Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa

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This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa enables life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people who are facing adversity and who are in need of an additional, consistent and supportive person in their lives. Volunteer mentors are intentionally recruited based on the needs of Ottawa’s youth and are professionally screened. The mentor, mentee and family receive training and are monitored and supported by a designated professional caseworker.

An incredible transformation takes place when a young mentee is matched with an adult mentor who expresses care, challenges their growth, provides support, shares power and expands their possibilities. These mentees build the life skills they need to be successful including social and self-awareness, responsible decision-making, self-management and relationship skills. We also see positive changes to their mental health, well-being, educational engagement and employment readiness. Together, each of these new skills and positive outcomes helps them realize their full potential.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa is very proud to be celebrating 50 years of creating these special mentoring relationships in the Ottawa community. Over the last half-century, our programs have grown from the traditional 1:1 Bigs community program to include young people in schools, youth in care, newcomer youth to Canada, Indigenous youth and young adults aged 18-24.

At a glance

Year founded: 1970

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa and Renfrew Country

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,201,124

Top funding sources: 

  • Government funding: 44%
  • Foundations and other charities: 31%
  • Corporate donors and events: 17%
  • Social enterprise: 5%
  • Individual donations: 3%
Mentor and mentee matches celebrated their one year milestone at our annual Big Shout Out awards ceremony.

How you can help


When you support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, you invest in a young person’s potential and shape the future of the Ottawa community. Your donation gives local young people facing adversity access to a supportive adult mentor who spends meaningful, consistent and dedicated one-on-one time with them. Your generous gift also gives mentor and mentee matches the opportunity to engage in activities together by accessing community and group events. To join our Big Supporters Club of monthly donors or to give a one-time gift, please visit or contact Monique at

Corporate engagement 

Partner with us to create employee volunteer opportunities or to sponsor a mentoring program/group event for our mentee and mentor matches. Fundraise by hosting a corporate golf or hockey tournament, barbeque, jeans day, bake sale or clothing drive. Corporate CEO’s can also participate as a “Big For a Day.”


BBBSO relies on the support of community volunteers to ensure that our programs are successful. We have many opportunities for individuals or groups to become involved in our organization and offer a variety of mentoring programs ranging in time commitment. There are also opportunities to support fundraising events, participate on our board of directors and on various committees.

Events and fundraising

Big Brothers Big Sisters Breakfast Fundraiser:

Join local business leaders for breakfast and make a life-changing gift to ignite the power and potential of Ottawa’s young people. Become a table captain and act as a BBBSO ambassador. 

All-Star Charity Golf Tournament hosted by Henry Burris:

Corporate teams of golfers are joined by a sports figure or local celebrity for a best ball golf tournament, with dinner to follow. Your support sends up to 300 youth from priority schools to the Henry Burris All-Star Kids Camp at TD Place Stadium. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Bowl For Kids Sake:

Our signature bowl-a-thon has a fun new theme each year. Corporate teams of up to six bowlers can enjoy teambuilding and networking while they compete to win the championship title. The evening includes a 50/50 draw, prizes, team photos and awards.

Clothes For Kids Sake:

Turn your unwanted clothing into dollars to help young people access supportive mentors. Corporate offices can host clothing drives or place a clothing donation bin on their property. 
Contact: Monique Flocco at or 613-247-4776 x 319

Board members and executives

Ingram and Villeneuve
Executive Director Susan Ingram (Left); Emily Villeneuve, chair of the board of directors

Tina Hill
Past-president, Greenspon Granger Hill Lawyers

Michel Collette
Treasurer, National Capital Commission

Timon LeDain
Co-secretary, Macadamian Technologies

Cindy McGann
Co-secretary, ProntoForms

Michael R. Foster
Canadian Blood Services 

Carl Cartright
Ottawa Police Service 

Mitchell Kutney

Paul Willetts
Vey Willetts LLP

Mitchell Carkner
IBM Canada

Dr. Rana Pishva
Ottawa Centre for Resilience

Norah Marsh

Jessica Ripley
Ottawa Police Service

Michael Qaqish
Algonquin College

Accredited by:

Imagine Canada

Get in touch

1645 Woodroffe Ave., Suite 12 
Ottawa, Ontario
K2G 1W2

Twitter: @BBBSO
Facebook: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa
Instagram: @bbbsottawa