COVID-19 Update

VO is recruiting and deploying volunteers to respond to the volunteer needs specific to COVID-19 in Ottawa, Prescott-Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County while ensuring proper screening and training protocals to safeguard the health of those volunteering and those they are assisting. Please see the intake portals for volunteers, for members, and for other agencies on our hompage. VO’s COVID 19 volunteer deployment program is supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Ottawa Community Foundation.

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10th Annual VOscars Awards Gala - Postponed


Please note that the 10th Annual VOscars Gala originally scheduled for April 23, 2020, has been postponed as a precautionary measure in response to the evolving public health situation with COVID-19 in the city. Volunteer Ottawa has made this decision in response to provincial and city recommendations to safeguard the health of those attending. A new date for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

The VOscars is a highlight of the year for the city’s volunteers and not-for-profits. The event celebrates Ottawa’s vibrant volunteer community and gives special recognition to those individuals, organizations and businesses that have made a difference in the community.

The 10th Annual VOscars Gala will be held on the evening of April 23rd, 2020 at Ottawa City Hall. 

To Purchase Tickets

Tickets to the 10th Annual VOscars Gala are available at a cost of $100. Click here to purchase tickets and/or tables of 8.

Sponsorship Opportunities

By sponsoring the VOscars corporations and businesses will be both supporting the cause of volunteerism and 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.

For information on sponsorship levels and benefits, click here.

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Every year VO presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to an outstanding Ottawa citizen who has devoted her/his life to giving back to the community. Previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include:

2011 – Max Keeping
2012 – Lawrence Greenspon
2013 – Grete Hale
2014 – Barbara McInnes
2015 – Jim Durrell
2016 – Coralie Lalonde
2017 – Dave Smith
2018 - James McCracken
2019 - Dennis Jackson

VO is pleased to be presenting this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Jacquelin Holzman, dedicated volunteer and community builder. Jacquelin has demonstrated her commitment to giving back to the community through her leadership and involvement with a wide range of social service agencies, charities and health institutions over her lifetime.

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 or that has built a successful volunteer program or promotes our community's diverse populations in volunteering?

It’s time to recognize those volunteers and supporters of volunteerism that make a difference in our community. See the Award categories and criteria below. Nominations must be submitted by February 12, 2020.

Award Categories and Criteria

This year’s VOscars Awards include:

  • Mayor's Award for Volunteer Spirit
  • Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award
  • Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award
  • Leadership in Corporate Volunteerism
  • Professional Leadership Award
  • 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

Outstanding 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
  • Has volunteered for more than three organizations for two or more years
  • Engages in, supports and encourages volunteerism in the community

Outstanding 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

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
  • Minimum of ten employees

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 not-for-profit organizations and the community
  • Be over 24 years old
  • Has volunteered for over five years
  • Has a professional certification/designation

Outstanding Volunteer Program Award

This Award is given to a not-for-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 not-profit or charity that recruits, engages and manages over 25 volunteers annually

The nominations are now closed.

For information on the 2019 VOscars Awards, click here.