100 Years of Optimism

Optimist International in Canada

William (Bill) M. Skilling it the "father of Canadian Optimism". He was born in Ontario on August 20, 1889. Bill served in World War 1, but was injured and returned to Canada in 1917. Post war, he felt that "veterans and others needed Optimism as they attempted to rebuild their lives."

In 1923, he responded to an ad in the Toronto Globe "to help organize Optimist Clubs in Canada." In November 1923, Bill became the first Canadian Field Diretor of Optimist International. By January of 1924, he helped organize and charter the first Optimist Club outside of the US - The Optimist Club of Toronto. By June 1924, he helped charter the 2nd club in Canada - The Optimist Club of Hamilton. In December of 1924, Brantford became host to the 3rd Optimist Club in Canada.

Today Optimist International boasts 1,962 Club worldwide which includes 478 Canadian clubs and 149 Clubs in countries outside of the US and Canada.

Click here for more information on our 100 years in Canada.

Click here to read the "Golden Anniversary Celebration" book from 1974

Celebrating Optimism

What better way to celebrate 100 years of Optimism than to share the news of who we are with your friends. Optimist Clubs across Canada have contributed significantly to their communities. Please consider downloading the ready made mailer below and sending it out to your community!

Ready-made mailer for Mid-Western Optimist Clubs

Join an Optimist Club

Do you have ready access to the membership form? The link below takes you to an "Invitation to membership form". Share it with your friends and family today!

Click here to download a membership form