About RCS Ottawa
WHO WE ARE
The Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society is a Canadian registered education charity, part of The Royal Commonwealth Society’s network of some 70 branches and affiliations in 40 countries, and some 10,000 members of the RCS worldwide.
The RCS Ottawa Branch is an independent branch, which is a member of RCS London and associated with RCS Canada. We were the first RCS branch in Canada and have operated our National Student Commonwealth Forum program for over 45 years .
Working within the broad framework of The Commonwealth Charter’s values, and the objectives of The Royal Commonwealth Society, RCS Ottawa works according to a strategic plan, the main goals of which are to:
Support and promote the principles and values of the Commonwealth and Canada’s role in it, while increasing membership and interest in the work of the Ottawa branch;
Promote youth empowerment, education, and advocacy about the Commonwealth, particularly within Canada’s youth and young leaders;
Build alliances and partnerships at the local, regional, national and international level, within a broad community of interests, to promote awareness of RCS Ottawa and its work to promote Commonwealth values and principles.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
RCS Ottawa embraces the aspirational thoughts of the Royal Commonwealth Society: that The Commonwealth is an important influence for good in the world, comprising 54 countries, representative of all geographic regions of the world and containing almost one-third of the world’s population. The value of this community lies in its great diversity of races, cultures, creeds, and political beliefs, as well as in its ability to communicate and act constructively for peaceful ends.
RCS Ottawa sees itself as contributing to a shared interest: that, united by English as a common working language, the member countries form a network of mutual assistance in many areas, including economic affairs, development, research, law, education, health, and communication. All member countries are equal and free to follow their own policies; all subscribe to a set of common ideals including equal rights for all citizens and the liberty of the individual, opposition to colonial domination, opposition to racial domination and oppression, and the realization of a fairer society. Unlike the majority rule of the United Nations, The Commonwealth priorities require the consensus of all 54 countries.
For more information on the Commonwealth of Nations, please visit this Wikipedia article. A list of the member countries can be found in this Wikipedia article.
WHAT WE DO
RCS Ottawa promotes understanding, empathy, and consensus by sharing information on The Commonwealth, its values, and its insights, inspiration, and innovations related to the issues that we face together, through the following:
- EDUCATION ENDOWMENTS: we have established bursaries for Commonwealth students at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Algonquin College;
- ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE on Commonwealth issues: (Interfaith Dialogue - religious similarities; "Commonwealth Conversation" speaker series; Commonwealth Judiciary Reception; a monthly newsletter; daily posts on social media. Please review our Event Calendar on the home page for local RCSO activity details; and
- ENGAGING AND EMPOWERING YOUTH as "Global Citizens" (National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF), The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition; Commonwealth Youth Awards; the Shakespeare on the Platform (SHOP) competition, biannual Commonwealth Youth Forum; alumni LinkedIn, and sharing NSCF practices with other RCS branches.
Our annual National Student Commonwealth Forum is a youth leadership program that was first started in 1973 to coincide with Canada’s hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Ottawa.
The RCS has a number of programs that are specifically directed towards young people. Click here for more information on the Youth leadership programs of the RCS.
"Find Your Voice" in the Shakespeare on the Platform (SHOP) competition, where it's not just what you say but how you say it. Ottawa high school students and schools compete for $1250 in prize money each November.