OverviewA 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. A child who knows five notes can help the child who knows only three.

We also proudly extend this philosophy to our partnerships with Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and local high schools – from where OrKidstra has attracted many talented, compassionate young mentors who want to make a difference. 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!


Sarah Baik

Local high school student and experienced violinist Sarah Baik began mentoring with OrKidstra in 2016. Sarah mentors with the beginner and junior KidStringers assisting Junior KidStringers Director and long-time OrKidstra Teaching Artist Ms. Loulou.

Sarah is currently in Grade 11 at Colonel By Secondary School. “When I first learned about the mission of the OrKidstra program, I felt like I had finally found a
use for my violin playing. To be able to witness the children improving with every lesson is the best gift I could ask for. I love the OrKidstra community and everyone
that is a part of it. Built on the love of music, the community brings a bright light into kids’ lives that I think no other program is able to achieve.”

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OrKidstra GraduateNick Binette

Mentor and OrKidstra graduate Nicholas (Nick) Binette joined the family in 2012. Nick is currently studying Marketing/Advertising at Algonquin College.

“The skills and attitudes developed at OrKidstra are outstanding and unquestionable. Without a doubt the most valued skill I have learned is commitment. For the last two years, I have been mentoring two viola students. I am so glad I have an influential role in another person’s life because it is the most amazing feeling in the world that words cannot begin to express.
Giving children access to OrKidstra is the best gift you could possibly offer through any donations. OrKidstra has changed my life and still is: this program makes our capital city brighter!”

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OrKidstra GraduateNgoc Kim

OrKidstra graduate Ngoc Kim is studying commerce at the University of Ottawa, but still finds time to give back.

“The opportunities OrKidstra has given me are incredible. I’m busy with my 4th year of studies at the University of Ottawa (Commerce), but staying involved with OrKidstra is very important to me. I enjoy working with younger students: OrKidstra is a very close-knit environment where everyone knows each other and are happy to help each other.

This year marks my 10th year with OrKidstra and I truly hope this amazing organization continues to expand so that more children can benefit.”

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Become a MentorGive back and grow

Do you want to share your experience as a musician? Are you passionate about giving back to Ottawa’s equity-deserving communities? Do you want to enrich your own life? Contact OrKidstra to see if becoming a mentor is right for you.

All high school mentors can also use this opportunity to fulfill their provincially required volunteer hours. Please note that all mentors must have a current police check for the vulnerable sector.

  • How did you hear about OrKidstra?