Highlights of the 2015 WOW & Presentation of the 2015 Faces & Stories of a Welcoming CityAugust 21, 2015
Louisa Taylor and Sarah Onyango, Co-Chairs of the Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) presented the highlights of the 2015 WOW Calendar and presented the WOW Ambassadors Exhibit, showcasing stories of friendships and mutual learning and support between Ottawans and newcomers to the City.
WOW Ambassadors initiative is now a permanent feature of Welcoming Ottawa Week. It is designed to showcase the genuine hospitality Ottawans demonstrate to newcomers in the City.
The mechanics of this very popular initiative is that every year, OLIP invites all immigrants in Ottawa – regardless of how long they have been in Canada and in the city – to tell us their stories of arrival and how they found their way into becoming part of the Ottawa community; and to nominate individual Ottawans (of any background) who made a significant difference in their journey to making Ottawa home.
The number of nominations from immigrants has grown remarkably by 200 percent in 2015, compared to 2014, when the initiative started. This year’s nominations also represented a greater diversity in cultures compared to last year, notably with more francophone nominations.
A selected group of WOW Ambassadors and their nominators are featured in a photo and stories exhibit entitled: the Faces and Stories of a Welcoming City. The accomplished Canadian Photographer, J. David Andrews, generously donated his time and expertise to take the Exhibit photos; and Louisa Taylor, co-chair of WOW and an award winning journalist in Ottawa curated the stories. The Exhibit was featured in several locations across the city during the 2015 Welcoming Ottawa Week: June 22nd – 28th.