In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa

2015 WOW Week FAQs


Why have a Welcoming Ottawa Week?

The purpose of the Welcoming Ottawa Week is threefold:

  1. To help create an inclusive civic culture in Ottawa that incorporates and reflects the diversity of the Ottawa community.  Stories, images, and learning opportunities throughout the Week will convey the reality that our city’s historic development has always been shaped by the contributions of all its citizens, including immigrants.  Furthermore, opportunities will be created (or promoted) for quality interactions between immigrants and local communities.
  2. To inculcate a sense of belonging to immigrants and ethno-cultural minority communities. Positive messages about the role of immigration for Ottawa’s economic and social development, coupled with current and historic accounts of welcoming expressions by the Ottawa community in its full diversity will create powerful symbols of respect and appreciation to immigrants and newcomers.
  3. To promote Ottawa as a diverse and vibrant national capital that can attract new residents and investments.  Opportunities will be created to showcase contributions of immigrants and minority populations to Ottawa’s very identity and to the local artistic and cultural scene.  In addition, the commitments, leadership, and successes of the OLIP partners will reflect local commitment to remove integration challenges.


What shape and content will the WOW take? 

The WOW will bring together existing events and public education initiatives that help meet the objectives set for the WOW.  Communication and publicity protocols will be created to bind together the participating events and initiatives.

Typically, the constituent elements of the WOW will be

  • Learning events, such as seminar on Islamaphobia, workshop on media relations
  • Sports in various parks in Ottawa, featuring sports that are favored by immigrants and minority populations such as soccer
  • Immigration Forum, showcasing the successes of the OLIP partners and enabling community dialogue
  • Art exhibits and various entertainments
  • Documentary and film screenings that bring the spotlight to immigrants personal experiences of integration
  • Formal events bringing together local civic, economic, and community leaders


Can other partners join?

Yes.  Any event that can contribute to the objectives established for the Welcoming Ottawa Week can join in the WOW.  All that is needed is to email the OLIP Secretariat and demonstrate how your event fits in with the objectives and timing of the Welcoming Ottawa Week.

What is planned for the 2015 WOW?

The 2015 WOW Calendar of Events combines a celebration of civic pride, an academic focus on migration and integration and an ensemble of arts and culture showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Ottawa’s citizens.

Reflection & Dialogue Events

  • The 3rd Ottawa Immigration Forum, hosted jointly by OLIP and the City of Ottawa, where participants will review and celebrate Ottawa’s progress and engage in reflection on selected priority themes.
  • City of Ottawa will host a session to generate and collect ideas on how to make Ottawa the most welcoming city of Canada.
  • A number of interactive workshops on important themes affecting immigrant integration such as housing, health, voting, building credit history, understanding workplace culture, professional coaching, and access to job in the trades.
  • Youth discussion on the journey of migration, its challenges and many rewards

Guided Walking Tours to Uncover Unique Ottawa Spaces

  • A guided walking tour in the Vanier Neighborhood, showcasing the history of Ottawa’s Francophone Community, led by the Vanier Muséoparc
  • A guided walking tour to discover Ottawa sites that are important to First Nations communities
  • A guided walking tour of Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall

Food-centered events

  • Community picnic in Mooney’s Bay Park convened by OCISO, and open to all language learners.
  • An evening to celebrate Somali food & culture hosted the West End Well – featuring traditional Somali menu, stories, poetry, and music.

Arts & Culture

  • Faces & Stories of Welcoming City Exhibit, unveiled on Monday, June 22nd and open for free public viewing throughout WOW
  • Two documentary screenings in two Ottawa Public Library neighborhood branches, showing acclaimed National Film Board documentaries.
  • A display of stories of migration, told though the works of art by immigrant women, hosted by Immigrant Women’s Services Organization of Ottawa (IWSO)
  • Interactive Persian Dance Workshop
  • A public concert by two immigrant musicians

Sports and Physical Activities Events

  • Three Qigong sessions will run on Wednesday, June 24th at the Maplesoft Centre in Alta Vista, courtesy of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Qigong is a Chinese mindfulness practice of aligning breath and movement with awareness.
  • WOW culminates with the 11th Annual Community Cup soccer tournament organized by the Catholic Centre for Immigrants at Brewer Park.