The City of Kitchener is now offering free programs for youth, including art, cooking, leadership and sports. In addition, recreation subsidies for qualifying residents have been increased to reduce financial barriers and help make programs more accessible for individuals and families.

“We know these have been challenging times for many in our community, and Council has been working hard to make things more affordable for families by reducing some program costs and eliminating some program fees for residents and families,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Investments such as these make a real difference in the lives of our residents by providing access to recreation and leisure programs which improve individual health and overall quality of life.”

As part of the 2023 budget, Council approved investing in the following:

  • Increase Leisure Access funds up to $400 per person (from $300) to subsidize programs offered by the city
  • Provide an extra week of day camp at no cost to Leisure Access recipients who have registered for at least two weeks of summer camp
  • Offer free specialized youth programs that focus on skill development
  • Expand older adult wellness, active living and learning programs to local neighbourhoods, reducing the need for older adults to travel across the city to attend programs 

“We recognize the benefits recreational and leisure activities bring to children, youth, families and older adults alike – from promoting mental engagement and physical activity, to fostering social connections, and the exploration of new interests,” said Mark Hildebrand, director of neighbourhood programs and services, “We are able to offer exceptional, high-quality programs while helping to addressing the financial challenges some families may face.”

The City of Kitchener has a full offering of aquatic, recreation and leisure programs this spring for all ages and interests.  Spring program registration is now open. The complete list of spring program activities and swimming lessons, offered by the city, community partners, and neighbourhood associations is now available at and at all community centres and pools.

Summer camp registration is set to open Tuesday, March 21 at 8:30 a.m.

Leisure Access offers fee assistance for residents of Kitchener with low income. The subsidy program is specific to city run recreation and leisure programs (swimming pools, neighbourhood camps). Applications can be picked up at any community centre, pool or online at

For individuals with disabilities that may require extra support, the Inclusion Support and Personal Assistance for Leisure (PAL) Activities program makes joining our programs possible and more enjoyable. For more information, or to apply in advance of a program, visit

For more information, or to register for spring programs, visit  


For more information, contact 
Shawn Falcao 
Manager, Corporate Communications 
City of Kitchener