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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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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

Do you know a WOW Ambassador?

Please note that the 2014 WOW Ambassadors have already been selected. Thank you to everyone who participated. A photo and story exhibition of the selected Ambassadors and their nominators called “Faces and Stories of a Welcoming City” was displayed June 23-27, 2014 at Ottawa City Hall.

Read the five  qualities of a welcoming Ambassador drawn from the nomination stories.

Attention: Ottawa’s foreign-born residents

Think back to when you first arrived in Ottawa as a newcomer to Canada, whether it was 20 years ago or 20 days. Was there someone who did something – big or small – to help you feel at home in our city? Maybe it was a neighbour who explained where to shop or how the schools work, a colleague who answered your questions about workplace culture and English expressions, or strangers at mosque, temple or church who reached out and became lifelong friends.

During Welcoming Ottawa Week, the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) will be promoting and celebrating the spirit of genuine hospitality and respect extended by Ottawans of all backgrounds towards newcomers in everyday life. We’re looking for Ottawa residents who have demonstrated the human qualities of openness, curiosity, and friendly connection across difference that can be so enriching, but is not always there or easy to achieve or demonstrate in our busy lives.

We need your help. You’re invited to nominate someone who made a difference in your settlement journey by opening his or her door to you, being your guide, your support, or simply your friend. It doesn’t have to be the first person who helped you, or even the person who helped you the most – it just has to be someone outside your family who went the extra mile to help you adjust to life in Ottawa, and whose actions left an impression.

We’re gathering these stories of welcome, sharing them on our Facebook page and then choosing several to be WOW Ambassadors. The WOW Ambassadors will be featured in a special Welcoming Ottawa Week photo exhibition by photographer Dwayne Brown, the founder of the loveOttawa project.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Think about someone who has helped you feel at home in Ottawa, and nominate him or her to be a WOW Ambassador. Write a brief nomination (no more than 200 words) including your name, the name of the person you are nominating, and how they welcomed you to Ottawa. Post the nomination to our Facebook page by noon on June 6, 2014. If you aren’t on Facebook, email the nomination to sherri@olip-plio.ca; and we’ll post it for you. Be sure to write “WOW Ambassador Nomination” in the subject line of your email to Sherri, to ensure that it is opened. Please include a photo if you have one of you with your nominee.
  2. We’ll share stories submitted by the deadline on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. The WOW Organizing Committee will choose several submissions and aim to reflect a cross-section of submissions from across Ottawa’s diversity. Both the nominee and the nominator will become WOW Ambassadors. You will be contacted soon after the June 6 deadline if you have been chosen.
  4. Each pair of WOW Ambassadors will be invited to sit for a portrait together, to be shot on Saturday, June 14. Only entrants available for that date will be selected; we are unable to have multiple shooting dates. The resulting portraits will be part of a photo exhibition to be displayed during Welcoming Ottawa Week, June 23-28 and may also be used in the promotion and media coverage of WOW. WOW Ambassadors will be recognized at the 2014 Welcoming Ottawa Week Launch Reception, on June 23.

Celebrate the spirit of welcome - tell us your story now!