Maple syrup, flannel, hockey, the Rockies and RESPs: they’re just a few of the oh-so-very quintessential things that make Canada, well, Canada. In honour of our country’s birthday, we’re going to be extra Canadian and say sorry in advance if we forgot to mention your favourite things about the true north strong and free. The list is really endless—and we promise our love for all things Canada could rival any die-hard HABS or Leafs fan.

It’s easy to forget we’re not exactly a small country (in size anyways), at 9.9 million square kilometres, we’re the second-largest country in the world. Despite our size, our population is still relatively small—about 38 million of us to be exact (compare that to the 39 million in the state of California alone  #crazyeh). But what that amounts to is a lot of natural beauty, from our national parks to our lakes (we have 563, which is more than any country in the world). Oh, and let’s not forget we’re positioned for some picture-perfect viewing of the Northern Lights.

Our climate and landscape have helped shape some of the most amazing things that have come from Canada (no, we’re not referring to Drake and Beiber)—but maple syrup and hockey. Thanks to the weather and the knowledge we received from the Indigenous peoples who taught settlers how to turn the sweet sap into delicious syrup, maple syrup is about as integral to our fabric as is Tim Hortons on road trips. You also can’t talk about Canada without talking about hockey. Although the debate ensues on its exact origin, what isn’t debatable is how it’s been played in Canada since the early 1800s, and well, most would say it is our national sport.

RESPs are uniquely Canadian, and definitely worth celebrating.

Surprise, surprise - we love the Registered Education Savings Plan—aka the RESP. In fact, our parent company, the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, helped pioneer the RESP and has played a major role in bringing higher education within reach for Canadian families for 60 years. What makes this plan so valuable is it’s designed to help your child’s post-secondary education savings grow tax sheltered while in the plan. Meaning your budding architect, firefighter or RCMP officer will be in a better position to graduate university or college with little or no debt. And that’s a big deal.

Your RESP comes with a side of government grants

Think about how excited you’d be if your server gave you a free poutine on the side of your meal, and multiply that excitement by a lot! Perhaps the biggest advantage of having an RESP is the money you can get from the federal government—mostly through the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG). The government will match 20% of whatever you contribute to your RESP, to a total of up to $500 of grants per year—and with a lifetime maximum of $7,200 in grants per child.

The money can be used to pay for textbooks, a new computer or double-doubles for those late-night study sessions. Plus, depending on your household income and where you live, you may qualify for additional money from the government. And we’re here to help you apply for every Loonie you’re entitled to.

So there you have it. An education savings tool that’s as Canadian as hockey and maple syrup.

So there you have it. An education savings tool that’s as Canadian as hockey and maple syrup.

And at CST Spark, we make the RESP easy and accessible for everyone. You can get your Spark RESP off the ground in as few as five minutes, and only need a handful of Toonies* (at least $10 worth a month) to get started (just make sure they’re electronic, as we’re proud to be a 100% digital company). The best part is you can do it from the comfort of your couch or bed or patio chair—you get the idea. Connect with us over the phone or chat with us, 6 days a week. So reach out to us when your favourite hockey team isn’t playing—or between periods—and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.



CST Spark Education Portfolios is only sold by Prospectus. 

C.S.T. Spark Inc. is the distributor and manager of the CST Spark Education Portfolios.

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