Arts & Culture, Education


Music: the power to change lives!

OrKidstra is an Ottawa-based charity that empowers kids ages 5-18 and builds community through the universal language of music. We do this by providing children from under-served communities with free instruments and music lessons, which gives them the chance to learn essential life skills through playing and singing together.

Our Story

Founded in 2007, at the heart of OrKidstra is the beautiful combination of musicianship and citizenship. OrKidstra now includes over 600 children and youth, both in-school (funded by the school boards) and after-school, from over 62 linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In 2021, OrKidstra continues to help kids reach for success through music with its innovative OrKidstra @ Home online programming during this challenging time.

Our Impact

OrKidstra brings the joys and challenges of making music together to children who might otherwise be left out.

“When young people work together in orchestras, they learn skills that are valuable to our society. In addition to music, they learn discipline, respect, dedication, teamwork, listening skills and so much more. Our future is a lot brighter thanks to OrKidstra and the talented young people they nurture.” – Alexander Shelley, OrKidstra Ambassador and Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra

OrKidstra Success Stats:

  • Reaching over 600 Ottawa kids from under-served areas through our in-school and after-school programs;
  • Students from over 62 cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
  • 96% of OrKidstra students participate for free, including access to musical instruments such as viola, trombone, clarinet, violin, flute, cello, saxophone, and many others;
  • 100% of OrKidstra graduates have completed high school gone on to post-secondary education;
  • 88% of OrKidstra students feel more engaged with the community;
  • 95% of students feel they have improved their musicianship;
  • 90% of students feel they are doing better in school.

How your gift will be used

A charitable gift in your Will gives the gift of music to tomorrow’s youth.

“I feel that giving children a chance to explore the world of music is the most important gift I can give.” – Suzanne Drapeau, Visionary Legacy Donor

Your donation will be used to help provide kids from low-income families with access to instruments, music lessons, and community engagement opportunities, which gives them the chance to learn important life skills – such as teamwork, commitment, respect, and pride in achievement – through playing and singing together.

Music has the power to change lives: your visionary gift will help ensure that tomorrow’s youth have the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of music.

“When you donate to OrKidstra, you are helping to improve the quality of life for kids from under-served areas of our community AND you are sharing the precious gift of music with them. That’s an amazing gift.” – Declan, OrKidstra Graduate

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Charity details

Legal Name

OrKidstra-Sistema Ottawa

Charity Number

83246 7153 RR0001

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