Annual Oratorical Contest


The Optimist Club of Oakville is pleased to host an annual Oratorical Contest. It provides youth with the opportunity to express themselves and gain confidence in their abilities to express themselves and has been a focus for the Optimist Club of Oakville since its inception. Optimist Clubs have hosted Oratorical Contests since 1928. Starting in 2016, Optimist International has partnered with St. Louis University to conduct the Optimist Oratorical World Championships, which gives students the opportunity to receive further scholarships. Competition begins at the local Optimist Club level, and continues through the Zone, District, Regional, and finally International levels, with cash prizes and scholarships awarded at most levels. The winner of the International Competition will accumulate scholarships totalling $22,500.00!

The Optimist Club of Oakville has completed our 2017-2018 Oratorical Contest, which was held on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018.  The topic for the 2017-18 Oratorical Contest was: Where are my Roots of Optimism? The 2017-18 Oratorical Contest Rules and Oratorical Application Form are available  as reference. Entrants must be under 18 years of age (as of October 1, 2017) and have not yet graduated from high school.

Please note that the completed application must be sent or delivered to the address shown below, together with a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate or passport, and received by the deadline for entries, Friday March 23rd, 2018.  An acknowledgement and confirmation of entry will be emailed on receipt of the application. As the first level of the Oratorical competition, speeches will be presented at the Oakville Optimist Club, at the Halton Safety Village, downstairs on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm. 

Any questions may be directed to the Contest Chair, Cathy DiMichele at

Oratorical Contest 2017-18
Competitors and Winners

Our Club Winner, Rory also won our Optimist Zone 3 competition.
She will now move on representing our Zone in the Central Ontario District 
Competition in Belleville on May 5th. Congratulations Rory!

Thank you to the participants, their families, our judges, club members who came out to support the contestants, and most of all our Oratorical Chair, Cathy DiMichele. Above is a photo of the six contestants with Cathy. Congratulations to all of you for an excellent competition. 



 In the top row, from left to right, our first place winner was Rory Banfalvi, second place was Cindy Lin, and third place was Jennifer Ge. Second row, left to right are competitors, Harveer Kalirai, Rahul Kak and Nitrate Kalirai. Congratulations to all of you! A special thank you to our Oratorical Chair Cathy DiMichele, for coordinating and running a tremendous evening - one I was sure was very difficult for the judges to decide. Each participant received a certificate and the three top winners also received cheques. Next our top two winners move on to compete in our Optimist Zone 3 Competition in Milton this year. The winner of that competition will move on to the District Competition in Belleville, and that winner goes on to compete in St. Louis, Missouri in the Regionals, and then as the Regional Winner in the World Competition.

Check out this short video about her experience with the Oratorical Competition from the winner of the 2017 Second Annual International Oratorical Contest. In total she has won over $22,500 in scholarships. Congratulations!