What is Oktoberfest Cares?

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is more than just biergartens.

Oktoberfest Cares is a special program that supports Festival initiatives that enrich our community such as the Onkel Hans Food Drive and keep admission costs low or free for favourites including the Women of the Year celebration and family-friendly events like KIDtoberfest, Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christkinderfest. Oktoberfest Cares is our organization’s commitment to community collaboration, giving back, and growing together. It’s a year-round effort that lends to our mission of truly being a supportive, uplifting, and community-driven organization. This means prioritizing our role as an economic driver for Waterloo Region and working with local businesses to create jobs and bring visitors to our region. It also means supporting our community partners by providing fundraising opportunities during our various events. And it means doing the work to ensure that our Festival is a source of community pride and a welcoming space for everyone to celebrate.

Community Impact

Each year, we partner with over 50 hospitality businesses to put on a successful festival. This stimulates growth for local businesses, creates jobs, and drives tourism in our region.

Diversity & Inclusion

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has been working hard over the past few years to ensure that our festival is a safe and welcoming space for everyone. While we still have more work to do, we’re excited for our values to reflect the diversity of the Waterloo Region community.

Fundraising Efforts

Onkel Hans Food Drive

The Onkel Hans Food Drive

The Onkel Hans Food Drive is one of the most substantial Oktoberfest Cares fundraising efforts. Since its inception in 1995, the equivalent of over 1,000,000 meals has been donated to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

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Women of the Year Awards

Each year, proceeds from ticket sales for our Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards are donated to an organization that supports the needs of women in our community.

Merch Sales

Merchandise Sales

The proceeds from merchandise sales are often donated to charitable partners. Past beneficiaries have included the Healing of the Seven Generations and the Grand River Hospital Foundation.

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Oktoberfest Golf Experience

The Oktoberfest Golf Experience is not just the best golf tournament in the region, it’s also a large source of fundraising. Proceeds from the raffle and silent auction are in support of the Oktoberfest Cares Fund.