FAQs for the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa

What is the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa?

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is a not-for-profit service club made up of over 150 men and women volunteering their time to better the community.

What do Club members do?

Ottawa Kiwanis members effect positive change through volunteering their time to community efforts. At the heart of these efforts is a devotion to children and youth, and individuals and families in need, with programs that promote leadership, increase youth literacy and leadership, and help those with special needs and those struggling in the community.

When was the club founded?

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa was founded in 1917. It was the third Kiwanis club to open in Canada, after Hamilton and Toronto. It is under the umbrella of Kiwanis International, which has become the largest service club in the world—present in more than 90 countries, with more than 300,000 members and 9,000 clubs.

How is the club structured?

At the head of the club is a volunteer Board of Directors, which is elected annually at the general meeting in September. They oversee the club's direction.

Why should I become a member?

By becoming a member, you get a golden opportunity to give back to your community and become part of our tradition of service. Through volunteering, you will forge new connections in the community and build friendships with your fellow members.

What is the time commitment?

Though time commitments will vary depending on each member’s preferences, typically the time commitment involved in volunteering for Kiwanis activities entails about one day per month. Typically members attend two luncheon meetings a month and volunteer on a committee that meets once a month.

What are the membership options?

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa offers three different types of membership: individual, family and corporate.

Individual membership gives you the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded individuals through involvement in our committees, programs, and fundraising activities.

Family membership allows you to share the Kiwanis membership experience with up to two more people living at your same address for discounted rates.

Corporate membership gives you the added opportunity to promote the work of your organization, and receive a special acknowledgement in our annual roster and website.

How much does it cost?

Individual membership comes with a one-time initiation fee of $250, an annual fee of $355, and the cost of luncheons at about $35 each. Additional family members can join as well, with an annual fee of only $100. There is also corporate membership, which allows two individuals from an organization to join Kiwanis with an annual fee of $1000.

What is corporate membership?

A corporate membership gives you all of the benefits of individual membership, with the added opportunity to promote the work of your organization. The annual fee of $1000 provides two individuals from your company with membership, and special acknowledgement for your organization in our annual roster and website.

What kinds of committees, programs, and fundraising events could I be involved with?

There are 19 committees, programs and fundraising events you can get involved with as a member. These activities focus on children and youth, and helping individuals and families in need. You can volunteer with youth groups like the Air Cadets or the Key and Circle K clubs; help out with the annual bed race or golf tournament; or even join the committee for the Kiwanis Medical Foundation. For a complete list of committees, programs and events you can become involved with as a member, please refer to our descriptions page.

What do I get as a member?

By becoming a member, you get the opportunity to give back to your community and build fellowship with men and women who share your values. Membership also gives you the opportunity to attend all of the club’s social events and initiatives.

Can I attend the Kiwanis luncheons if I am not a member?

Yes, absolutely. The luncheons are open to prospective members to give you the opportunity to meet the Ottawa Kiwanis community, and get better acquainted with the values and dynamic of our organization. We are always interested in new members joining our club.

How do I become a member?

Becoming a member is simple. First, you come join us at one of our luncheon meetings or volunteer projects. Then you will be matched with a club member who becomes your sponsor, who will then help you get better acquainted with the club and guide you through the membership process. There is an application form to fill out, and since we work extensively with children and youth, a police record check is also required. This all then gets reviewed by the membership committee and the Kiwanis Board before you are invited to become a member.