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Kin Canada History

Kin Canada has a proud history. Founded in 1920 by Hal Rogers, Kin Canada has touched lives both in Canada and in countries across the globe. Read on for highlights throughout the decades and visit our Milk for Britain history page, which outlines Kin Canada's World War II wartime project.

The 20s and 30s

  1926 Nine cities across Canada charter Kinsmen clubs.

  1929 24 Kinsmen clubs are formed into five districts under Governors and District officers.

The 40s and 50s


  1945 The Association grows to include 150 clubs across the country.

  1956 The Association now includes 300 clubs across the country.

The 60s and 70s

  1970 The Association celebrates its 50th anniversary by raising $400,000 to assist in the construction of the Kinsmen National Institute of Mental Retardation at York University.

  1975 The Association includes 500 clubs with 16,000 members.

  1980 The National Headquarters is opened, a three-story, 14,000 sq. ft. building in Cambridge, Ontario.

  1983 Kinettes are made full partners of the Association.

  1986 Kin members assist wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen on the final stretch of his world journey.

  1991 The Association changes its name to the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Canada

  1993 "Raise the Flag!" day promotes Kin's national pride and encourages Canadians to show their love for Canada by raising and flying flags.

  1999 Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin Clubs raise more than $25 million for service projects.

The upper age limit is eliminated as a qualification for active membership.

  2002 Kinsmen raise over $73,000 for the Hay West project. The project helped transport hay from Eastern Canada to the drought-stricken fields of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

 2003 BBQ Canada supports the ailing beef industry in Canada. On Labor Day, Kin clubs and groups across the country host free barbecues to show the world that Canadian beef is safe and that they support the Canadian beef industry.

This event makes the Guinness Book of World Records for serving more than 280,000 individuals a beef product.

    2005 Kin Canada makes a $48,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross for tsunami relief in Southeast Asia.

  2008 The "We are all Kin" campaign is launched to increase member pride, reduce member/club isolation and highlight the value of friendships formed in Kin. Moose mascots "Pride" and "Passion" are adopted.

  2010 Kin Canada raises over $50,000 to support Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

  2012 Kin Canada clubs surpass $40 million in donations to cystic fibrosis research and care since the partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Canada began in 1964. Learn more about the Kin-CF Partnership.

 2014 This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Kin Canada & Cystic Fibrosis Canada's fundraising partnership. Learn more about the Kin-CF Partnership.

  February 20, 1920 The Kinsmen Club is founded in Hamilton, Ontario by Harold (Hal) Rogers.

Kin expands its mandate to include service, personal development, family values and national pride

  1926 - National Convention in Winnipeg The organization adopts a constitution and by-laws. The maximum active membership age is set to 40.

  1935 The first K-40 clubs are formed and give older Kinsmen a chance to stay involved in Kin.

K-ette clubs are started for women.

  1942 At the National Convention, Kinettes are given official recognition in the national by-laws and are duly certified as an auxiliary organization.

  1950 The National Awards program is developed to support member retention and to provide clubs and members with goals to strive for during the year, including leadership and public speaking skills.


  1964 The Kinsmen Club of North York begins supporting cystic fibrosis research.

  1971 Sport Participation Canada (later renamed ParticipACTION), a not-for-profit private company is formed on July 12. Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson is Chairman and Mr. Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien is President. Sun Life Assurance Company and the Kinsmen Clubs of Canada work with ParticipACTION to build activity trails called "ParticiParks" (fitness-oriented parks) in over 100 communities across Canada.

The 80s and 90s

  1985 Over $1 million is raised for cystic fibrosis research.

  1987 Cystic fibrosis is adopted as a National Service Project.

The maximum age limit for active membership is raised to 45.

  1992 Over 3 million Canadian children sign specially-designed Canadian flags during Kin Canada's "Proud to Be Canadian" tour.

  1994 "Kin" or "Kinsmen & Kinette" (mixed) clubs are deemed to be a charter option for new or existing clubs.


The New Millennium

  2003 Devastating fires ravage British Columbia leaving many homeless or living in shelters. Kin Canada pledges more than $50,000 and 30,000 pounds of beef to assist residents and firefighters.

 2004 Kin Canada and Cystic Fibrosis Canada celebrate a 40-year partnership. Since 1964, Kin has raised more than $33 million for CF research.


  2006 Kin Canada presents a $1 billion cheque to the People of Canada and the World. This amount represented the cumulative total of dollars raised during the Association's 86 years of service.

  2010 Kin Canada celebrates the Association's 90th Anniversary.

  2011 Portraits of Honour,' a Kin Canada National Project, begins its tour across Canada to raise money for the Military Families Fund and other charities that support military personnel and their families. Learn more about Portraits of Honour.

  2013 At the 2013 Kin Canada National Convention in St. John's, NL, Kin Campus Club members were officially recognized as full members of Kin Canada. The pilot project proved successful and efforts to charter clubs in Canadian universities and colleges moved ahead.

  2015 The 2014-15 Kin year marks the 20th anniversary of the Kin Bursary Program.