Welcoming Ottawa Week 2018

African Caribbean Canadian Multiculturalism Day Festival in Strathcona Park, WOW 2017 – D. Deby photo

Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) is an annual festival of arts, cultural, sports and other activities that celebrate the city’s diversity and the contributions of the many newcomers who have made Ottawa home.

This year’s WOW includes more than 75 free activities across the city from Monday, Jun. 18-Saturday, Jun. 30, 2018. They include photo exhibits, soccer and basketball tournaments, a community picnic, a barbecue and bike fest, the design of a community mural, “myth-busting” events about immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and several multicultural celebrations. The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival and the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival are also participating.

Other events of note:

Check out the WOW calendar for more events.

With one in four Ottawa residents having been born outside Canada, it’s more important than ever to embrace our diversity and get to know each other.

WOW is organized by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership in collaboration with 50+ partners across the city.

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#100in1Day Ottawa 2018

Image courtesy 100in1Day Ottawa/Synapcity

This weekend is packed with amazing things to do in Ottawa. For starters, there’s #100in1Day.

#100in1DayOTT consists of more than 100 creative and fun activities, all citizen-led, happening around the city on Saturday, Jun. 2, 2018.

The 100+ “interventions” are designed to illustrate the kind of sustainable, inclusive and accessible city we could have. Read more in Synapcity’s guest post and on the #100in1DayOTT website.

Here are just a few examples:

There’s so much more—check out the #100in1DayOTT website and interactive map.

Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale 2018

Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale – image courtesy Ecology Ottawa

It’s almost time again for the Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale. The GGGGS happens on Saturday, May 26, 2018 as part of the Great Glebe Garage Sale.

Ecology Ottawa, which organizes the Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale, is looking for volunteers. Here’s a message from Léna Ndoye at Ecology Ottawa:

(français suit)

The biggest garage sale in Ottawa is coming back to the Glebe! This year, we are continuing last year’s resounding tree giveaway success, which was the single largest one-day distribution of trees Ottawa has ever seen! The saplings will be available for free (or by donation), to be planted around the city and thus strengthen Ottawa’s urban tree canopy. To be able to make these saplings available to everyone during the garage sale, we need lots of volunteers!

SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018, 8am-4pm – 640 Bank Street (at Clemow Avenue) – Boston Pizza parking lot

We are currently seeking:

  • Help the day before to set up tables and tents + organize material for the tree giveaway (Friday, May 25)
  • People with vehicles to help transport the trees, volunteer kits, and other items to the site (May 25 and 26)
  • Lots of help at the actual event : people to give away trees, to have a booth about it, to run the bakery sale, to paint kids’ faces, to take pictures and plenty of other help (Saturday, May 26)
  • People to clean up the space (May 26)

Get involved in one of the year’s most fun and exciting events. Learn more and sign-up to volunteer today at https://ecologyottawa.ca/events/annual-events/garage-sale/.

// Le plus grand vide-grenier d’Ottawa et son lot de joie et de bonne humeur reviennent dans le Glebe ! Écologie Ottawa sera là pour la plus grande distribution d’arbres jamais effectuée à Ottawa. Pour s’assurer que l’événement se déroule pour le mieux et afin de pouvoir distribuer tous ces jeunes arbres, nous avons besoin de nombreux bénévoles afin d’assurer différentes tâches.

SAMEDI 26 mai 2018, de 8h à 16h – 640 Bank Street – le parking Boston Pizza

Nous sommes actuellement à la recherche :

  • Des personnes avec une auto pour pouvoir amener sur place les arbres et et le reste du matériel (25 et 26 mai)
  • Des personnes pour nous aider la veille à installer les tables et tentes (vendredi 25 mai)
  • De beaucoup d’aide le jour de l’événement : des gens pour distribuer des arbres, pour tenir un stand à ce propos, pour gérer la vente de pâtisseries, pour peindre le visage des enfants, pour prendre des photos et plein d’autres choses (samedi 26 mai)
  • Des gens pour nettoyer l’endroit (26 mai)

Venez-vous engager dans un des événements les plus plaisants et excitants de l’année. Apprenez en plus et devenez bénévole aujourd’hui sur https://ecologieottawa.ca/more/evenements-annuels/vente-debarras/.

Earth Day 2017 in Ottawa

Written by Denise Deby.

Every day is earth day, of course, but Earth Day, April 22, is an ode to the power of people in protecting the environment. Although sometimes co-opted for marketing consumer items, Earth Day was originally organized to bring people together to promote action for the environment.

March for Science

It’s fitting, therefore, that the March for Science will take place on Earth Day (Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017). The March, led by scientists and supporters, is a celebration of science and a reminder of the need to protect scientific enquiry from budget cuts, censorship and political interference. From the organizers:

On April 22, 2017, we walk out of the lab and into the streets. We as Canadians know too well the damage that can be done by an anti-science political agenda. Yet we also know first hand the positive change that is possible when scientists come together to defend science and its critical role in our society and democracy. Join us on April 22nd as we come together in Canada, in the US, and around the world, to march in solidarity with our American neighbours and stand in defence of science.”

To participate in the Ottawa March, come out to the main steps of Parliament Hill at 11 a.m.

There are plenty of additional ways to mark Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Ottawa:

Old Home Earth Day Event: The Glebe Community Association is hosting exhibits and workshops all about how to be energy efficient and live more sustainably in older homes. It’s at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Find the schedule on their Facebook page.

Earth Day at the Canadian Museum of Nature: Walk across a giant map of the Arctic, journey through an inflatable polar bear, join a botanical scavenger hunt, crafts and play Inuit games. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More information on the Museum website.

Great Cloth Diaper Change: Ottawa Doula Services is hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Ottawa from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre (2260 Walkley Rd.) The event, held in more than a dozen countries, promotes use of reusable cloth diapers.

Wakefield Earth Day Green Market and Environmental Fair: This event features exhibits by local craftspeople, artists, green builders and food vendors; bike repair, tree-climbing, music and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Wakefield Community Centre (38 chemin Valley, Wakefield, QC); hosted by Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber.

River Ward Earth Day Event: Riley Brockington hosts this community event at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre from 2-4 p.m. Maison Tucker House talks energy conservation and Junk That Funk provides an e-waste drop-off.

Added: Rethinking Canada’s 150: Human Library and Arts Showcase: Although not billed as an Earth Day event, this gathering features people sharing their experiences and perspectives on social and environmental justice, decolonization and immigration. The focus is “to bring alternative discourses to the mainstream narrative of Canada’s 150th anniversary.” Organized by Next Up at 25One Community (251 Bank St., 2nd floor), 3-6 p.m.

Added: Indigenous Walking Tour: Not specifically for Earth Day either, but Indigenous Walks is holding a public tour of central Ottawa from an Indigenous perspective. 5-7 p.m.; register at booking@indigenouswalks.com.

Ottawa Park Summit and Earth Day Celebration: Ecology Ottawa is organizing two related events for Earth Day. From 1-5 p.m., they’re partnering with Greenspace Alliance, Just Food, EnviroCentre, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Federation of Citizens’ Associations, Social Planning Council of Ottawa and Park People to host a gathering on how to make Ottawa’s parks great. See the website for details and registration.

At Ecology Ottawa’s Earth Day Celebration, the focus is on celebrating community efforts towards environmental justice. The evening (5:30-9 p.m.) includes entertainment by comedian Martha Chaves and DJ Cat Abreu, refreshments and door prizes from local eco-friendly businesses.

Both Ecology Ottawa events will be at Makerspace North (250 City Centre Ave.).

Earth Day 2017 Ottawa International Writers Festival: The OIWF brings an impressive line-up for Earth Day. Nishnaabeg writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson presents the stories and songs of This Accident of Being Lost. David Suzuki and Ian Hanington discuss Just Cool It!, their book on solutions to the climate crisis. At 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral (414 Sparks St.).

Voices of Earth: Local choir Tone Cluster is holding Voices of Earth, a concert to mark Earth Day. It’s at Centretown United Church (507 Bank St.) at 7:30 p.m.

Let us know if you hear of other Earth Day events in Ottawa!

The Green Rights Project

Written by Denise Deby.

More than 175 countries have laws recognizing the right to a healthy environment; Canada does not.

Silver Donald Cameron is trying to change that. The writer, producer and educator launched the multimedia Green Rights Project to explain the importance of rights to clean water, air and food, and to present the stories of people seeking recognition of those rights.

Silver Donald Cameron will be in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 to show the film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World, and talk about his book, Warrior Lawyers, which explores environmental rights and struggles around the world to have them recognized, drawing on the perspectives of environmental lawyers involved.

The event is at 8 p.m. at the Pearson Room, Lord Elgin Hotel. (Thanks to planetfriendly.net for the information and links to more about the Green Rights Project.)

Doors Open Ottawa, Porch Dances, Prose in the Park, Westfest–and Lemonade

Written by Denise Deby.

Porch View Dances 2015
Porch View Dances 2015 – D. Deby photo

Some fun things coming up this weekend:

Doors Open Ottawa

For a look inside some of the city’s interesting places, including some not normally not open to the public, check out Doors Open Ottawa on Saturday, Jun. 4-Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016.

You’ll get to see buildings of architectural, historical, scientific and other significance—and those that are just plain intriguing: the Central Experimental Farm (including the Saunders building with “a complete collection of all plants found in Canada”), Maplelawn Historical Garden, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind National Training Centre, Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre, Parkdale Food Centre, the Hydro Ottawa generating station on Amelia Island (“believed to be the oldest operating hydroelectric generator in Canada”), Suntech Greenhouses, Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health (with “awe-inspiring architecture by Douglas Cardinal”), numerous embassies and more.

There’s a free shuttle bus that goes to 50 of the 120 participating Doors Open sites; or you can see 5 sites on a bicycle tour with Escape Tours (it’s a fundraiser for Trips for Kids Ottawa).

Check the Doors Open Ottawa website and guide for opening hours of buildings, and other information.

Canada Dance Festival

See part of the Canada Dance Festival—outdoors. Kaeja d’Dance presents Porch View Dances in Westboro on Saturday, Jun. 4 and Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016 at 4 p.m. The audience moves through the neighbourhood to watch local families perform dances created by professional choreographers—extremely fun. (For more outdoor dance, check out Aeriosa’s aerial performances and La Grande Fente’s pop-up dances in the Byward Market on Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016.)

Westfest

The wonderful Westfest happens Friday, Jun. 3-Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016 in its new location, Laroche Park (52 Bayview Rd.). The free festival includes live music, art programming, an Indigenous pavilion, an artisan area and local food trucks, performance artists, spoken word artists, kids’ activities and more. See the website for the full lineup.

Prose in the Park

Another fun (and free!) outdoor event is Prose in the Park, happening on Friday, Jun. 3 (at Origin Studio) and Saturday, Jun. 4, 2016 at Parkdale Park. There’s a great line-up of authors, so check it out.

Great Lemonade Standemonium

On Saturday, Jun. 4, 2016, look for the Great Lemonade Standemonium, where kids around town will be running lemonade stands in their neighbourhoods, to raise funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. There’s more information and a map on the website.

 

Earth Day / Book Day / Every Day

Written by Denise Deby.

Happy Earth Day! by Kate Ter Haar on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/6956228782/in/photostream/
Happy Earth Day! by Kate Ter Haar on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/6956228782/in/photostream/

April 22 was Earth Day. Earth Day draws needed attention to the environment, but sometimes it comes with a lot of hype, too–for example, by companies promoting yet more consumption of their stuff, or association with things that have very little to do with sustainability.

Reflecting on Earth Day this year made me want to think bigger–about the earth’s complexity, the way good writers or artists can express it. When I learned that April 23 is World Book Day, that clinched the idea of a post on books.

Of course, there’s a lot of great literature—fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction—on the environment, so here’s just a tiny sample:

The Lorax: The incomparable Dr. Seuss speaks for the trees, inspiring kids and adults alike to do their part, however big or small, for the environment.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein: a big-picture yet often personal book about how changing the way we organize our economy and society can help us transform our world for the better.

The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift, by Carrie Saxifrage: a book that reflects on nature and life through the author’s personal experiences.

The Ecoholic books by Adria Vasil, and Toxin Toxout by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith:  Practical help for living and consuming sustainably.

The Once and Future World by J.B. MacKinnon, The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill, The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky and Happy City by Charles Montgomery are just a few more examples of compelling books that blend storytelling, history and evidence to give us a big picture of the earth and living as humans within it.

I’d love to hear what eco-books have inspired you!