Community Service

Reading is Fundamental

Starting in 1997 a pilot project underway at Connaught Public School Program was designed to encourage and promote literacy in children ages four and five from families where English or French is not spoken at home. Twenty-five Kiwanis volunteers read to these children from age and content appropriate books each week. At the end of the school year, the children may choose one of the books to retain. All materials and volunteers are supplied by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

The Kiwanis Read-a-thon

The Kiwanis Read-a-thon is designed to encourage children to become better readers, by reading more often, trying out new books—and have fun doing it!

In 2003 the read-a-thon started up with 16 schools and 4,677 students participated. The students read 38,286 books, and in several schools the read-a-thon also acted as a fund raiser. An unqualified success!

By 2007 the read-a-thon expanded to 222 schools, and 53,000 students in 13 countries.

To help provide information and support to the schools, teachers, parents and participants a web site has been established to answer questions and provide materials.

Kiwanis 211 Air Cadet Squadron

The 211 Kiwanis Air Cadet Squadron was formed in 1942, and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa's has provided support for the Squadron with both financial resources and volunteer hours to assist the Squadron in building tomorrow's leaders.

During the school year, the Squadron meets at Notre Dame High School (710 Broadview Ave, Ottawa, K2A2M2 ) each Wednesday evening. Meetings start at 18:30 and youths between 12 and 19 are welcome to join.

More information on the Kiwanis 211 Air Cadet Squadron can be found here.

Precious Minds Educational Video

Recent discoveries have shown that reading to children between the ages of 0 to 3 can help them realize the full potential of their brain. The research reveals that children who are read to when exceptionally young, are more likely to develop a lifelong interest in reading, do well in school, and succeed in adult life.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has prepared a video which presents these exciting discoveries, “Precious Minds: Nurturing Literacy in the Early Years”. The video can be purchased from the web site, and a streaming version of the video is now available on-line to allow the public to preview the video before ordering copies.

More information on the Precious Minds educational video can be found here.

Never Shake a Baby! An Educational Video

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has produced a video, Never shake a baby! What parents and caregivers need to know. It helps parents and those to whom parents entrust their child’s care cope effectively with the stress of a child’s crying. The video is also increasing public awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and supporting the development of local prevention initiatives across Canada.

More information on the Never Shake a Baby video can be found here.

The Kiwanis Medical Foundation

The Kiwanis Medical foundation was formed in 1980 with a initial donation from Dr. Lorne MacLachlan an Ottawa dentist. The objective of the Foundation is to advance medical research and treatment in Ottawa by providing funding to individuals or organizations with similar objectives. The capital base of the Foundation is at approximately $800,000 and provides approximately $40,000 a year in funds for medical research.

Activities for the Medical Foundation are available here.

Kiwanis Music Festival

The 2012 version of the Kiwanis Music Festival runs from April 10 to 28, with the Highlights concert on May 18.

The Kiwanis Music Festival has been in continuous existence from 1945 to the present. It was originally known as the Ottawa Music Festival Association until 1985 when the Kiwanis Clubs of the National Capital Region assumed shared responsibility with non-Kiwanian volunteers for the Festival. At that time the name of the organization was changed to the Kiwanis Music Festival. Later the Festival was expanded to include Dance competitions as well as Music. The name of the organization was then changed to its current title. With the incorporation of Dance, the Festival has grown in size from about sixth place in the Province to second place. The Festival has maintained a steady growth in number of entries ever since. 

More information on the Kiwanis Music Festival and the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa can be found here.

The National Capital Music Festival can be contacted through their web site


Kiwanis Key Clubs

With a focus on youth, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa sponors 7 Key Clubs in Ottawa area high schools. Active Clubs at Canterbury, Colonel By, Earl of March, Glebe, Lisgar, Nepean and Sir Robert Borden meet on a weekly basis to carry out both community service and fund raising projects of their own.

The Key Club committee works with the students and their teacher advisors to help bring the spirit of Kiwanis to youth and help with the fourth object of Kiwanis, "To develop by precept and example a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship."

You can find more information on:


Kiwanis Circle K

Circle K International (CKI) is the premier collegiate and university community service, leadership development, and friendship organization in the world. With more than 12,600 members in 17 nations, CKI is making a positive impact on the world every day.

Circle K clubs are organized and sponsored by a Kiwanis club on a college or university campus. CKI is a self-governing organization and elects its own officers, conducts its own meetings, and determines its own service activities.

CKI blends community service and leadership training with the opportunity to meet other college students around the world. Projects such as the Six Cents Initiative, CKI’s International fundraiser that aims to provide water to the 2.2 billion children worldwide who lack safe drinking water, bring CKI members together to make a difference in the world.

With a focus on youth, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa sponors 2 Circle K Clubs in Ottawa area universities. Active Clubs at the uOttawa and Carleton University both meet on a weekly basis, and carry out both community service and fund raising projects of their own.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa works with the students and their advisors to help bring the spirit of Kiwanis to youth and help with the fourth object of Kiwanis, "To develop by precept and example a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship."

More information about Kiwanis Circle K can be found here.

Governor General’s Foot Guards Cadets

The 2784 Governor General’s Foot Guards Army Cadet Corps, was founded in 1965 by Major Harold Blackman, CD. The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has supported and is the Sponsor of this Army Cadet Corps since 2001. The Governor General's Foot Guards Cadets are open to teenagers ages 12-18 years, and offers courses, in outdoor survival, first aid, marksmanship, orienteering, canoeing, and leadership.

More information about the GGFG cadets can be found here on our site, or on their own site.

Direct Assistance

Help for People in Need

Throughout the year, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa uses its donations to help people and organizations in the community. Both individuals and organizations can make requests for support. Requests under $5,000 are reviewed monthly, and requests over $5,000 are reviewed every six months. The funding criteria and the application process are detailed below.

Applications should be emailed to the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa c/o: Direct Assistance Committee:, or mailed to: Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, c/o Direct Assistance Committee, Suite 201, 1283 Algoma Road, Ottawa, ON K1B 3W7.

Requests from Individuals/Organizations (Value under $5,000.00)

The Direct Assistance committee reviews requests under $5,000 on a monthly basis. Requests can be for a wide range of needs, such as helping a child attend summer camp, building a ramp for a senior, or helping individuals with disabilities purchase a medical device. Requests can come directly from the individual that needs help or from a group trying to help the individual. Community organizations can also make requests for funding. Requests should be in letter format and explain why the funds are needed and how the funds will help. Please include your name, address, phone number and email address in the request. 

Requests from Organizations (Value over  $5,000.00) 

There are six steps to request funding for projects over $5,000.00.

1. Funding cycle dates.

There are two funding cycles: fall/winter and spring/summer.  The first runs from October 1st to March 31st, the second cycle runs from April 1st to September 30th.  Applications are accepted during the first four months of a funding cycle, followed by a two-month period of review. Funding application deadlines:  January 31st and July 31st.  To be considered in each grant cycle, complete applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the deadline date. 

2. Review the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Community Support Strategy.

This outlines the policy and processes for determining the distribution of the available KCO funds. There are several classifications on the eligible use of proceeds as regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).  You must fall within the AGCO charity classifications in order to qualify.  The AGCO precludes distribution of those funds to charitable activities outside Ontario.

  • Relief of Poverty
  • Advancement of Education
  • Advancement of Religion
  • Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community

3. Ensure your charity fits within the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa mandate.

Refer to the KCO Strategic Direction and Policy Direction sections found within the Community Support Strategy document.

4. Review the mandatory and rated criteria.

Your charity must meet ALL of the mandatory criteria to be considered for funding: fits within the legal definition of a charity; benefits a segment of the public supported by the Club; fits with our mission/vision; addresses a communities need; has credibility; and has the ability to track and report on funds and project success. 

5. Plan and write your proposal.

Ensure that all of the mandatory and rated requirements are addressed.  We will accept only one application at a time from an organization.  Please submit your application electronically to:  If you are unable to apply electronically, we will accept your application by mail.  We do not accept applications by fax.

6. Proposal evaluation and decision.

The members of the Direct Assistance Committee will review and evaluate each proposal during the two (2) month period allocated for this purpose in each funding cycle.  Upon approval of the recommendation(s), made to the Board of Directors, the decision(s) will be made public.  Although there are many eligible charities, we are not capable of funding all that apply.  Applicants are encouraged to reapply in the next funding cycle.