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Photo by Alex Katayama

Soup Ottawa: serving up a better city, one bowl at a time—10.25.18

By Apartment613 on October 19, 2018

Post by Alex Katayama, who is involved with various non-profits across the city, including as a volunteer for Soup Ottawa. 


October 25th will mark the 17th iteration of Soup Ottawa, a volunteer-driven experiment in civic engagement that mixes micro-funding with direct democracy. It will be held at the Montgomery Legion on 330 Kent Street.

If you have never attended a Soup Ottawa event before, the steps for attending are simple:

  1. Bring $10 cash at the door. This gets you a bowl of soup and a vote.
  2. Listen to the project presentations
  3. Vote for the most inspiring project

The winning project receives the money raised immediately after votes are tallied.

…an opportunity promote the positive impact dance can make in people’s lives in a battle format.

Soup Ottawa is unique in that it is a cash-only, zero-overhead organization where 100% of funds raised goes directly to the winning project. Since 2013, Soup Ottawa has raised thousands of dollars for initiatives across the Ottawa region. Its story is proof that you don’t need a lot of money (or any money, in this case) to make an impact in the community.

As an organisation, Soup Ottawa has few restrictions on applicant eligibility. The only requirements are that projects promote the “the good” and that they also be achievable. This approach means that Soup events tend to attract unique projects that would otherwise have no other avenues of funding. The October 25th event will be no different.

When asked why they were interested in presenting at Soup Ottawa, Camps for Children’s Lewis Han said that “Soup Ottawa attracts an audience that is extremely passionate on community building so it’s a great way to network with like-minded people.”

Similarly, Th3rd Fridays, who will also be pitching their dance battle program told us that Soup Ottawa events provide “an opportunity promote the positive impact dance can make in people’s lives in a battle format.”

Soup Ottawa relies on the generosity of local businesses and the community to donate soup, bread, venues, and equipment. Its events are open to the public; the more people who attend, the more money they can raise.

Soup Ottawa #17 will feature the following projects:

  • Camps for Children – Camps for Children creates free and accessible recreational programmes for low-income youths.
  • Th3rd Fridays – A monthly dance program held every 3rd Friday of the month that takes the elements of hip-hop culture and brings it to the public.
  • The Everyday Parent Project – Parents helping parents trying to raise good humans.
  • Helping With Furniture – An organization that turns empty dwellings into homes that picks up donated, gently-used furniture and household items and deliver them.

Visit Soup Ottawa’s website to reserve your tickets. The 17th Soup Ottawa takes place at 6pm at the Montgomery Legion (330 Kent Street) on Thursday, October 25th. Bring $10 cash.