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
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
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
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
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 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
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

OLIP Open House for Immigrant Leaders

January 31, 2013

OLIP believes that immigrants themselves have to play a significant role in achieving systemic change that responds effectively to their needs and maximizes the benefits of immigration in Ottawa.

On December 13th, 2012, OLIP organized its first Open House for Immigrant Leaders. Its purpose was three-fold:

  • facilitating immigrants’ participation in the OLIP process;
  • connecting immigrants to opportunities; and
  • strengthening and sustaining communication with immigrant communities

Close to 100 community leaders from a cross-section of cultural backgrounds attended the event. They had an opportunity to learn about ways they can participate in the OLIP process, which include: contributing their knowledge and perspectives on various aspects of integration; acting as connectors between new immigrants and OLIP partners; and broadcasting opportunities offered by OLIP partners through their networks.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson addressed the participants and in his welcoming remarks stressed the importance of immigration for Ottawa’s continued economic, social, and cultural vitality. He encouraged participants to use the services offered by the City and various OLIP partners to support the integration process.

Thirteen community organizations and departments of the City of Ottawa hosted information booths to showcase services including those related to employment, self-employment, and civic education. A special booth targeted Francophone service providers whose clientele tends to be underserved in the integration sector.

Under the headline of “Connecting Immigrants with Opportunities,” a panel of presenters provided an overview of new and exciting programs for immigrants in Ottawa. Presentations included:

Theme I: Access to Civic Engagement Opportunities

“What is OLIP and How to Participate” – Hindia Mohamoud, OLIP
“City Advisory Committees & How to Participate” – Leonore Evans, City of Ottawa
“Citizens Academy Ottawa” – Caroline Andrew and Manjit Basi

Theme II: Access to Economic Opportunities

“Access to Microloans”– Michael Oster, Ottawa Community Loan Fund
“City of Ottawa Trades Manual and Videos”– Jephtée Elysée, City of Ottawa
“Connecting Employers to Immigrant Talents”– Magdalene Cooman-Maxwell and Ying Xie, LASI Coalition

Participants reacted positively to the Open House.

“As a recent newcomer, I felt encouraged to fully integrate in Canada!”

“I really liked this event. It created a great opportunity for strengthening the communication among the communities. Myself, as a new immigrant, also got a lot of useful information!”

“This get together was a great idea. The meeting was a great opportunity to network.”

It is hoped that OLIP’s Open House for Immigrant Leaders will become an annual event. OLIP is committed to facilitating the engagement of immigrants in the building a more vibrant, prosperous, and inclusive national capital, strengthened through the contributions of newcomers.

If you are an immigrant and have views and ideas about creative ways to address immigrants’ needs in Ottawa, email us: