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 who never was 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.
2015 – Presidents of the two Optimist Foundations become advisory members of Optimist International Board of Directors
2016 – The first Optimist International Oratorical World Championships takes 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 launches 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.
2019 – After conducting a survey of members, the Foundation implemented a revised rewards and recognitions program.