OverviewOur Programs

OrKidstra’s free after-school programs appeal to children of all ages, offering a progressive musical study that is inspiring, engaging, and fun! Led by professional Teaching Artists, OrKidstra works to create a harmonious community with a focus on singing and playing together. 

OrKidstra’s after-school programs provide a safe, beneficial, and creative environment for students to thrive. Research continues to show that music education helps improve academic and social skills, promotes discipline, increases teamwork and problem-solving skills, and boosts self-esteem! 

OrKidstra currently offers after-school programming to kids living in and neighbouring the Ottawa communities of Centretown, Vanier, and Heron Gate. 



KiddlyWinks is an energetic music and movement program that’s great fun for children ages 5 to 8 years old.


KidSingers is an upbeat choir program that celebrates the beauty and joy of singing together for students 8 years and older.


Get ready to play an instrument! KidStarters sets students up for instrumental success. (8 years +)


KidPlayers explores the joy of playing wind and brass instruments in a group, proper technique and the basics of music theory. (8 years +)


KidStringers explores the joy of playing string instruments in a group, proper technique and the basics of music theory. (8 years +)


Orchestras, chamber ensembles, masterclasses, improv & composition, and a youth group. (8 years +)


Centre Hub

OrKidstra’s Centre Hub is located at the Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa) and provides after-school programs Tuesday-Friday for the equity-deserving areas of Centretown, Centretown West (Chinatown) and Lowertown. OrKidstra’s Centre Hub opened its doors in 2007 and currently serves up to 175 children and youth. OrKidstra’s main offices are also located at its Centre Hub.

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Scroll through to find information on our other locations!

Vanier Hub

OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub is now located at Ottawa Technical Secondary School (485 Donald Street) and provides after-school programs on Monday and Wednesday for the equity-deserving areas of Vanier North/South and Overbrook-McArthur. OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub opened its doors in 2016 and currently serves up to 150 children and youth.

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Heron Gate Hub

OrKidstra’s Heron Gate Hub is located at the Heron Gate Community Hub (2850 Cedarwood Drive). It provides after-school programming on Wednesdays for the equity-deserving areas of Heron Gate-Heatherington-Ridgemont-Ledbury. OrKidstra’s Heron Gate Hub opened its doors in April 2024 and currently serves up to 50 children and youth.

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ScheduleTimes and Locations

We’re proud to say that OrKidstra has over 3,000 hours of programming per year! Led by dedicated professional Teaching Artists, find out when and where OrKidstra classes are happening.

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AwardsOrKidSTARS: Shining bright in our community

At OrKidstra, we celebrate each and every student for their achievements! Created in 2020-21, our OrKidSTAR awards honour the students and mentors who have reached for the stars and gone above and beyond with their kindness, commitment, respect, musicianship, helpfulness, and love. Please join us in congratulating these shining stars in our community!

2022-23 OrKidSTAR recipients

Calla Frankowski (KiddlyWinks)
Neylan Mutabazi (KiddlyWinks)
Lena-Els Tchonang (KiddlyWinks)
Dima Barkay (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Izel Lopez Daley (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Nancy Adeoye (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Kai Frankowski (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Martha Greenwood (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Annie Ha (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Sophia Lada (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Thevinu Perera (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Maya Prachar (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Nirriam Juru Ramsay (KingSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Frank Exode Tchonang (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Abraham Ogunlade (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Hannah Oyegun (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers)
Isaac Adeoye (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Ibrahim Hamza (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Edwin Tchonang (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Laura Yeung (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers)
Rohan Gillis (Intermediate KidStringers)
Aiden O’Ree (Intermediate KidPlayers)
Daniella Cyr (Intermediate KidPlayers)
Beryl Ijaola (Senior KidStringers)
Roselyn Nwokoma (Senior KidStringers)
Colin (Keyu) Shen (Senior KidStringers)
Ricky Tan (Senior KidStringers)
Dora Chen (Senior KidPlayers)
Sophia Figueroa (Senior KidPlayers)
Sam Yu (Senior KidPlayers)
Eva Situ (Senior KidPlayers)
Jillian Lewis (Senior KidPlayers [Jazz Band])
Betty Lewis (Senior KidPlayers [Jazz Band])
George (Yiou) Wang (Senior KidPlayers [Jazz Band])

Leah Betty (OrKidSTAR Volunteer Recipient)
Jason Rojas (OrKidSTAR Volunteer Recipient)

Ibrahim Hamza (KidSingers/Beginner KidPlayers, Flute)

Beryl Ijaola (Senior KidStringers, Violin)

Kai Frankowski (KidSingers/Beginner KidStringers, Cello)

Betty Lewis (Senior KidPlayers [Jazz Band, Clarinet])

TeachersHelp change a child’s future

OrKidstra’s Teaching Artists are extraordinarily talented musicians and music educators who are passionate about OrKidstra’s social mission of success through music.

Our Teaching Artists care deeply about the well-being of their students and guide them towards making positive life choices by encouraging commitment to musical and personal excellence. OrKidstra Teaching Artists are deeply engaged in the community as well as their musical craft.

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Our Teachers

OrKidstra’s Teaching Artists are highly skilled musicians and music educators with their own unique experiences and expertise. 

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Become a Teaching Artist

Are you interested in exploring how your skills as a teacher and as a musician intersect? 

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Experiential Teaching Artist Program (ETAP)

In partnership with the University of Ottawa, OrKidstra offers a 3-credit course to undergraduate and masters level students. 

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MentorsA safe and welcoming place to learn and grow

We encourage and foster mentorship with all our students, along with peer-to-peer teaching, which breaks down barriers and fosters friendship. As the late Maestro José Antonio Abreu said, “A child who knows five notes can help a child who knows only three!”

We also proudly extend this philosophy to our partnerships with local universities and high schools. Since our beginning in 2007, mentors have made a profound and positive impact on OrKidstra’s students – and it’s a two-way street, as there’s no better way to learn about your playing than by teaching it!

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OrKidstra encourages mentorship with all our students, along with peer-to-peer teaching, which breaks down barriers.

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A photo of two young flute students being mentored

Become a Mentor

Do you want to make a difference in a child’s life? Do you have musical skills you would like to share? Think about becoming a Mentor with OrKidstra!

Apply now

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

MusicTeach the children the beauty of music and music will teach them the beauty of life.

Timeless pieces. Modern classics.

At OrKidstra, we choose music that excites our students and resonates with different cultures. We’re proud to say that our students come from over 62 different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and our program includes music from classical, jazz, world, pop, folk and other traditions.

Teaching Method

All OrKidstra Teaching Artists are professional musicians and music educators. While they focus on teaching music, they also deeply care about the well-being and social development of the child.

Under the guidance of their Teaching Artists, OrKidstra’s Kid-Powered levels allow students to determine their own level of commitment.


Music education has proven benefits on the cognitive and emotional development of children and these benefits last a lifetime.

“What you have done in the past has a legacy…Older adults who have had music training in childhood…have stronger sound processing in the brain of these particular details…that are so important for communication.” – Dr. Nina Kraus, Ph.D. and Professor at Northwestern University

Anne Taylor Summer ProgramRemembering Anne, strengthening the future

The Anne Taylor Summer Program (also known as CAMP OrKidstra and OrKidstra @ Home: Summer Edition) enables Beginner, Junior, Intermediate, Senior, and Dedication students from all OrKidstra after-school programs to benefit from individual lessons and ensemble rehearsals throughout July and August. The Program, established in memory of Anne Taylor, also gives students the opportunity to strengthen their role in the community.

Anne Taylor was a member of OrKidstra’s Board of Directors who passed away in the summer of 2014. For Anne, OrKidstra was a perfect fit, combining her abiding passion for children’s education with her deep love of music.

Wisdom & Compassion

The late Anne Taylor was at heart an educator, teaching in Montreal, Alberta and Pakistan. Anne was also responsible for bringing a wealth of films from the National Film Board into Canadian classrooms. As well, she founded and co-directed MediaSmarts, an online media literacy site for kids. Anne was a much-loved volunteer in the Ottawa community; she is truly missed by all those who knew her.

Summer fun & music

We are honoured to dedicate our OrKidstra summer program (CAMP OrKidstra) to the memory of Anne. OrKidstra students benefit from individual and group music lessons as well as special workshops, community service events and recreational outings during the summer months.

Apply to OrKidstraBring music into your child’s life

OrKidstra offers free after-school programs in Centretown and Vanier for kids ages 5-18. Parent Marie says, “I really like that my kids can be involved in music; it’s a very beneficial place for them to be after school.” Help your child grow their potential through music!