The Ottawa Kennel Club is Canada's oldest, authenticated Club in Canada and was founded by Perley George Keyes and his partner Alfred Geddes in an agreement dated August 4, 1887. Documentation to this effect is kept on file with the Club's Archivist, Squibs Mercier. Initially the Club was known as The Rideau Kennel Club but was later re-named around 1889 as The Ottawa Kennel Club.
The first dog show sponsored by The Ottawa Kennel Club, took place over Graham's Feed Store on Sparks Street, site of today's well-know Sparks Street Mall, a block from Parliament Hill. An official catalogue dated 1893, marking the 5th. Annual Dog Show, sold for five cents and remains today within the Archives of the Club. It is interesting to note that this particular show was held at the Ottawa Exhibition grounds, later to be named Lansdowne Park after an early Canadian Governor General.
The first century was one of growth and progress. The Club has been involved in many "firsts". For example, the first Canadian dog to win at the prestigious Westminster, N.Y. dog show was Ottawa bred, Champion Haymarket Faultless, a white Bull Terrier, owned by Club member, Humphrey Elliott.
The first Puppy Sweepstakes competition held in Canada took place here in 1965. Another milestone, is the Ottawa Junior Kennel Club, a direct offshoot of it's parent Club, which held the first official Sanction Shows as recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.
The development of the Internationally recognized Show of Shows competition, held annually in conjunction with the three day all-breed dog show, has been a crowning accomplishment for The Ottawa Kennel Club. Originating in 1967, to mark Canada's centennial, this event continues to draw top winning dogs whom have garnered a Best In Show in Canada to compete for the coveted Show of Shows Award. It is with pride that this event was given the prestigious Pedigree Canine Event of the Year Award in 1997.
Other honors bestowed on this Club include a Commemorative plaque presented by Mayor Jim Durrell in 1987, acknowledging The Ottawa Kennel Club as a Centennial Club. And in 1997 the Canadian Kennel Club granted The Ottawa Kennel Club a Life Membership Award. Further accolades also include an Award Winning Website which was voted one of the best 500 dog related sites.
The Club has given generously over the years to numerous organizations such as the Canadian Guide Dogs For The Blind, the physically challenged, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Canadian Diabetes Association as well as scholarship funding to the University of Ottawa.
Photos: Mr. Perley George Keyes and Family, 1893 *Official Catalogue, Ch. Haymarket Faultless
Copyright © Ottawa Kennel Club, 2007