by Mar 21, 20181 comment

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!

Music has the power to transform lives! Give kids from under-served Ottawa communities the opportunity to learn essential life skills through music.

Join the Charity Challenge for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, May 27-28, 2023!

Join Team OrKidstra! Sign up now for “Canada’s best marathon weekend” and get movin’ and groovin’ for OrKidstra with the Desjardins Charity Challenge!

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 music together.


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

View More Stories

SupportHelp Change A Child's Future

In Ottawa, financial constraints, cultural differences, language barriers, settlement difficulties, and other systemic barriers 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

View all news

19.05.2023 | OrKidstra In The Community, OrKidstra Office, Work with OrKidstra

OrKidstra – Sistema Ottawa (OrKidstra) is pleased to invite all qualified consultants to respond to our Strategic Plan Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP is a tool to help us…

29.03.2023 | A Note from Ms. Tina, A Note from OrKidstra, Donor Impact, OrKidstra In The Community

The Chineke! Orchestra’s visit to Ottawa on March 16 and 17, 2023, is now tied as one of my absolute favourite OrKidstra experiences. Together with our performance at One Young…