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2024 Optimist Club of Calgary Oratorical Scholarship Contest

December 28, 2023 @ 8:00 am - February 25, 2024 @ 5:00 pm


Attention all Students –  Here’s your chance to win a Scholarship!

The Optimist Club of Calgary is again sponsoring an Oratorical Scholarship Contest for the 2023-24 school year.  The contest is open to students who are under 19 years of age on October 1, 2023. Speakers will research, write and present a four-to-five-minute speech on the topic, “How to Change the World With Optimism.”  We encourage students who have public speaking experience through school, church, Guides and Scouts, 4-H, Air Cadets, and other organizations and training programs to enter.

Entries will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on December 28th, 2023 until February 25, 2024.  Note – More details on contest rules and an application form will be posted on this website in mid-December.

Entries for the contest should be submitted by e-mail to Bob Steele (Essay and Oratorical Contest Chair) at ironmanb@telusplanet.net  with the Subject “Oratorical Contest”. The entry must include a completed application form, signed by the entrant and his/her parent, a copy of proof of age, and a brief statement of the school, grade attended, and previous speaking experience.

The contest will have a maximum of ten contestants.  The actual speaking event will be held in Calgary sometime in mid-March, with a date and location yet to be determined.


Beginning in 1928, the Optimist International Oratorical Scholarship Contest has become the longest-running program of Optimist International  The contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with an opportunity to compete for multiple post-secondary scholarships with a pre-assigned topic.

  • CLUB CONTEST – Mid-March 2024 – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place participants receive a cash award and a certificate.  1st and 2nd place participants get the opportunity to compete in the Zone Oratorical Contest
  • ZONE CONTEST (Alberta) – late March 2024 – 1st and 2nd place participants receive a plaque and the opportunity to compete in the District Oratorical Contest in Calgary on May 4th, 2024
  • DISTRICT CONTEST (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, and NW Wyoming) – May 4th, 2024, Calgary – 1st place winner receives a $2,500 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the Regional Oratorical Contest
  • GREAT PLAINS REGIONAL CONTEST– July 2024, St. Louis, Missouri – 1st place winner receives a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete in the World Oratricical Contest
  • WORLD CONTEST – July 2024, St. Louis, Missouri – 1st place winner receives a $15,000 scholarship

For more information on the Oratorical Contest, check out our website at https://optimistyyc.org/contests/ or the Optimist International Website by CLICKING HERE.


Pictures from our Optimist Club of Calgary 2023 Oratorical Contest at the Fish Creek Library on March 18th.  Pictured above from left to right:  Oratorical and Essay Contest Chair Bob Steele; Judges Joanne Smith, Tuka Ali, Cheryl Isnor, and Joelle Church; and Club President Bill Campbell

Pictures from the 2023 Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, and NW Wyoming (AMS&NW) District 13 Optimist Oratorical Contest in Medicine Hat on May 6th.  The contestants were from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana.

Caroline G. from Western Canada High School in Calgary was the 1st Place Winner.  She won a $2,500 scholarship at the District competition and the opportunity to compete at the Optimist International Regional and World Championships on July 20th and 21st, 2023 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Caroline is pictured above with her father Jason on the left, and Optimist Club President Bill Campbell on the right.

Well done Caroline!  We are proud of you.



December 28 @ 8:00 am
February 25, 2024 @ 5:00 pm
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