Volunteers are the backbone of any event, and include crowd control, registration, and merchandise selling at the entry-level, all the way up to Master of Ceremonies, Referees, and Volunteer Coordinator for those with many years of FIRST® experience. Every position is critical to the event’s success, ultimately creating a seamless and incredibly fun experience for the teams and spectators in attendance.
Official FIRST events, including FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expos, FIRST LEGO League Tournaments, and FIRST Robotics Competition District Events, generally run from November to April each year and are held in cities across Ontario and beyond, including right here in Ottawa! Learn more about FIRST events in the area.
Register to Volunteer
There are a few steps you’ll need to take to become an official FIRST Volunteer:
- Register for a FIRST account
- Complete your User Profile, as well as the Consent & Release Form
- Complete the Youth Protection Program screening
- Search for and Select an Event
- Submit your Application
Check out the full Step-by-Step Guide to Volunteer Registration for more detailed instructions. For more information regarding upcoming events, as well as the volunteer positions available, check out the programs listed below.
Youth Protection Program
To ensure the safety of all participants, mentors, volunteers and spectators, every volunteer must complete the Youth Protection Program. This includes a police background check every 4 years, as well as online training courses that cover topics like creating a safe environment, how to identify abuse, and the proper method to report code of conduct violations. For more information, please see the Canadian Section of the YPP Screening Guide, or the FIRST Resource Library.
Advice & Assistance
Our Executives have decades of combined FIRST experience, and they’re ready to provide advice and assistance to any new Volunteers! From registering, to choosing an Event, to finding the right role for you, our Executives can help walk you through the entire process. To get in touch with us, you can fill out our Contact Form, reach out to an Executive directly, or visit us in-person during our Office Hours.
Ontario FRC District Events
There are currently 11 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) District Events held across Ontario, running from Late February to Early April, including:
- Durham College District Event (Oshawa, ON) – February 28th to March 1st, 2020
- Georgian College District Event (Barrie, ON) – March 6th to 8th, 2020
- Humber College District Event (Toronto, ON) – March 6th to 8th, 2020
- Ryerson University District Event (Toronto, ON) – March 12th to 14th, 2020
- Carleton University District Event (Ottawa, ON) – March 13th to 15th, 2020
- University of Waterloo District Event (Waterloo, ON) – March 19th to 21st, 2020
- York University District Event (Toronto, ON) – March 20th to 22nd, 2020
- Windsor-Essex Great Lakes District Event (Windsor, ON) – March 26th to 28th, 2020
- North Bay District Event (North Bay, ON) – March 27th to 29th, 2020
- University of Western Ontario District Event (London, ON) – April 3rd to 5th, 2020
- McMaster University District Event (Hamilton, ON) – April 3rd to 5th, 2020
At the end of the regular season, top-ranked teams in the Ontario District are invited to attend the Ontario Provincial Championships at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga in mid-April. Teams that are successful at the Provincial Championship will then advance to the FIRST Championship in Detroit, Michigan at the end of April and represent Canada on the world stage.
CU FIRST Travel Grants
Are you a Carleton University student travelling to an Ontario FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) event to either Volunteer or Mentor a Team? If yes, CU FIRST wants to give you a helping hand!
From transportation to accommodations, travelling to a FIRST event outside of Ottawa to volunteer or mentor a FRC team can be quite expensive. That’s why we’re very excited to offer Carleton students some financial relief and officially open applications for our Volunteer & Mentor Travel Grants! Learn more about Travel Grants.
With many Volunteering opportunities outside of Ottawa, local FIRST Alumni, Mentors and Volunteers like to get involved and attend other District Events across province. To help lower transportation costs, CU FIRST is organizing carpools to events across Ontario this season for all FIRST volunteers living in and around Ottawa. If you are interested in participating in our carpooling program, either as a Driver or as a Passenger, please send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLL Qualifying Tournaments
Dozens of Qualifying Tournaments are held across Ontario each year from November to January. The Tournaments closest to Ottawa are:
- Ottawa FLL Qualifying Tournament (Ottawa, ON) – Date TBD
- Kingston FLL Qualifying Tournament (Kingston, ON) – Date TBD
- North Bay FLL Qualifying Tournament (North Bay, ON) – Date TBD
- Durham FLL Qualifying Tournament (Whitby, ON) – Date TBD
The winners from these qualifying tournaments will advance to either the East or West Ontario Provincial Championships, held in January/February:
- FLL Ontario Provincial Championship East (Oshawa, ON) – Date TBD
- FLL Ontario Provincial Championship West (Waterloo, ON) – Date TBD
FLL Jr. Expos
Several FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL Jr.) Expos are held across Ontario each year from November to January. The Expos closest to Ottawa are:
- Ottawa Winter FLL Jr. Expo – February (Exact Date TBD)
- Ottawa Off-Season FLL Jr. Expo – June (Exact Date TBD)
In addition, FLL Jr. teams are often invited to show off their projects at FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics Competition events across Ontario, which run from November to April