About PAL Ottawa

A non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in 2012, PAL Ottawa is a unique resource for arts professionals in all disciplines who, due to age-related challenges, disability, and/or low income struggle to maintain a decent standard of living in their senior years.

PAL Ottawa is the eighth chapter of PAL Canada, which, after its founding in 1986, led the way in creating affordable housing for artists and a volunteer colleague assistance program called Supporting Cast. Like all good ideas, the PAL concept has spread, spawning chapters in Halifax, Toronto, Stratford, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and, most recently, Ottawa. So far Toronto, Vancouver and Stratford have created affordable housing facilities; others are on the way.

Our long-term goal is to create a centre for arts professionals in all disciplines from across the Capital region, on both sides of the river. This centre will provide housing and other amenities such as studio, rehearsal and performance space, bringing artists together in fellowship to continue their journey as creators, performers, teachers and mentors.

Who we serve

PAL Ottawa is a vital resource—a lifeline—for arts professionals in all disciplines across the Capital region who, due to age, low income and, in some cases, disability, struggle to maintain a decent standard of living in their senior years. Whether their contributions have been in the realm of theatre, dance, music, visual, literary or media arts, most of these artists have lived on a below-average income all of their working lives. According to the Cultural HR Study 2010, released in December 2010 by the Cultural Human Resources Council,the average income for full-time performing arts workers is $17,137. These artists have enriched our community with their work, making Ottawa a lively and engaging city. Now it is time for the community to give back to them, ensuring they receive the assistance and fellowship they need to live free of isolation, want and fear.

Supporting Cast

We are equally committed to helping aging artists in the here and now, with much-needed services and programming. We do this primarily through Supporting Cast, a corps of trained volunteers who assist artists in need with the tasks of daily living and help them to retain their independence in their current home. Our services are expanding to include referrals, advocacy, and learning events on topics of concern to senior members of the arts community.


Project Funding




To provide seniors in the Capital who work(ed) in the arts sector with affordable housing and personal support in a creative, caring community.

Our Vision

Seniors residing in the Capital who work(ed) in the arts sector are assured of access to affordable housing and personal support in a creative, caring community – so they can continue to live, create and inspire.