Study & Interest Groups

Exploring Indigenous Education                 
Fitness, Physical 
Focus on GWI: Our International Arm
Literature Study

Welcome to the CFUW-Ottawa Study & Interest Groups! Registered members are welcome to join the groups below.  Contact the Group Convenors by logging into the web page at the top right of this page.  Once logged in, select Member-only from the contents list on the left hand side and look for Study & Interest Group Convenors

Browse the monthly schedule of activities.

If you have questions contact the Study & Interest Group Convenor at

After 5 Network

This interest group (A5N) gives women who are working or studying during the day the opportunity to network, mentor, socialize and have fun in a supportive environment.  We meet in members’ homes and discuss agreed upon topics. 

3rd Wednesday evening each month

National Gallery Study Group (Fee)
From October to April, two tours of the National Gallery will be held on the last Wednesday, one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 11:00 a.m. Friends of the Gallery - $40, non-friends- $100.
Last Wednesday (except December), 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

This group meets to learn about a broad range of Canadian topics from antiques to art, from social history to contemporary issues.  Like the topics, the format varies but usually it includes a guest speaker or an interactive project lead by a member of the group, followed by tea and discussion.
3rd Monday, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Couples Gourmet
This is a couples' and singles dinner group that meets for dinner at members' homes six or seven times a year, usually on the third Saturday of the month. Hosts meet to decide on the menu and assign the recipes to those who are to dine. They vary from gourmet meals to potluck to buffet style dinners for larger groups. Hostesses need not cook. All expenses are shared equally.  The season begins with a Cocktail Party and ends with a BBQ or Cocktail Party.  Join our festive and fun group either as a regular or spare member.
TBD, evening

Dining Out
This group combines lively conversation with dining out at Ottawa area restaurants. Reservations are arranged by rotating members of the group.  We try out new and trendy restaurants as well as old favourites.
3rd Wednesday, evening  6:30 p.m.

Supper Club
The Supper Club is a casual dining experience organized by rotating members of the group.  Meet new people and enjoy good conversation.
4th Wednesday at supper time, 6:30 p.m.

Easy Gourmet (Fee)
We meet monthly at a group member's home and an assigned team prepares easy gourmet dinners that usually include four courses and associated wine pairings. We have had many enjoyable menu themes and discovered wonderful recipes.  Be stimulated gustatorily and conversationally by joining Easy Gourmet. (maximum 16)
1st Wednesday, evening.

International Cuisine (Fee)
Group I
This group learns about the cuisine of different countries, tries out recipes and enjoys good food. Members share the responsibility of planning menus, cooking and hosting. The recipes are discussed after the meal and each member gets a copy of the recipes used that evening. 
1st Wednesday, evening
Group II
We approach our annual culinary outings by choosing an in-depth theme to co-ordinate planning and menus.  Over the years we have practiced and demonstrated various cooking techniques and looked at regional cuisines of particular countries.  This past year we went on a "spice journey" around the world.  For 2015-16 our guiding theme will be cheeses.
1st Wednesday, evening
Lunching Out
From October to June we meet at a variety of area restaurants, often with an international flavour. We endeavour to keep the cost reasonable. It is a good way to meet people and talk over the affairs of the day. It is also a chance to try different restaurants.
3rd Tuesday, 12:00 noon

Sunday Brunch
On the 1st Sunday of the month from October to June (excluding December) a very social group of CFUW members meet to chat and try out the brunch at local restaurants both new and old favourites.  Reservations are arranged by the convenor or by members of the group.  We meet at 11:30 a.m. and depending on whether it is a buffet or a served meal, we usually finish by 1:30 to 2:00.
1st Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
Exploring Indigenous Education

(Beginning in Fall 2017)

Statistics and news reports seem to indicate that our current educational systems are failing many indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Metis) students. The challenges indigenous students face are many and complex, yet there are also stories of achievement and accomplishment. In its information-gathering stage, this external outreach group will meet monthly to report on research members have undertaken and to hear from a variety of speakers – Indigenous community members, educators, government representatives – to help us understand the current educational environment for indigenous students and possible pathways for enhancing opportunities for these young people so that they may realize their potential and make a contribution to their communities and country. With this foundation, our medium-term objective will be to identify a specific education project in Ontario that we may support in partnership with local educators and indigenous leaders. 

Fitness, Physical                

Gatineau Trails - Year-round Outdoor Activities 

The Gatineau Trails group offers members seasonal activities: hiking in the fall, cross-country skiing in the winter, and cycling in the summer.  Members join in some or all of the activities depending upon their interests. The Gatineau hills have sections of rugged terrain for hiking and some challenging hills for skiing.  Whenever possible we try to offer options for those who wish a less strenuous outing.

The meeting time is weekly on Tuesday mornings at 9:45 am and return to the City around 2:00 pm.

We have many special events that include: map & compass clinic, overnight ski-and-stay at a Gatineau Park cabin, ski clinics, moonlight ski, bicycle clinic, a three day bicycle trip, pot luck lunches, and other events that members may choose to organize.

There is a $7 activity fee and members are responsible for their own Gatineau Park ski pass fees. New members are always welcome to join us as we stay fit with our outdoor play.

For more information click here.

Weekly, Tuesdays, 9:45 am                      

We are a very small informal group of about 20 to 25 members who meet one morning a week to ski at Camp Fortune.  Although we usually meet on a Friday I encourage everyone to use the email list to ask if any one wants to meet on another day. Our group includes intermediate to expert skiers and is committed to a healthy use of winter and good conversation on the lift.
Weekly, Friday mornings       

Walking, Trail (Hiking)
The Trail Walking Group meets Mondays at 11 a.m. It is an opportunity to explore a variety of trails in the Gatineau and in the city with friendly people who enjoy being outdoors. Do come and join us.  (Bring lunch/snack)
Weekly, Mondays 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (approx.) during the fall and spring months


Focus on GWI: Our International ArmGraduate Women International (GWI), our international arm, advocates for women's rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality secondary and tertiary education. GWI works toward a world where 100% of girls and women achieve education beyond primary school. Focus on GWI gives members a chance to design the group’s activities for the year. We work to understand the reality for girls and women in other countries and at the broad international level. At each meeting, members present some aspect of a situation that deserves our attention and understanding and then lead a discussion. We share this knowledge with our membership through the Carillon and on this website. 

GWI Advocacy and Projects: Reports and Information

GWI UN representatives - Full report on meetings held online: click here

To watch a video of a Flashmob initiated by one of or GWI representatives as a side event to the International Day of the Girl Child 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland, click here

Report on meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women 61, United Nations, New York March 13-24, 2017 by Hally Siddons, who attended as a GWI representative: click here.

Report on meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women 62, United Nations, New York March 12-23, 2017 by Hally Siddons, who attended as a GWI representative: click here.

GWI's Bina Roy Partners in Development Projects PowerPoint presentation: click here.

 Members will meet in the home of a member on the first Tuesday evening of the month from  October to June (except January).




Social Bridge
This is a fun group of intermediate players. Members wishing to improve their bidding and playing skills will enjoy the games and wonderful company. Sandy Hill Community Centre.
Wednesdays 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. from first Wednesday in Sept. - 2nd Wednesday in June 
Couples - Duplicate
2nd Friday, evening

Couples - Regular
1st Saturday, evening
Non-duplicate - Regular
Alternating Wednesdays, 12:30-3:30pm
Non-duplicate - Mondays
Alternating Monday afternoons
The game of Mah-Jong has evolved from the original Chinese form and has been adapted to various cultures.  It is a challenging, engrossing, fast moving, mentally stimulating game.  It requires a versatile mind to complete a hand with the highest score.  There is no universal game, but once the basic procedure is understood, players find no difficulty in adapting their game to another country's version.  

Mah-Jong sets consist of 144 colourfully designed tiles of ivory, bone or plastic.  The ideal configuration is four players per square table.  The four players can set their own time limits and predetermined rules.  This allows for opportunities to increase the complexities of the game at ones own pace.  The expert can play with advanced rules; the newly initiated can have their own simple version and add on new rules gradually as they become more proficient.  Since it is a social game, one can freely exchange small talk and enjoy each others company. 
Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m.


Historical Study
The group meets the first Thursday of the month at lunch time, from 12:30 to 3 pm. Members are great lovers of history and some of them do their own research and make visual and oral presentations on a topic of their choice within an overall theme collectively agreed upon annually. This year’s theme is the history of France with an emphasis on the role played by some remarkable women (Héloise, Eleanor d’Aquitaine, Jeanne d’Arc, Madame de Sévigné, George Sand, Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Veil) within a particular historical period. This year we will be meeting at the New Edinburgh Senior Residence.
1st Thursday, 12:30-2:30 pm

Tea, Tales and Treasures
We meet in a member's home on the fourth Thursday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Each member brings a treasure or tale to share.  We have a delightful time looking at and talking about the treasures or listening to and discussing the tales.  Following the presentations afternoon tea is provided by our host and co-host.
4th Thursday, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Literature Study
Literature Study Groups 
Group I
When we meet, we enjoy a cup of tea, some sweets and each other's company before "launching" into our book review. To date, most of us have been pleased with our choice of books, a good mix of fiction and non-fiction. 
2nd Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.
Group II
This group is composed of women who love passing on insights about books, sharing afternoon snacks and connecting with each other. We tend to concentrate on fiction, but always vote to include at least one non-fiction selection. The requirements to join us are that you like to read, will read the chosen book before we meet, and enjoy the company of other women. 
2nd Tuesday, 1:00 p.m.
Group III
Literature Group III meets on the third Tuesday evening of the month at 7:30. An eclectic mix of books is read and discussed, including children's, classic, prize winners, and books recommended by friends. Some of these books are available on tape in the Ottawa Public Library. 
3rd Tuesday, 7:30pm
Group IV
Our group meets monthly at 1:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. We have a list of eight books to read during the year, and each month one member reviews a book, with discussion following. The meetings are held in members' homes, and we begin with light refreshments. 
2nd Thursday, 1:00 p.m.
Group V
We meet the second Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm at one of our members homes to share refreshments and discuss the chosen book. The books are chosen by the members in May for the following year.  Our group chooses books from a wide genre of fiction, non fiction, mysteries, classic and modern. Each month a member of the group reviews one of the books and we all contribute to a lively discussion with a variety of viewpoints. 
2nd Tuesday, 1:00pm

2018-2019 book club choices for Literature Group V 

  • The Dinner by Herman Koch
  • The Black House by Peter May
  • After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson
  • Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
  • A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi m
  • Woman’s Awakening by Manal Sarif
  • Forgiveness: A Gift from my Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto
  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande 
Group VI
This group is for those members living west of Bronson Ave. who are seeking an evening book group. We meet 9 times a year in members' homes.  Our evenings begin with refreshments and time to socialize.  A member then reviews the chosen book and this is followed by a group discussion.  Books for the following year are chosen at a pot-luck dinner in June.
3rd Tuesday evening, 7:30 p.m.

La Literati - Group VII
Lively discussions, food, and fun bring this group together in member’s homes.  The wide variety of interests in the group are reflected in the member’s choice of books:  fiction and non-fiction; classic and modern; serious and comic.  Each member presents their chosen book and leads a discussion of varying opinions. Books are chosen in the spring and fall.
3rd Thursday evening, 7:00 pm

Crime Fiction Book Club
The group moves into its third year introducing our readers to a wide range of crime/mystery authors and the sub-genres.  We meet monthly at the Alta Vista Library, 2516 Alta Vista Drive.  Each month a member will present a chosen book followed by discussion and exchange of related information (book events, new titles, books read, etc.).  Tea and friendship also promised.
4th Wednesday, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Historical Fiction Book Club
We read literate historical fiction, non-fiction, and biographies that cover a wide variety of countries and time periods; historical romance will not be considered.  A brief presentation precedes the discussion and may include biographical information about the author and/or the historical context in which the story is placed.  We meet downstairs at the Sunnyside Library. 
2nd Tuesday evening, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Literary Studies Book List 2017-18.jpg

Music Appreciation
The group meets in members' homes, with an average attendance of 15.  A general theme is chosen at the beginning of the year (eg. The Sound of a Country, or the Romantic Movement in Western Music).  Members sign up to make presentations from October - May (except January) on topics relevant to the overall theme (eg. The Music of Newfoundland, Schubert's Songs, or the Argentinian Tango).  Presentations are typically illustrated with videos, YouTube clips and CDs, all of which make for lively and informative sessions. We welcome new members and new ideas for enhancing the enjoyment of music in all forms.
1st Tuesday afternoon, 1:00 p.m.


University Women Helping Afghan Women

University Women Helping Afghan Women (UWHAW) Study and Interest group was created by members deeply affected by the message Dr. Sima Samar delivered about the plight of Afghan women at the 2010 Annual General Meeting in Ottawa. Dr. Samar, a physician and Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, spoke of their strength, the fragility of their basic human rights and freedoms, and the need for the continuing support of the international community. Our support for these women became more critical than ever with the withdrawal of the international forces in 2014 and the resulting change in media focus.

Our goals are to continue to learn about the realities of life in Afghanistan, to raise awareness in our community and beyond about ongoing challenges that face women and girls in their fragile country, to advocate for their rights, and to raise funds for their tertiary education.

We are very fortunate to have access to excellent speakers for our monthly meetings from government, universities, Global Affairs Canada, NGO’s working in Afghanistan, the Embassy of Afghanistan and young Afghans and the military. The presentations are excellent with good discussions to follow. We also have one meeting dedicated to reviews of current books on the realty of life in Afghanistan.

Our belief that education will empower Afghan women and girls has led us to our projects for fundraising scholarship funds for young women studying at the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) in Kabul. GIHE was founded by Dr. Sima Samar to ensure a pool of educated women was available to take leadership roles in future Afghan governments. Classes are co-ed and human rights and democracy are part of the curriculum. Thirty one girls have already graduated from Gawharshad on UWHAW scholarships, another 5 will do so in 2018 and 2019, and 25 in 2021. We look forward to not only continuing to support young Afghan women, but to see them graduate and be a success in their community and country. This June, UWHAW announced its first postgraduate scholarship, the Fran Manning Scholarship in Law for a Gawharshad graduate, in memory of Fran Manning, a dedicated and founding member of our group.

Our members have developed an impressive network of connections and as we start our ninth year, we have appreciated the support of the last three Canadian Ambassadors to Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, Kenneth Neufeld and Francois Rivest who have met with and communicated with us during their postings in Afghanistan. We have been honoured to meet with Her Excellency Shinkai Karokhail, the Ambassador to Canada from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during her posting. This summer we met two incredible Afghan women, members of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan visiting Global Affairs Canada and heard of their experiences first hand.

Our activities are stimulating and rewarding as we continue to learn while enjoying the company and fun of our members, believing that we are making a difference, however small. Join us the first Thursday afternoon of the month! (let us know if daytime is a problem) We welcome new and returning members as we carry on this fascinating work.

1st Thursday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.     Venue: A member’s home or as announced


World Religions

World Religions members are curious about other religions. Similarities between the many disparate religions of the world and our own religion are noted.  Insights both historical and religious of other religions often offers a new perspective about our own faith. Presentations and discussions often take place at a place of worship, but can be at a member's home.  Members of this group have been Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, and more.  Women of all faiths are welcome to join and learn about the hundreds of different religions and belief systems that we have in our shared earth. 

Alternating Third and Fourth Thursday, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.


Writers’ Workshop

Our group meets casually to write, to learn, to hear, to tell stories, and to critique, usually the written work of one or two members each time. We give each other information on various readings, workshops and organizations (e.g. Canadian Authors' Association, book fairs, the publishing industry) for writers. Several of us have published books while participating in the Writers' Workshop Group and some distributed worldwide (see list). 

Time:  TBD

Monthly schedule of CFUW Ottawa Groups                                                      




Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software
})(); } catch(err) {}