouver - 14 hours southwest
About the Region:
Edmonton is the capital of the Province of Alberta and is situated on the North Saskatchewan River in the geographic centre of the province, approximately 500 km [320 miles] north of the USA border.Edmonton is a prairie city of approximately 850,000 people surrounded by a number of smaller cities and towns within less than a thirty minute driving distance (metro population 1 159 869). The area includes a multitude of lakes and diverse natural areas, large farms, market gardens and vast oil and gas reserves. The Edmonton Area has a perfect blend of metropolitan amenities and entrepreneurial spirit, with cultural diversity and a tight-knit community feel. Edmonton has the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America - 22 times larger than New York'sCentral Park. The city boasts more green space per capita than any other North American city. This includes the spectacular North Saskatchewan River Valley -- an escape to nature that contains more than 100 kilometers [60 miles] of multi-use trails and parkland. There are over 80 golf courses within an hour's drive of the city centre. Edmonton has professional hockey, football, baseball and lacrosse teams.
Edmonton also has one of the sunniest climates in Canada. The city is known as "Canada's Festival City" because of the 30 plus festivals held here annually each year. They include Freewill City Shakespeare Festival, Edmonton International Jazz Festival, The Works Art and Design Festival, Canada Day [July 1], Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, A Taste of Edmonton, Heritage Festival, Folk Music Festival, International Fringe Theatre [one of the world's largest], Blues Festival and Symphony Under the Sky as well as Klondike Days exposition.
Just a few hours' drive west of Edmonton are Canada's majestic Rocky Mountains and the towns of Jasper and Banff, the Columbia Icefields, Lake Louise and other wonders. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Club: Founded in 1999, we have approximately 90 members - some working, many retired and living throughout the metropolitan area. We can accommodate 25 ambassadors and prefer to host two exchanges between the end of May and early September because of our wonderful summer weather [average temperature of 23 C or 73F] sunny skies and long summer days.
In our Exchange Program we like to highlight some of our history and culture through visits to Edmonton City Hall, Chinatown, the Alberta Legislature Building, Art Gallery of Alberta, Royal Alberta Museum, Fort Edmonton Park, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Elk Island National Park or other attractions as time permits. Edmonton boasts a continuous succession of summer festivals which we also like to include in our program for visiting Ambassadors. Our hosting program includes both formal Welcome and Farewell activities as well as time to get to know the hosts and many of our members during dinners in private homes, BBQ's, picnics, and other informal gatherings.
Ambassador's personal interests are taken into account and often include visits to the world famous - West Edmonton Mall, for a tour and/or shopping. They may also include a trip to the largest open-air Farmer's Market in Western Canada in St. Albert, a heritage community on the northwest border of Edmonton, or to one of several Botanic Gardens in the area.
For more information about Edmonton and Area, please check the links provided on our website.
Updated November, 2012