The Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation

The Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation became a reality on May 17, order 1983. The first Board of Governors consisted of three prominent Occupational Therapists: Karen Goldenberg, President; Dr. Thelma Cardwell, Vice President and Dr. Isobel Robinson, Secretary / Treasurer.

The purpose of the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation has always been to support research and scholarship in the field of occupational therapy. The Foundation’s focus has been on generating, receiving and maintaining funds and developing mechanisms for granting awards to individuals and organizations for research and scholarships.

From 1983 to 1995, COTF and CAOT shared office space in Toronto. When CAOT relocated to Ottawa in 1995, COTF remained in Toronto. However, a decision was made in 2002 for the Foundation to once again share office space with CAOT in order to foster a synergistic relationship which would benefit the entire occupational therapy community. Since 2004, COTF and CAOT share office space in Ottawa.


Meaningful daily occupation for all Canadians


To fund and promote scholarship and research in occupational therapy in Canada.


  • COTF is a vehicle for advancing the profession through research.

  • Research is a crucial element of evidence-based practice, which translates to best practice.

  • Research is an important investment in our profession’s future.

  • Research occurs both in academic and clinical settings.

  • Research needs to be national in scope and cover all the realms (different scopes/sub disciplines) of occupational therapy.

  • Profession shows leadership in its financial investment in research.

  • Public awareness of the profession is fundamental for fundraising.

  • COTF funded research is disseminated to members of the profession and the public.


Accountability: COTF considers that the Board, Executive Director and all staff to be accountable to donors, partners and recipients of awards and scholarships.

Honesty: COTF will conduct all interactions in a respectful and ethical manner which protects the privacy of its donors.

Fairness: COTF will demonstrate fairness in the processes that the Board establishes and respect for due process.

Transparency: COTF will create an environment that is accessible and responsive to donors, partners and the occupational therapy community.

Innovation: The COTF Board is committed to improving the operations of COTF by providing leadership to implement innovative practices to better serve its donors, partners and the occupational therapy community.


Meet fundraising targets.

Ensure funds raised are used in the best way to advance research and scholarship in the profession.

Build research capacity in occupational therapy.

Promote research in the profession.

Continue to function as an efficient and effective organization.

Maintain and develop effective stakeholder relations that promote and support COTF.

Be accountable to our donors.

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