News & Special Events

Mothercraft News

2014 Touch A Truck Event

2012 Touch-A-Truck: Big Trucks, Horns, Sirens and Smiling Faces!

Mothercraft Ottawa is delighted to announce receipt of funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for the Parents As Teachers Social Enterprise Project

Donations Needed for Birth and Parent Companion Program

Birth and Parent Companion Program is recruiting new companions!

      Mothercraft Archives

Thank you to St. Paul's United Church for its Angel Tree Initiative

Gingerbread Event on hiatus for 2012

Touch A Truck - May 29, 2011

The Gingerbread Event with Santa, Junk Yard Symphony and Loads of Fun

Mexx Canada - Sleeper Drive

Local Nursing Heroes, Milkface, Come Through for Nursing Moms

Warm Babies Project - ONS Gear, teams up with Mothercraft on Facebook!

Shake Rattle and Roll with Beanfest

Breastfeeding Challenge

Parents as Teachers Wins Trillium Support for Social Enterprise

Touch a Truck  *** NEW DATE*** July 18th, 2010

Birth Companion Awarded Community Builder Recognition from United Way Centraid Ottawa

Mortgages for Mothercraft Program Underway


2012 Touch-A-Truck: Big Trucks, Horns, Sirens and Smiling Faces!

Mark Sunday, June 10th, 10am to 3pm, on your calendars for family fun. Come to Touch-A-Truck at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, 2525 Carling, to see big trucks, and hear horns and sirens that will put smiles on your faces. $6 per person, with children under one free. Click here for more information. All proceeds support programs by Mothercraft Ottawa.

Mothercraft Ottawa is delighted to announce receipt of funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for the Parents As Teachers Social Enterprise Project


The Parents As Teachers (PAT) Social Enterprise partners have successfully completed, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, development and piloting of new materials intended to be the basis/product of this parenting-support-based Social Enterprise. This project will allow research-based parent education (PAT) to be delivered by an array of child development-focused agencies across the Ottawa area. The four newly developed workshop series entitled Brain Boosters will be delivered by certified, experienced, parent educators trained in the PAT curriculum. Bringing the Social Enterprise to fruition through this bridge funding will allow the service delivery and markethold to be established and solidified, ensuring that researched-based parenting support will be available to parents throughout Ottawa.

Thank you to St. Paul's United Church for its Angel Tree Initiative

The Birth and Parent Companion Program would like to thank St. Paul's United Church for its Angel Tree initiative. The congregation came together to provide gifts to 26 families in need who took part in the Birth and Parent Companion Program.

Gingerbread Event on hiatus for 2012

Mothercraft Ottawa's Gingerbread Event is on hiatus for 2012 and will be re-examined next year by our Board of Directors.

Donations Needed for Birth and Parent Companion Program

The Birth and Parent Companion Program offers free one-on-one support to women during pregnancy and parenting stages. Birth Companions offer prenatal, labour and postpartum support to women who are under-supported. The Parent Companion Program is a mentorship program like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, but with parents, so it's a match between a new parent and a more veteran parent. All of our program participants are of lower income and do not have much extra money for supplies. We have a donation cupboard at our office with limited space (so we cannot usually take on bigger items unless requested).

Items needed:

- a double stroller, specifically one that is front-back, so that someone can take two small ones on the bus.

- regular stroller, appropriate for an infant.

- baby boy/gender neutral clothes for newborn to 9 months.

- nursing bras. (We are very fortunate to receive regular donations from Milkface but often are missing more popular sizes.)

- baby blankets.

- books appropriate for children aged 0 to 5 years old.

- paper diapers, newborn to size 3. We have plenty of lovely cloth diapers at the moment, but many of our participants prefer paper diapers.

If you have any of these items or have any questions, please feel free to contact Lili via email or phone 613-728-1839, ext. 289.

Birth and Parent Companion Program is recruiting new companions!

The next training sessions are in October 2011. We are especially looking for bilingual volunteers. For more information, click here.

     Mothercraft Archives

Get Your Engines Started ... It's Time for Touch-A-Truck!

Come join us at Touch-A-Truck, for a fun family day of honking horns and smiling faces! The date is May 29, 2011, from 10am to 3pm, at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, 2525 Carling Avenue.  The cost is $5.00 per person, to a maximum of $20.00 per family. All proceeds support the programs of Mothercraft Ottawa.

Gingerbread 2010 is Here!

Join Mothercraft for our 20th Annual Gingerbread Event.  We have entertainment from Junk Yard Symphony and Santa coming to join us for a sweet afternoon.  Won't you come too?  For more information, see the Gingerbread Page.

Mexx Canada - Sleeper Drive

Inspired by a cold autumn, the staff of Ottawa's Mexx stores have rallied to raise a donation of sleepers for Mothercraft to share with families in need through the Birth and Parent Companion Program.  Thanks, Mexx Ottawa!

Milkface comes through for Nursing Moms

Many thanks to Milkface for their generous donation of nearly $800 in Le Leche League Nursing Bras for breastfeeding moms in our Birth and Parent Companion Program.  Milkface is so generous in its support of mothers in their efforts to nurse in comfort and style, and we appreciate being able to share these donations with vulnerable moms who may not otherwise have access to such high quality items.

Warm Babies Project with ONS Gear

ONS GEAR, a local children’s clothing company, teamed up with Mothercraft Ottawa for a Warm Babies Project in October, in support of families in need in our community.

During the month of October, for every new “fan” who liked ONS GEAR on Facebook, ONS GEAR donated one ONESIE STRETCH-ON to Mothercraft’s Birth and Parent Companion Program. 1 like = 1 onesie donated.

In total, 238 onesies were donated, keeping 238 babies in Ottawa a little warmer this winter with an extra layer of clothing.

“This charitable campaign was a huge success” said Michael Evans, president of ONS GEAR. “We are committed to helping families in our own community and are considering making our Warm Babies Project an annual event.”

ONESIE STRETCH-ONS are an innovative undershirt for babies, with extra stretchy fabric on the lower, so they span over two sizes.

As parents themselves, Michael and Crystal Evans of Ottawa started ONS GEAR, a company dedicated to putting a much needed innovative spin on children’s clothing and accessories. Their most popular product is their MITT-ONS, innovative mittens for active children. With a fleece sleeve to the elbow, MITT-ONS stay on and stop snow from getting in, solving the age-old problem of cold and wet wrists and hands. To learn more about ONS GEAR and its other innovative products, visit


Mothercraft Ottawa and The Children's Village of Ottawa-Carleton were the recipients this year of Bean Fest, the fabulous rock and roll extravaganza hosted by the Elvis Sighting Society.  A wonderful night of eating, hobknobing and fundraising ensued with the awesome tunes of The Kingmakers.  Thanks to all at the ESS.

Breastfeeding Challenge

On Saturday, October 2, 2010, at 11am, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, mothers and babies at sites across Canada and other parts of the world will compete to set the record for the most babies breastfed at one time, in one location. In Ottawa we are thrilled to announce that the Breastfeeding Challenge’s main site will once again be Billings Bridge Shopping Centre.

2009 was an enormous success with over 7,000 babies participating in 19 countries around the world. Ottawa placed third for the largest site with 125 babies breastfeeding. This event has been more and more successful each year. We hope to break this record in 2010!

Why this challenge? Breastfeeding has many well-documented benefits including better health for both mothers and babies. However, many women fail to meet their own breastfeeding goals and wean their children prematurely, well before meeting recommended guidelines. Two of the biggest hurdles for mothers continue to be lack of support and marginalization by the community. In North America this lack of support is demonstrated as many women find breastfeeding in public a major barrier.

Come out and Join us on Oct 2nd and celebrate.

In Ottawa the Challenge is supported by Ottawa Public Health, La Leche League, Mothercraft Ottawa, St. Mary’s Home, Milkface, Somerset West CHC, Montfort Hospital, Queensway Carlton Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, CHEO, KISS FM and the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre.

Parent Companion Recruiting

Would you like to use your parenting experience to  help a family develop their parenting skills through becoming a parenting mentor? 

Mothercraft Ottawa is offering our 2-evening training for Parent Companion volunteers starting  September  14th, training will run again in November 2010.   This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with another family, reap the rewards of mentoring and support the healthy development of children in our community.

Your schedule is flexible and we have participants waiting to be matched with volunteers across the city.

Parent Companions (PCs) work with clients to translate needs into opportunities.  Parent Companions assist parents with developing their parenting skills and resources,  in developing short and long term goals and provide a caring ear through their companionship.  

This program is a mutually enjoyable, constructive and positive way to reduce risk for mothers and children and help them to self-determine their way into a happier future.

Contact Lili Kondo:

Touch a Truck Volunteers

Youth, Families and Groups welcome!  Flexible Shifts between 6 am and 5pm on July 18th at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre.

See our Posting on Volunteer Ottawa  or email for more info!

Parents As Teachers-Ottawa Embarks on Social Enterprise Thanks to a $68,500 OTF Grant

Parents As Teachers-Ottawa is embarking on a new Social Enterprise plan, thanks to a $68,500 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). 

“This grant will make a tremendous difference in our community by giving Parents as Teachers the resources to reach more families,” said MPP Yasir Naqvi.  “This means our kids are learning more and at a younger age, giving them a better chance at success in the future.”

The OTF grant will be used to develop a Social Enterprise that is a strategic solution to the sustainability of this award winning parenting support program in the Ottawa and surrounding rural areas.  Three (3) fee for service components will be developed and shared in order to generate an alternative source of income to sustain the coordination of PAT- Ottawa, the critical community partnerships and the service to the “at risk” population.  

Parents As Teachers (PAT) is a parent education and family support program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten.  Parents are supported by PAT certified parent educators trained to translate scientific information on early brain development into specific when, what, how and why information for families.  By understanding what to expect during each stage of development, parents can easily capture the teachable moments in everyday life to enhance their child’s language development, intellectual growth, social development and motor skills.

A leading grant- maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives.  An agency of the Govt. of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

Get your Engines Started, its Time for Touch a Truck!

How Much: $5.00 per person,
Maximum Charge per family: $20.00
(up to 2 adults and children)
Where: Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre
2525 Carling Ave
When: 9am-2pm Sunday July 18th, 2010

Join The Mothercraft Page on Facebook to stay in the loop on new performers and exciting developments for Touch a Truck (event page) this year!

Each year thousands of children and their parents come to honk horns and climb on board the big trucks we see every day in our community!  Drivers love to show their trucks off and regale the children with tale of driving truck and the day is filled with excitement for all.

Special appearances by the Power of Dads strong man, Gerry the Giraffe, the Rideau Valley Roller Girls and other special guests keep the day lively, and when a cool down and relaxing time is in order, kids can enjoy the free craft area and have their face painted indoors in the Atrium.

This marvellous opportunity generously hosted by our partners, RioCan at the Lincoln Fields shopping Centre on Carling Avenue.   The front lot is filled with about 60 vehicles from construction to towing, and agriculture to armed forces.  Busters Bar and grill provides a delicious bar-be-cue to satisfy any appetite, and good times are rounded out with live entertainment with kids in mind.  Families enjoy a fun filled day which is kept financially accessible through the generous donations of our sponsors.


Birth Companion Volunteer Shannon MacFarlane wins a Community Builder Award from United Way/Centraide Ottawa

United Way/Centraide Ottawa honours Ottawa’s outstanding volunteers through its Community Builder Award program — those organizations, partnerships, agencies, neighbourhood groups and individuals who work tirelessly, passionately and collaboratively to make Ottawa a better place in which to live, work and raise a family

Community Builder Awards

Shannon McFarlane
Shannon is a valued volunteer with Mothercraft’s Birth and Parent Companion Program (BPCP). As a volunteer at BPCP, Shannon provides one-on-one support to at-risk expectant women during pregnancy, labour and childbirth, as well as the early months of parenting. Although she has a family of her own and works full time as a doula, Shannon is always ready to accept a match from BPCP. Shannon has donated pregnancy photography to the women in the program who otherwise would never be able to afford such a luxury.


Gingerbread 2009 a Magical Day Shared with the Community

Did you notice a little extra joy in the air this year?  You may well have because this year we did something a little different at Mothercraft, we took this amazing event that for many years has been a cornerstone of our fundraising efforts, and we gave approximately half of the seats away to low income children and their families.

Mothercraft has always provided seating through sponsorship for such families, and it has been a real enrichment to the event and to our contribution to the community.  This year we decided to open it right up.   It was such a pleasure to be able to share this event with so many families who could not have otherwise come.  Thanks to the agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club, Christie Lake Kids, Cauldwell Family House, and the many others who helped make this expereince possible.

Our gratittude to our faithful and amazing core sponsors: Rogers TV; The Ottawa Citizen; Loblaws and Create-a-Treat.

Gingerbread 2009 Report


Important Announcement for Breastfeeding Mothers and the Professionals that Support them

Mothercraft Ottawa is currently hosting the Breastfeeding Drop-ins that would normally take place at Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre and Carlington Community Health Centre.  We are happy to help out to ensure this essential service continues to be available to mothers while our Public Health system is so busy with H1N1.   This change will be in effect until further notice.  For more information please contact Mothercraft Ottawa 613-728-1839.

Breastfeeding Drop-in
1:00 to 3:30
Temporarily hosted for Pinecrest- Queensway CHC

Breastfeeding Drop-in
12:30 to 3:00
Temporarily hosted for Carlington CHC

We continue to offer the usual drop-in at the Early Years Centre

1:30 - 3:30

Best Start

Best Start is a province-wide imitiative that will bring greater collaboration between services for young children and their families.  Mothercraft's Ontario Early Year's Centre is leading the Ottawa Centre Community in redefining services for families with children 6 years and under.  Working with families, schools and service providers in Carleton Heights, Centretown, Dalhousie, Glebe, Ottawa West and Westboro, we are working  to increase access to services in each of these six neighbourhoods.  See Best Start Initiative for more info.

Mortgages for Mothercraft

Mothercraft parent and Mortgage broker, Amanda Farris, has generously offered to make a donation of $200.00 for each mortgage she helps anyone mentioning Mothercraft attain.  The receipt will be in the name of the mortgagee, and the proceeds will go directly to our playground renewal project!   For more information, please see the attached flyer, and call Amanda, brokers are a wonderful way to know your options and get the best deal!  Share this exciting opportunity with your friends and family!

Mothercraft Ottawa Hosts PAT

The Parents as Teachers Program is an innovative parenting support and early literacy program with a solid track record which has been offered in our area since 2005.  Mothercraft Ottawa is pleased to now host the coordination of this program for the region.  For more intformation about PAT, please see our Parents as Teachers page. 

Blue Celery Partnership Brings Slings and Funds to Mothercraft

In a demonstration of great generosity, Blue Celery slings owner and Mothercraft Parent, Colleen Colley has entered into partnership with the Birth and Parent Companion Program which will make slings available to mothers in need and provide evenue to the program too!  For details on this endeavour, please see the BPCP News.

UsTIme Partnership Helps Mothercraft with Perfect Holiday Gift Fundraising Initiative!

Kathleen Guy, local Child development expert and entrepenuer has delighted Mothercraft's children with the introduction of plush early literacy toy, KT Cat.   Currently available exclusively at Play Value, $2 from the puchase of each KT Cat with help support the work of the Birth and Parent Companion Program at Mothercraft.

KT Cat Release
KT Cat Poster

Getting Ready for Touch-a-Truck 2009!

Mark the date, Father's Day 2009 is June 21st at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre on Carling at the Parkway- that means you can look forward to another great day of big trucks and big fun at Touch-a-Truck! 

Do yo have a truck you'd like to share with the kids?  Would you like to Sponsor or volunteer?  Please email, we'd love to hear from you!

To read about Touch-a-Truck 2008, check out this report.
2009 Touch-a-Truck Poster
Want to bring your BIG TRUCK?  Contact us and/or fill in this Registration Form.

Another great year for Gingerbread !

A sold out year for the 2008 Gingerbread Event, which means great things for the Birth and Parent Companion Program.  Thank you to all who helped to make this possible!

2008 Gingerbread Report

Video Clip - by Ron Eade

Three Cheers for our Celebrity Judges!

Ron Eade, Ottawa Citizen Food Editor; Patrick Garland, Chef/owner of Absinthe Restobar; Nelson Borges, Executive Chef of The Westin Ottawa; Derek Benitz, Chef/owner Benitz Bisto; T.L. Rader, Co-Host Daytime on Rogers; Derick Fage, Co-Host Daytime on Rogers; Councillor Christine Leadman; Cheryl Mousseau, The Co-Operators; Max Keeping, CTV News Anchor; and Paul Dewar, M.P. Ottawa Centre

Many thanks to our sponsors that make this event possible!
Event Sponsors:

Rogers Television, The Ottawa Citizen, Loblaws, Create-a-Treat, Tudor Hall, Scotiabank

Community Builder Sponsors:

RioCan/Westgate Shopping Centre, Dundee Wealth Management, The Cooperators

Children's Table Sponsors:

Blue Celery Inc, Nelligan, O'Brien, Payne, R.G Packman and Associates, The Candy Store, Deloitte, Collected Works, The Village Quire/Kitchenalia, LiveWell Health

Volunteer Care Sponsors:

Back in Balance Chiropractic, Metta Massage and Yoga Studio, Earl Bullis, Bridgehead, Jiffy PhotoEntertainment