50th Anniversary of SOS Children's Villages Canada

Celebrating 50 Years of Caring for Children Worldwide

Children holding Canadian flagsIn 2019, SOS Children’s Villages Canada celebrates its 50th anniversary and 70 years of SOS Children’s Villages work internationally.

In 1969, a small group of committed individuals came together in Ottawa, Ontario, wanting to bring the vision and child care model of SOS Children’s Villages – providing family-like care to orphaned and abandoned children – to Canada.

From their kitchen tables, this group of volunteers took action to help the most vulnerable children here at home and abroad, raising awareness and funds across Canada.

The founding members were some of Canada’s leading public figures, including the former Executive Director of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Joe Messner, the Hon. Justice Emmet Hall, the Hon. Otto Lang, the Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauvé and the Hon. R. Gordon Fairweather. Together with other founding volunteers, they laid the foundation for SOS Children’s Villages Canada’s work of caring for vulnerable children worldwide and engaging Canadians in this important cause.

Today, SOS Children’s Villages Canada is part of a global movement that provides loving homes to children in need, strengthens families and protects children in times of crisis in more than 130 countries. 

Thanks to the dedication of countless individuals over the past 50 years, SOS Children’s Village Canada has been able to ensure that children have access to the long-term, quality care they need to thrive. “I am truly inspired by the people who support our cause and work tirelessly to make our vision – a loving home for every child – a reality,” says Thomas Bauer, President and CEO of SOS Children’s Villages Canada.

Join us as we build on our 50 years of service so children at risk of being left behind can grow up with love, respect and security. 

Hear from our Friends and Supporters

Read our congratulatory greetings and letters:

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SOS CEO with German/Austrian Ambassadors

German Ambassador Sparwasser, SOS Canada President and CEO Thomas Bauer, and Austrian Ambassador Dr. Pehringer.  


Faces for Fifty: Help celebrate 50 years of SOS Canada

Over the past 50 years, SOS Children’s Villages Canada has been shaped by the people, partnerships and communities who have supported our work – creating meaningful relationships and impact for the world’s most vulnerable children. Join us in celebrating our community of support by sharing your picture with our Faces for Fifty photo campaign.


Share a picture of yourself holding the #SOSCelebrates sign (download here) on social media, tag us and use the hashtag #SOSCelebrates. You can also send your picture directly to Rebecca at [email protected].

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Questions? Contact Rebecca Leikin, Coordinator of Special Events at [email protected] 

Submissions will be shared online. By submitting your photo through e-mail or Social Media, you grant  permission for SOS Children`s Villages Canada to use and  publish the photograph on the SOS Children’s Villages Canada social media and online channels to promote the work of SOS and the 50th Anniversary, and understand that the image may be seen to the public within and outside Canada.

Nation-wide 50th Anniversary Celebration Events

Map of Canada with 50 anniversary events

SOS Children’s Villages Canada will mark this historic milestone through a series of special anniversary celebrations in communities across the country.

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50th Anniversary Partners

Special thanks to our generous supporters in honour of SOS Children's Villages Canada's 50th anniversary:

Chelsea Hotel Toronto


Get Involved

  1. Donate now and make a difference in a child’s life today.
  2. Sign-up for our newsletter and receive the latest news on SOS Children’s Villages Canada’s 50th anniversary and how SOS Children's Villages is making a difference in the lives of children and families worldwide.
  3. Attend an event or learn more about how to get involved. From luncheons to concerts, there are many ways to support and celebrate the 50th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages Canada. Contact Rebecca Leikin, Special Events Coordinator, at [email protected] or 1-800-767-5111 ext. 539 for more information.