JCP Overview

What is the Ontario Job Creation Partnerships (OJCP) Program?

OJCP is an employment program offered in partnership by Ottawa Festival Network (OFN) and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) to provide work experience to unemployed job seekers.  The OJCP program provides opportunities to work on projects that benefit the community or local economy while providing participants opportunities to acquire new skills and/or keep existing skills current, to expand a network of contacts, and to maintain an active resume.

Eligibility for OJCP:

Prior to an interview with OFN, OJCP candidate eligibility is determined according to at least one of the following criteria:

  • An unemployed person living in Ontario who has paid Employment Insurance (EI) premiums (through payroll deductions) in at least 5 of the last 10 years, or
  • An unemployed person living in Ontario who established an Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefit claim within the last 3 years, or
  • An unemployed person living in Ontario who established an Employment Insurance (EI) maternity or parental benefit claim within the last five years and are re-entering the labour force
  • NOTE: There are some exceptions to the above criteria including the ineligibility of full time students and those who received a refund for the EI premiums paid through payroll deductions

OJCP Process:

  • Once a candidate has been determined eligible for OJCP, an interview with OFN is scheduled
  • If deemed appropriate for OJCP, candidate resumes will be reviewed by one or more festival directors
  • Selected candidates will be contacted by festival directors for secondary interviews
  • Festival directors will extend offers of employment in OJCP to candidates. Start dates are typically within two weeks of an extended offer
  • Candidates will contact OFN immediately if an offer has been extended and accepted
  • Candidates will complete an application for OJCP under the guidance of an Employment Ontario (EO) Service Centre
  • The EO Service Centre will forward the application to MAESD for review and approval
  • Please note that MAESD provides final OJCP approval


  • Participants work 30 hours per week (typically, four 7.5 hour days). Hours worked in excess of 30 per week are remunerated by time off in lieu
  • Most OJCP contracts with OFN will be 26 weeks (6 months)
  • Participants are paid by MAESD at a weekly rate of $423 (gross) which equates to $14.10 per hour. Payments are provided to participants on a biweekly basis.  If an EI benefit claim is still active, that program payment continues to be provided by Service Canada; in this case, MAESD may or may not make an additional payment.  Contact OFN to discuss your individual circumstances if your EI benefit claim is active
  • Participants work schedules are generally four days during a Monday to Friday work week however work schedules may vary occasionally to accommodate events, special meetings, festival setup, and festival takedown
  • Participants work onsite at the festival office – working from home on a regular basis is not allowed
  • Participants must follow and respect all festival office procedures and guidelines
  • Participants report to, and receive direction from, a festival supervisor

Job Search Activity:

  • Participants are provided one day off each week to continue with their job search activities. These activities may include, but are not limited to, meetings with their employment counselors, attending employment workshops, attending job fairs, and other related job search activities
  • The job search activity day is based on a mutually agreed to schedule between the participant and festival supervisor
  • Participants may be asked to postpone their job search activity day two weeks prior to, and during, the preparation and execution of special events. Missed job search activity time is rescheduled to another mutually agreed upon time
  • If a workshop or job fair is on a day other than the regularly scheduled job search activity day, the participant may request a change to part of, or the full, regularly scheduled day off to accommodate the activity
  • Participants must notify their festival supervisor if time off is required to attend a job interview Festivals will grant the requested time off; participants are not required to make up the lost time. The suggested allowable time off to attend a job interview is up to 3 hours.  If additional preparation time is requested, at the discretion of the supervisor, participants will make arrangements to adjust their work schedule to make up for the additional lost time beyond 3 hours

Terms of the OJCP contract:

  • Participants agree to a probationary period of 3 weeks to ensure a proper match of skills with job requirements
  • Any significant changes to an OJCP job description must be mutually agreed to by the participant and festival supervisor. OFN must be notified of all modifications
  • Participants may terminate an OJCP contract once other employment is secured or enrollment in an academic program. If termination is for any other reason, it is recommended to contact OFN to discuss
  • Participants are committed to an OJCP position once the contract has been signed. Moving from one festival to another is generally not possible
  • If an issue or concern arises between the supervisor/festival and the participant and remain unresolved, the issue may be submitted in writing to the HR Manager of OFN
  • Participants may be released from an OJCP contract if there is an improper match of skills, an instance of inappropriate action, breach of trust, or lack of work

Employment Ontario (EO) Service Centres and MAESD:

  • Once a festival director has selected a candidate for a position, the festival will contact the candidate and extend an offer of OJCP program employment. Upon acceptance, an offer notification will be forwarded to the HR Manager of OFN by the festival who will contact the candidate to review the next steps outlined below
  • OFN will guide the candidate to an EO Service Centre for the preparation of the OJCP application if a centre has not been previously selected
  • If candidates need to contact an EO Service Centre to set up the appointment, candidates must inform the designated service site of the offer of OJCP employment
  • It is important to secure an appointment with an EO Service Centre within several days after the job offer. Candidates must notify OFN of the appointment time, the counselor’s name, and if there are any appointment delays
  • Candidates are given the opportunity to discuss the OJCP position with their employment counselor as to how it fits with career goals
  • The EO Service Centre will forward the completed OJCP application and supporting documentation to MAESD for approval


  • OFN will advise MAESD each week of pending applicants for participation in OJCP
  • MAESD will advise OFN once the application is received
  • Upon OJCP approval, MAESD will schedule an appointment for the participant to sign an OJCP contract
  • Contract signing appointments are usually Thursday or Friday each week, OJCP contracts officially begin on Monday’s

Ottawa Region Service Providers

Area Service Provider Telephone
West ITO 2.0 Employment Services 613-688-0440
Ouest Pinecrest Queensway Employment Centre 613-288-3880
CERC (Community Employment Resource Centre) 613-828-2123
YMCA-YWCA 613-727-7070
Downtown City of Ottawa / Ville d\’Ottawa 613-560-0622 x 26402
Centreville YMCA-YWCA 613-788-5001
John Howard Society / Société John Howard 613- 789-7418
St. Lawrence College / Collège St. Lawrence 613-232-0022 x1770
East Northern Lights Canada 613-688-3670
Est Centre des services communautaires Vanier 613-742-4400
La Cité Collégiale 613-741-9042
South/Sud YSB Employment Services / Services d’emploi du BSJ 613-236-8244


The most up to date list of centres can be found on Employment Ontario’s website.


This program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario