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
Welcoming Ottawa Week is wonderful platform to demonstrate our city’s longstanding openness to immigration and commitment to supporting newcomers’ successful integration. …

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. Welcoming Ottawa Week offers a platform for Ottawa residents to celebrate both this…

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 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
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
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
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 Chair
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

The Power of Mentoring a Newcomer

Rudi Aksim receives his Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador award from Mayor Jim Watson

Rudi Aksim receives his Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador award from Mayor Jim Watson

Rudi Aksim, a retired Algonquin College professor, first met Jiehan Zhou in 2013 when he taught him a course on navigating the IT workplace at the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre.

After completing the 10-week course, Rudi began became Jiehan’s mentor on a volunteer basis. The two would often meet at a McDonald’s locations all over the city. Over coffee, Rudi helped the Chinese newcomer with his English pronunciation and his job search in the IT sector.  He even helped him prepare and fine tune a speech.

“I believe in strategic networking, which involves talking to people working in a particular field, as the best way to find employment,” said Rudi. “Coming to Canada is a huge, monumental change in the lives of newcomers and my role as a mentor is to cast light on the path and help them see how it works in our country. It’s not just about sending out resumes.”

Rudi connected Jiehan to some potential employers and now Jiehan works as a part-time researcher at Carleton University in addition to a job at a university in Finland. He commutes regularly between Canada and Finland. “Rudi helped me to get my first Canadian work experience for which I am really grateful,” remarked Jiehan. “He opened my mind and broadened my view.”

“I also enjoy meeting newcomers and learning about different cultures and languages,” adds Rudi. “Jiehan is a very interesting, likeable guy and it’s a pleasure to help someone who has big ideas.”

“Rudi made my family feel like Ottawa was home,” explained Jiehan. “He is a really kind man with a great heart. Rudi has given so much of his time to assist so many newcomers like myself and by doing so has helped build a stronger community.”

Beyond their mentoring relationship, the two men have formed a genuine friendship. They visit each other when their busy schedules permit and their families celebrated Chinese New Year’s together.