Assistance programs

Apply for fee assistance or request inclusion support to take part in programs.


On this page

  1. Fee assistance leisure access program
  2. Personal assistant for leisure activities
  3. Apply for inclusion support
  4. Every Kid Counts

Fee assistance leisure access program

If you wish to fill out a hardcopy form or require in-person assistance, please email lynn.dicksegley@waterloo.ca to schedule an appointment.

We offer assistance to those who can't afford to pay fees for affiliated recreation, leisure, arts and culture programs:

  • successful applicants get a $300 credit per person per year
  • you can use it for city-run programs, affiliated minor sports, or arts and culture programs
  • you can't transfer the credit to future years or refund it
  • you need to re-apply every year
Our funding year

We accept applications all year, but our funding year runs from December 1 of one year until November 30 of the following year. If you apply for funding after the end of October, we will consider your application in the next funding year, starting December 1.

For complete program information, view the Fee Assistance Leisure Access Program Policy.

Application requirements

You can apply at any time. If you qualify, your credit will be active from December 1 to November 30 the following year. To qualify, you must:

  • live in the City of Waterloo
  • have a household income (before taxes) below the low income cutoff amount, as shown in the following table
Members of household Annual income before taxes
1 $23,696
2 $29,498
3 $36,265
4 $44,031
5 $49,938
6 $56,323
7+ $62,707
Application

To apply online, you need an email address and the required documents.

For everyone 18 and older in your household:

  • proof of income, such as a tax return or government benefit statement
  • proof of address in the City of Waterloo, if not included on proof of income

For refugees who have arrived in Canada within the past year:

  • proof of permanent residency or refugee status for each family member

To apply online, you must have the required documents in a digital format, such as a PDF or image file. We accept clear smartphone photos.

Apply for fee assistance

We will send a confirmation email to successful applicants within two weeks of submission.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program

The City of Waterloo’s Fee Assistance Leisure Access Program is only one option for support. Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program gives kids aged four to 18 a chance to participate in sports. It provides financial aid to qualifying families for program registration costs. Find out more on the Jumpstart website.


Personal assistant for leisure activities

We provide inclusion support for residents with disabilities who require assistance to participate in city programs.

The personal assistant for leisure activities card provides a person with a disability to bring a helper. This can be a friend or family member. In most cases there is no extra charge, so they can participate in municipal and partner programs.

Using your personal assistant for leisure activities cards

It is simple to use your card, you present the card when paying for your program fees. You cannot use the card for ticketed events run by third party organizations, businesses or promoters.

You can use the card at city run programs and with our partners. These city run programs include:

  • public swims
  • public skates
  • most recreation programs
  • golf courses

Our partner programs are across Waterloo and Wellington Region. They range from municipal and private partnership. Please reach out if there are any programs or partners that accept the card but are not on our list.

Partners that participate in our program develop their own criteria for accepting the card at their programs and facilities. We outline the criteria for the card partner programs on the insert included when you get your card.

City of Waterloo and City of Kitchener

Municipal programs or facilities

Aquatics

Arenas

City run programs (most)

Community centres

Golf courses

  • Doon
  • Rockway
  • Grey Silo

Personal assistant and leisure activities partners

AR Kaufman YMCA

Bingemans

Chicopee Ski Club & Summer Resort (Monday to Friday, 2, 4, or all-day pass only)

Chicopee Tube Park

Conestoga Sailing Club

Driftwood Martial Arts

Funvilla

Games on Tap

Kiwanis Park

KW Symphony

Market Sports Inc.

Max's Golf Centre

Stork Family YMCA

THE MUSEUM

Waterloo Region Museum

City of Cambridge

Municipal programs or facilities

Aquatics

Arenas

City run programs (most)

Arts, culture and special events

Personal assistant and leisure activities partners

iBowl

YMCA of Cambridge

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Cambridge Ice Centre

Wedges N' Wood Golf Academy

City of Guelph

Municipal programs or facilities

Aquatics

Arenas

City run programs (most)

Arts, culture and special events

Personal assistant and leisure activities partners

YMCA-YWCA of Guelph

Guelph Transit

Township of Woolwich

Municipal programs or facilities

Woolwich Memorial Centre

Township of Wilmot

Municipal programs or facilities

Wilmot Recreation Complex

  • swimming
  • skating

Access 2 Entertainment

Access 2 Entertainment is a group that has support from Cineplex Entertainment Theatres and is managed by Easter Seals Canada. The Access 2 Entertainment card is accepted at entertainment venues and programs across Canada. View the list of venues accepted in Ontario.

Eligibility for the card
Card holder requirements

To be eligible you have to be older than four years old and have a disability that restricts you from performing activities. The disability must last longer than six months and cannot be stopped with the use of an aid for example, eye glasses.

Temporary personal assistant for leisure activities cards are available for those with temporary disabilities.This is considered someone who has a disability but is expected to make a full recovery in the near future, but may require assistance in the meantime.

Attendant requirements

To be an eligible attendant you must be at least 15 years old. The attendant does not have to be the same person for each activity.

If the attendant is attending a program where there is a age requirement for supervision, such as swimming and the attendant has to participate in the program, the attendant would be expected to pay. In most other circumstances, the attendant would get into a program for free.

Applying for your card

In order to apply you will need:

  1. Name and contact information (phone, email and full address) of the person who will be the card holder.
  2. Two references, with contact information that can verify the disability of the card holder, this can be:
    • an agency or service provider
    • occupational or physiotherapist
    • teacher
    • doctor
    • nurse etc.

Both references will be contacted to ensure eligibility. If you have any questions during your application, you can call 519-747-8512 or email one of our support staff.

If your application is approved, the personal assistant for leisure activities card will be mailed to the card holder.

Apply for personal assistant for leisure activities card online


Apply for inclusion support

If you or your child require support to participate in any of our programs, we will do our best to accommodate you through program adaptation, trained volunteers/staff or other means of assistance.

Support is provided by leisure support volunteers or inclusion/program staff to residents of Kitchener and Waterloo. It is available at no charge, based on availability, and must be requested at least two weeks in advance of a program start date.

For camps, support staff are available for up to two weeks. Spaces are first come, first served. Early registration is recommended. The application process is as follows:

  1. Complete an inclusion membership application. This is required before you can register for program support. Apply on the City of Kitchener's website or by phone at 519-741-2200 x 7229, TTY 1-866-969-9944.
  2. Register for inclusion support using ActiveWaterloo. Inclusion support is offered for seasonal, session based programs and camps. Select the inclusion program that matches your desired program.
  3. Once registered for support, register for your desired program.

Every Kid Counts

The Every Kid Counts program raises funds to help kids of all abilities attend summer camp. Donations can be made through the City of Kitchener.