The mission of Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation is to seek, receive and manage funds, real and personal property, and to hold and administer such property exclusively to support Optimist International and its member clubs in Canada promoting and encouraging Canadian youth.
Founded in March 1988, the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation is a Canadian charity recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency. Formerly known as the Optimist International Foundation of Canada, it only serves the interests of Canadian Optimist members.
All monies raised will remain in Canada and are distributed for purposes of funding, including OI Scholarships, Youth Club (JOI), OI Programs and Activities and the Optimist training offered to volunteers.
Canadians input has made the Foundation what it is today:
1988 – Under the Optimist International presidency of a Canadian, Ken Loach, the Optimist International Foundation of Canada (OIFC) was established and instantly became responsible of the Canadian territory.
1989 – Optimist International President Fernand Rondeau registers the OIFC with the Canada Revenue Agency.
2003 – President of both Foundations (American and Canadian), André Dubois, modifies the composition of the Board of Directors.
2005 – Under the presidency of Optimist International President Yves Berthiaume, the OIFC Board of Directors becomes entirely Canadian.
2006 – Brian Clements becomes the first OIFC President to have never been an Optimist International President.
2010 – The management of the OIFC is entirely transferred to Canada and managed from the Canadian Services Center. The Optimist International Foundation of Canada becomes officially the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation (CCOF) and changes logo at the same time.
2013 – The CCOF celebrates its 25th anniversary. CCOF was a partner in every regional conference in Canada. The Foundation adopts its 1st strategic plan and has been developing its marketing strategy.
2015 – Presidents of the two Optimist Foundations become advisory members of Optimist International Board of Directors.
2016 – The first Optimist International Oratorical World Championships take place at Saint Louis University.
2016-2017 – Nina Strickland, of Paris, Ontario, becomes the first female President of the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation.
2017 – The CCOF launch its Spread Relief program. The program includes projects focused on assisting children and families dealing with mental and physical health issues, and promoting and raising awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to inspire entire communities.