About Us

Rotary Club of Kenora

It was less than 15 short years after the first Rotary club was formed in Chicago that nine intrepid businessmen in Kenora began to consider the concept of a service club in their small town. They had been exposed to such clubs when their business took them to Winnipeg and Thunder Bay and in 1920 the concept took root. Over the years the Rotary Club of Kenora has had thousands of members and, more significantly, ninety presidents prepared to dedicate one year of their lives as leaders in the community. All have embraced the challenges of raising funds and investing them in local and international projects.


In the early days, funds were raised for community facilities and there have been “bricks and mortar” projects continuously since then.


In 1955 the club found funds for braces for a young handicapped boy in the Kenora area and so began a string of projects helping handicapped children. Kenora Rotary has a commendable record of support for the Youth Drop-In Centre in Kenora and similar projects over the years.


Rotary Kenora has been a staunch supporter of the arts, with an annual contribution to the Festival of the Arts, sponsorship of live, culture performances like the Harbourfront Concert series, and many visits of the Thunder Bay Symphony and it has made many contributions to the development of the Heritage Murals.


Rotary Kenora introduced student exchanges to Kenora in 1976 and they have sponsored no less than 52 student exchanges since then. Twenty-six students from Kenora have gone to Australia, Europe, South America, and Japan, while twenty six have come from the same countries to spend a year in Kenora.

As Rotary International matured, its focus matured beyond creating clubs around the world and it began sponsoring projects in third-world countries and so it was with the Rotary Club of Kenora. Acknowledging that there are people in small, far-flung communities with greater needs than our communities have ever known, Rotary Kenora funded water projects, eye-care services, medical facilities, schools and many other services that have changed the lives of people in homes far away.


The Rotary Goodwill Geyser on the Harbourfront of Kenora stands as a monument to the Rotary Club of Kenora’s commitment to the many international projects it has done. For many years the club has invested in clean drinking water in third-world communities. Blessed with an abundance of water in Lake of the Woods, Rotary Kenora raised the Goodwill Geyser to acknowledge these projects and the good fortune that residents in the Kenora area enjoy.