To seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential commencing with grade ten high school students.


To spread positive thinking through collaboration, communication, and teamwork. We do this by growing the skills of one student from each high school in central Ontario. These students then return to their school and local communities to share and spread what they have learned.

By sharing their lessons with other parts of our community, we will be able to grow and change our country – enabling our youth to be more active where they live.

Every student that attends our seminar is bringing back training, knowledge and enthusiasm to their local school. These excited and enthusiastic volunteers will be leaders in their school and can continue to encourage active community engagement.

Our seminar focuses on developing leadership and community involvement in each ambassador through a series of interactive speakers, panels, discussions, and activities. We focus on teaching how to think, not what to think and on the importance of being involved in the community.


The Central Ontario Leadership Seminars (COLS) is a registered Canadian charitable organization dedicated to the recognition and development of leadership potential in grade ten high school students. Volunteers have provided an annual three-day seminar to students since 1982.

For over twenty years, COLS and its sister site in Eastern Ontario (EOLS) had been affiliated with the internationally recognized Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership as one of three seminars in Ontario. In 2004, the combined Leadership Seminars developed a fully Canadian based program and went out independently with a goal to have leadership seminars across the country and be Canada's top training program for the leaders of tomorrow. In 2006, COLS became a registered Canadian charity.

COLS is a non profit organization and is unique in the fact that no school or student is charged to attend. It is by maintaining this strict policy that students from all economic and social backgrounds are given an equal opportunity to attend. Generous gifts from our constituents, combined with the dedication of hundreds of volunteers, provide the backbone of support necessary to deliver COLS' programs. This is the base of support which will sustain the organization for many years to come. To find out how you can help click here.

Each September, the Executive Planning Committee (EPC) begins the exciting task of planning the seminar, raising the necessary funds and sending out invitation packages to over 350 public, separate and private schools eligible to apply to represent their school at the all expenses paid, three-day seminar.


COLS operates under a linear operating structure with the Board of Directors overseeing the entire organization. The Executive Planning Committee (EPC) is responsible for the normal day to day operations and planning of the annual seminar. Finally, all alumni are geographically divided into local chapters - cumulatively known as the COLS Alumni Association - and are responsible for social and fundraising events as well as their own version of a one-day seminar or workshop.

Board of Directors Executive Planning Committee Alumni Association
EPC Members