Earlier this month, OCYI caught up with our new partner OrKidstra to see what this inspiring organization has been up to and to learn more about their preparations for the holiday season.
OrKidstra, an Ottawa-based social development program, has been empowering kids, ages 5-18, from under-served communities, since 2007. Using the universal language of music as an instrument of transformative change, OrKidstra helps kids enhance life skills, such as teamwork, commitment, respect and pride in achievement. With the passionate belief in the transformative power of music and the promise of children and youth, OrKidstra has grown from a small group of 27 students to an impressive group of 650 children and youth, both in-school and after-school, from over 62 linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
With this many students eager to learn and play instruments, OrKidstra is grateful for mentors like 2018 OrKidstra graduate Rinila who joined OrKidstra at the age of seven, the same year she immigrated from Mumbai. Now 22 and studying Biomedical Science at the University of Ottawa, Rinila still makes time to assist with OrKidstra’s beginner violin programming. “OrKidstra is my second family. It taught me core skills like leadership, discipline, and time management. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without OrKidstra.”
At the time OCYI connected with OrKidstra, the program was excitedly preparing for their free, annual, and live holiday concerts. The Vanier Hub Holiday Concert took place on December 7th and was a great success. The OrKidstra Centre Hub Holiday Concert, on December 15th, welcomed the public to experience the magic and music of OrKidstra live this holiday season.
When asked why OrKidstra has chosen to become an OCYI partner, Executive and Artistic Director Tina Fedeski says that the partnership is a natural fit. “OrKidstra and the Ottawa Child & Youth Initiative have a shared vision of helping children and youth reach their full potential. Our mission, to empower kids and build community through the universal language of music, is a great fit with the work of OCYI. We were pleased to become an OCYI Community Partner to continue growing our community-building, collaboration, and collective impact.”
To learn more about OrKidstra, donate, or get involved please visit their website: orkidstra.ca
See below photos from OrKidstra!