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Big Brothers Big Sister of Ottawa

Big Bros
Big Bros

What we do

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 Bigs 1:1 program to include programming for elementary and secondary school students, youth in care and young adults aged 18-24 with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

At a glance

Year founded: 1970  
Geographic region of focus: Ottawa and Renfrew County

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $1,194,132

Top funding sources:
  • Government funding: 45%
  • Foundations and other charities: 23.4%
  • Corporate donations and events: 18.1%
  • Social enterprise: 7%
  • Individual donations: 5.5%
  • Endowments: 1%



How you can help


More than ever, young people need your help. When you donate to 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 time with them. For every $1 donated, there is a social return on investment of $23 as our “Littles” grow up to be happy, successful adults who give back by volunteering or donating themselves. To make a one-time gift or monthly gift, please visit or contact


We are in need of volunteer mentors for both community-based and in-school program, with virtual options available. For as little as one hour a week, you can make a meaningful difference in the life of a child. There are also opportunities to volunteer for fundraising events, on our board of directors and on various committees.

Corporate giving

Power of Mentoring Project: Help youth aged 15-24 with career-readiness and skill-building by participating in facilitated 1:1 speed mentoring sessions.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Breakfast Fundraiser: Host breakfast at your home, office, other location or virtually. With our other fundraising events being cancelled, your support of this year’s BBBS breakfast is more important than ever.

Sponsorship and Event Donations: Sponsor a mentoring program, event, camp or recreational opportunity for our youth. You may also donate an item for a silent auction or raffle.

Holiday Hamper Program: Help our families over the holiday season by giving them a traditional holiday meal and/or holiday gifts for their child(ren).

Board members and executives

Susan and Jessica

Emily Villeneuve
Past-president, Augustine Bater Binks LLP

Paul Willets
Vice-president, Vey Willets LLP

Lindsay Ostrom
Treasurer, The Ottawa Hospital

Cindy McGann
Co-secretary, ProntoForms Inc.

Rana Pishva
Co-secretary, Ottawa Centre for Resilience

Mitchell Kutney

Mitchell Carkner

Michael Qaqish
Algonquin College

Matt Haddad
Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Colin Anderson

Jamie Kwong
Ottawa Music Industry Coalition

Toni Francis
Parliamentary Protective Services

Mark Zekulin
Happy Roots Foundation

Get in touch

12-1645 Woodroffe Ave.
Ottawa, Ont.
K2G 1W2

Twitter: @BBBSO
Facebook: /BBBSO
Instagram: @bbbsottawa