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 Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa

Highlights of the 2015 WOW & Presentation of the 2015 Faces & Stories of a Welcoming City

August 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.

Click here to view the full video coverage of the by 2015 WOW Co-chairs’ speech
Click here to read the presentation by 2015 WOW Co-chairs