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World Trivia Night
World Trivia Night

Canada’s largest live trivia event is returning to Ottawa’s EY Centre this fall for its 25th anniversary, giving trivia buffs and casual players alike a chance to vie for coveted prizes during a fun-filled evening in support of an important children’s charity.

Scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15, World Trivia Night helps unprivileged children and youth in Ottawa attend summer camp as well as pursue a post-secondary education. It’s raised some $1.5 million for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa over its 25-year run and attracted 1,500 participants – competing in teams of 10 – last year alone.

Many groups arrive decked out in team costumes, such as Cardel Homes and their trademark hard hats, and set good luck charms such as rabbit tails, plush giraffes and other stuffed animals on their tables.

“There’s lots of networking and a buzz in the room before the trivia starts,” says Walter Noble, the executive director of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa.

The room quickly quiets down once the trivia master – Paul Paquet, of Trivia Hall of Fame who also runs the Ottawa Trivia League – starts reading his questions.  

That’s often when the true team-building within groups begins, Noble says.

Individuals who may be introverts at the office come out of their shell as they share answers with their teammates, often revealing previously hidden knowledge related to their hobbies, pastimes and personal interests.

In other cases, co-workers are forced to quickly negotiate and compromise as they debate the answer to a question.

“It creates fun memories for the teams and participants,” Noble says. “And that’s what the teams are creating for the kids who benefit from the evening – fun, positive memories and experiences that last a life-time.”

The cause

Last year’s event raised net proceeds of $55,000, which helps fund two of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa’s main programs.

The Dare to Dream Bursary Program provides financial assistance to youth who were formerly in foster care and are now attending college or university. Funds also help children who are living with their families in the community by providing a summer camp experience where they meet new friends and build self-esteem.

“These are our kids, in our community, representing our future, who need us to believe in them” Noble says.

Registration is now open at for teams of 10 interested in having a fun night out with their friends, family and co-workers.

Noble concedes that some prospective participants may be initially hesitant to toss their hat in the ring because they perceive their trivia skills are lacking. But as they assemble a team of 10, they quickly realize that they’re collectively well-positioned to tackle the diverse questions as a group.

“In a team of 10, there’s always someone who knows something about any given topic,” Noble says.

Still not convinced? Gather a few of your co-workers around your computer and take a stab at the following four questions, courtesy of Paul Paquet of  Trivia Hall of Fame. Participants who get all four correct will be entered into a draw for a Google Home voice assistant.

Prizes at World Trivia Night itself include suites to watch the Ottawa Senators as well as the Toronto Blue Jays, an Air Canada gift card, passes for various team-building activities as well as a grand prize of $5,000, which last year’s winning team – The Sticky Buns – generously donated back to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa for the kids.