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Recognizing Volunteers

The VOscarsVoscars

The VOscars is a highlight of the year for the city’s volunteers and non-profits. The event celebrates Ottawa’s vibrant volunteer community and gives special recognition to those individuals, organizations and businesses that have made a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

The 2017 VOscars will be held on April 26 at Ottawa City Hall. The ceremony will begin with a reception from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by presentation of the Awards.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Dave Smith – eminent Ottawa volunteer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. The ceremony will be hosted by well known Ottawa media personality Carol Anne Meehan.


VOscars - Per Ticket $75.00Register now
VOscars - Table of 8 $600.00Register now

Sponsorship Opportunities

By sponsoring this event you will be contributing to the causes of hundreds of non-profits and charities in the Ottawa region who rely on volunteers to achieve their missions- whether it is helping children in need, the disadvantaged, the homeless, people with disabilities or any number of causes that are represented in the city. VO currently offers three levels of sponsorship; Diamond, Emerald and Ruby sponsorship. For more information on how you can support the 2017 VOscars click here.

Call for Nominations

Do you know someone who exemplifies the spirit of volunteering? Do you know a young person or senior who has made a significant contribution to our community through their volunteering efforts? Do you know a corporation, business or organization that supports volunteering among its employees, that successfully promotes diversity in volunteering, that built a successful volunteer program?

Click here to submit a nomination 

The deadline for volunteer nominations is March 3rd, 2017.

Award Categories and Criteria

This year’s VOscars Awards include:

  • Mayor’s Award for Volunteer Spirit
  • Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award
  • Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award
  • Professional Leadership Award
  • Leadership in Corporate Volunteerism
  • Leadership in Collaborative Volunteerism
  • Leadership in Volunteer Diversity
  • Outstanding Volunteer Program Award

Mayor's Award for Volunteer Spirit

This Award is given to an individual or group of individuals that best exemplifies the spirit of volunteering in Ottawa. 

Candidate requirements: 

  • Dedicates significant time volunteering on a regular basis
  • Has made a meaningful impact in the community through volunteering 
  • Promotes volunteering in the community

Youth Volunteer Award

Nominees in this category are young people in the community who have made a significant contribution through their volunteer efforts.

Candidate requirements:

  • Be between 15 and 24 years old
  • Engages in, supports and encourages volunteerism in the community

Senior Volunteer Award 

This Award is given to a senior citizen who has made a meaningful impact in the community through their volunteer efforts.

Candidate requirements: 

  • Be over the age of 60 years old
  • Dedicates significant time volunteering on a regular basis
  • Has made a meaningful impact in the community through volunteering 

Professional Leadership Award 

Nominees in this category have dedicated their professional skills in providing leadership, supporting volunteerism and giving back to the community.

Candidate requirements:

  • An Ottawa professional who has volunteered their professional skills and experience to benefit non-profit and charity organizations and the community for over five years

Leadership in Corporate Volunteerism

Nominees in this category are corporations and businesses that demonstrate social responsibility practices by supporting volunteering among its employees.

Candidate requirements:

  • A business or corporation located in the Ottawa region
  • Encourages employees to volunteer and give back to the community 
  • Has a comprehensive, successful employee engagement program to support employee volunteerism 

Leadership in Collaborative Volunteerism

This Award is given to a business or organization that dedicates its volunteer efforts to bringing people and/or organizations together in the interests of volunteerism.

Candidate requirements:

  • Uses a collaborative approach to impact the community through volunteerism
  • Builds relationships and partnerships to enhance the value of volunteering efforts

Leadership in Volunteer Diversity 

Nominees in this category include individuals or organizations who have successfully promoted diversity in volunteering.

Candidate requirements:

Individual or organization that promotes supports and/or engages our community’s diverse populations in volunteering defined as:

  • Seniors
  • People with Disabilities
  • New Canadians and culturally and linguistically diverse populations and
  • Youth

Outstanding Volunteer Program Award 

This Award is given to a non-profit organization in the Ottawa region that has built a successful, thriving volunteer program based on effective volunteer management principles and practices.  

Candidate requirements:

  • An Ottawa non-profit or charity that recruits, engages and manages over 50 volunteers annually 

Click here to submit a nomination 

Click here for information on the 2016 VOscars