National Seminar and Debate Camp!

As was previously posted, and information distributed to coaches, The CSDF is organizing “Debate Camp” in parallel with the “CSDF National Seminar” that takes place every year, and is normally in the Fall. The timing will be different this year, and it will be the first time the Seminar has been in person in four years. The CSDF, for a number of reasons, is running the two events simultaneously, and this will be a renewed call for OSDU schools to have students apply to officially represent Ontario as one of OSDU’s National Seminar delegates.

While the Seminar is being run in parallel with the debate camp, it has a different funding model in terms of money that supports it. It is also targeted specifically to newer debaters, ( you may not have attended a senior level national event ) and has a restriction of one per school, and a requirement for 2 of the Ontario delegates to be in the French and Bilingual categories. As well, the National Seminar, as a result of it’s association with Exchanges Canada, aims to have students who represents certain target groups, namely: a) Indigenous Youth b) Visible Minority c) Rural ( < 10,000 people ) d) Youth with Disability

The Seminar focuses on a less competitive aspect of debate, and through Exchanges Canada aims to host a truly national experience where you learn about, and interact with, others from across Canada. It is for that reason that you must attend the residential component ( accommodation at Glendon College ), and fully immerse in the event for the entire week. Because the goals are slightly different, there will be a slightly different programme, and the focus will be much heavier on it being a truly bilingual experience. There will be about 50 students distributed from most if not all of 12 provinces and territories, and it will be a truly unique experience. As mentioned OSDU will select 6 students for the National Seminar. Again, please keep in mind the National Seminar is a non-competitive debate seminar which includes a debate “tournament”, model parliament event, and debate workshops, with a focus on fostering your knowledge of Canada, and meeting people from across the country. This type of experience may not be for everyone, and of course spots are very limited.

If you are interested in attending the National Seminar as one of the Ontario delegates, please email

Keep in mind that students who are not eligible for being a National Seminar delegate, or have too much experience, etc. please do consider registering for this event under the banner of Debate Camp. Anyone may do so without restriction, at any time. As mentioned, there is significant overlap between the two experiences. We have had a good level of registration from Ontario, but there are still many spots available!

You may find all information about Debate Camp here:
Debater Registration Link:
Coaches Registration Link:

Information about National Seminar is here:

OSDU’s National Seminar delegates need to be accepted officially first of all, but given the timeline and number of Ontario applicants to date, we are likely to simply accept serious and eligible applicants to fill the spots.

This is a truly unique debate experience which promises to be a lot of fun, and we hope you or your students will be part of it!

Team Canada Tryout Procedure

Every year, CSDF holds a tryout process to select students for the Canadian national debate team. Each province selects three official delegates to tryout, as well as a handful of students are selected from across Canada to round out the CSDF selection event.

This is an official call for applicants to apply to OSDU for one of its 3 spots. Any student can apply, but as per the OSDU By-laws, must do with support of the institutional member. Therefore your application must either be sent by your school coach, or at least copied to them so that we know they are aware the application. Two important things to note:
you must be a student at a member school, who has paid their OSDU membership fee for this year. Other applicants will not be accepted.
• for this process there is a limit of THREE per school – OSDU is only picking 3 delegates and so schools must limit to 3 even if there is more interest. This is a long standing clause in the by-laws.

In order to apply, you must send the attached application form to Nicole Ratti, OSDU President, Email: The deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24th, the effective start time of OSDU Provincials. The students will be selected in time to notify CSDF by their March 1 deadline, and successful applicants will be provided with the CSDF form to complete. You must of course be available to attend the tryouts in Calgary, from Tues. April 25 to Thurs. April 27 in the days leading into senior national championships.

In addition, students who apply to OSDU and are not successful, are invited to apply to the CSDF Alternate Application process, which has a very limited number of additional spots. The information is attached. That deadline is March 5. In a new rule for this year, all applicants must be “endorsed by the provincial member”, which effectively means again that you must attend an OSDU member school. We ask you to send your application to CSDF and copy OSDU, but if you don’t we will be asked anyway to verify your eligibility to apply.

OSDU Application Form ( due Feb. 24 at 4:00 pm )
CSDF Alternate Application Letter
CSDF Alternate Application Form

CSDF Debate Camp

The Canadian Student Debating Federation will be hosting a debate camp, which will be organized by Brian Casey and John Robinson, to be modeled after the very successful camp that was run at Sacred Heart in Halifax for many years. This camp will be especially of interest to those able to commute to Toronto French School each day. However, the camp is often to everyone, and accommodation can be arranged at Glendon College in the dorms. Debate Camp registration is now open!

The dates are Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 18, with the 13th and 19th being travel days if you are coming in from out of town.

As well, the event will effectively run in parallel with the annual CSDF National Seminar. Therefore, OSDU will select students to attend under the Seminar banner. Information will be provided to OSDU schools soon so that students may apply, subject to various restrictions that aim to make the Seminar have a wider representation of participants. This would be a full week programme, with a slightly different schedule, and funding model. More info will be posted later.

In the meantime, you can find information about Debate Camp, including the form invite, schedule, fees, etc. located here: