Music: The Power to Change Lives

OrKidstra is a charitable social development program that empowers kids from under-served areas of Ottawa by teaching life skills through playing and singing music together.

Play Your Part!

You can help change lives through the power of music! Your support will help kids from under-served Ottawa communities reach for success through music.

Safe & Sound

Together, we’ve created a hybrid “Safe & Sound” approach for our 15th season that includes both OrKidstra @ Home (online) and in-person activities!

“OrKidstra’s Virtual Holiday Celebration!”

Please join us on Thurs., Dec. 16, 2021, @ 5:30 PM (EST) from your virtual “front-row seat” for a free online celebration of music, joy & community streaming live on YouTube!

AboutMaking A Difference

Our mission is to empower kids and build community through the universal language of music.

We carry out this mission by giving children from under-served communities free instruments, along with free group and individual music lessons. This gives children the chance to grow important life skills such as respect, compassion, teamwork, and responsibility through singing and playing and together.

Click here to learn more about our hybrid “Safe & Sound” approach that includes both online (OrKidstra @ Home) and some in-person activities in 2021-22.

Make a donation


of OrKidstra graduates have completed high school and gone on to post-secondary education


of students participate for free

students and counting

under-served neighbourhoods

ProgramsFree Instruments and Instruction

OrKidstra’s programs serve low-income Ottawa communities and most kids participate for free. We believe this kind of accessibility breaks down barriers and allows our children to try something they couldn’t have dreamt of before – including instruments from triangle to trombone!

Learn about our programs

OrKidstra has created endless possibilities for me…

OrKidstra student Peter shares how learning the clarinet is helping him understand the value of hard work in all aspects of his life. Video credit: Kanata Productions/Vectors Group

Anyone can learn how to sing if they try…

Watch the trailer for the CBC documentary “OrKidstra: The Power of Music.” This 45-minute documentary captures OrKidstra’s story – how the power of music truly empowers kids and builds community! Video credit: CBC Ottawa

OrKidstra builds important life skills like teamwork and leadership…

OrKidstra graduate and Teaching Artist Declan shares how OrKidstra as given his life meaning.

Read the Story

OrKidstra builds important life skills like teamwork and leadership…

OrKidstra graduate Declan joined the OrKidstra family at age 11 in 2008. Ten years later, he is in his 3rd year of University and is an OrKidstra Teaching Artist.

“What I like most about OrKidstra is that kids in our community have something really constructive to do after school. Playing and singing with OrKidstra builds important life skills like teamwork and leadership, skills that are applicable to all areas of life. And the kids have a really fun time which a bonus.

I find teaching at OrKidstra really rewarding because I love seeing the kids accomplish their goals. I’m really invested myself and reaching my goals with them. I would totally teach for free if I didn’t have to eat!

I don’t even think I would be playing music if it wasn’t for OrKidstra and definitely not studying it! OrKidstra has really given my life meaning: I feel like I’m really giving back in a positive way.

Your donation goes directly to helping the kids and providing them with necessary equipment like instruments, strings, music and music stands. “When you donate to OrKidstra, you are helping to improve the quality of life for kids from under-served areas of our community AND you are sharing the precious gift of music with them. That’s an amazing gift.”

– Declan, OrKidstra graduate (2008 – 2015) & Teaching Artist

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SupportHelp Change A Child's Future

In Ottawa, financial constraints, cultural differences, language barriers and settlement difficulties leave thousands of children without the opportunity to learn and benefit from music making. You can help create a future where all children and youth have the opportunity to find their voice and build their potential through music.

Learn how you can help

Latest News

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08.11.2021 | A Note from OrKidstra, OrKidstra In The Community, Press Releases

The CharityVillage Awards recognize Canadian non-profits, charities and individuals who deserve to be celebrated for their outstanding contributions to the sector. Over the past year, organizations and individuals have shown…

01.10.2021 | Donor Impact, OrKidstra In The Community, Press Releases

Starting this September, we’re delighted to tell you that OrKidstra has partnered with Will Power, a new national education movement made up of almost 500 charities, financial advisors, and legal…

01.10.2021 | OrKidstra Office, Program Announcement

The health and safety of our entire OrKidstra family continues to be our priority during the developing situation surrounding the COVID-19/novel coronavirus pandemic. In 2021-22, OrKidstra will introduce a hybrid…

Virtual LearningBringing Music Education Home

OrKidstra @ Home is a multi-layered, virtual learning strategy for OrKidstra's current students and beyond! This new approach combines creativity and technology in a fun and accessible way to help benefit OrKidstra students and empower them to continue building success – and brighten their days – with music at home.

More about OrKidstra @ Home