Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI)

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) supports approximately 6,800 Veterans in almost 1,400 long-term care facilities. The Royal Canadian Legion delivers the Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada. Through this partnership, the Legion facilitates face-to-face visits with these Veterans, providing them with an opportunity to have a social visit with a Legion volunteer and to raise concerns or identify needs that might be addressed by Veterans Affairs Canada. 

Become a volunteer with the OVI

If you are a Legion member, you can volunteer with OVI and make a difference in the lives of Veterans. Volunteers are selected based on the needs within the community, required skill sets, security screenings, and ability to travel to Ottawa for a one day training seminar. Calls for volunteers are sent by Dominion Command through both Provincial Commands and Legion Branches in areas of need.

Contact:
Gary Foster, Project Coordinator
Toll-free: 1-877-534-4666
gfoster@legion.ca

Other Veteran Visitation Programs Through Legion Branches

In addition to the national OVI program coordinated through Dominion Command, many Legion Branches across the country coordinate volunteer visits to Veterans in retirement and long-term care facilities in their community. These visits provide social interaction and a sense of community, and can help identify needs that the Legion may be able to assist with. Please contact your local Legion Branch for information on programs available through your Branch.

Frequently asked questions about the OVI

Why does the Legion, as a non-partisan organization advocating for Veterans, engage in contracts with the Government of Canada?

The Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in Canada, and we do not receive a dime of funding for our operations from the federal government. As a Veterans’ service organization, the Legion contracts services to the Government of Canada, such as the OVI. In contracting these services, the Legion is filling a gap the federal government is not able to fill. Thanks to our 275,000 members and over 1,400 Branches across Canada, the Legion is able to step up and ensure Veterans and their families receive the highest quality of service and care from the federal government.

The Legion does not profit from these contacted services; they are solely provided on a cost recovery basis.

Why was the Legion awarded the OVI contract?

This OVI contract from Veterans Affairs Canada was a publicly tendered contract. The Legion was awarded the contract because we are a national organization well positioned to administer a program of this size and scope, with a network of reliable, screened and trained volunteers across Canada who have previous experience in visiting Veterans in long term care facilities.

Where does the money from the OVI contract go?

The OVI contract from Veterans Affairs Canada covers the costs of administering, coordinating and delivering up to 7,000 visits to Veterans.

Which Veterans are served through this initiative?

Through the OVI, Legion volunteers visit Veterans who receiving financial support for long term care from Veterans Affairs Canada. 

How can I become a volunteer for the OVI?

OVI volunteers must be a Legion member and qualify through a screening process. Volunteers are selected based on the needs within the community, required skill sets, security screenings, and ability to travel. Volunteers take part in a one day training seminar in Ottawa delivered jointly by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Legion. Calls for volunteers are sent by Dominion Command through both Provincial Commands and Legion Branches in areas of need.

Contact:
Gary Foster, Project Coordinator
Toll-free: 1-877-534-4666
gfoster@legion.ca