Potpourri of multicultural events for WOW 2014June 19, 2014
Summer is a wonderful time to be in the nation’s capital – and it is not just the warm weather and tulips that beckon everyone outdoors. There are several festivals that cater to just about every community, and of course, Canada Day celebrations on the Hill draw thousands of Canucks to celebrate the bonds that are unique to us from coast to coast.
There is a newer activity added to the summer extravaganza in Ottawa and it is called “Welcoming Ottawa Week” (WOW). WOW was launched in 2013 by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) in order to shine a spot light on the diversity that is a hallmark of Ottawa. The week-long activities are an attempt to bring together all residents of Ottawa, both new and old-timers, so that personal and social connections are forged, which would then, it is hoped, produce a more vibrant, cosmopolitan city.
WOW 2014 brings under its canopy 31 diverse events happening at different parts of Ottawa – a four-fold increase from the inaugural year, which points to the commitment from various communities, ranging from multicultural and immigrant serving organizations to higher secondary institutions and business and economic development agencies.
WOW 2014 activities are so varied that there is something for just about everyone. If you are into multicultural arts and music, you should come out to listen to Suren Barry play classical Armenian piano pieces along with well-known classical composers, or be entertained by an interactive musical workshop by World Folk Music, or you could dance to the moves of Persian dance organized by Saba Persian Dance.
If you dig ethnic food, you could sample some delicacies from Ottawa’s Chinatown, and if you are a movie lover, you could watch the screening of “Twelve” and “Cricket and the Meaning of Life”. You cannot help but be moved by the paintings and quilt produced by immigrant and refugee women which depict stories of their immigration and integration journey.
For those who seek brainy discussions on immigration and settlement can join Metropolis at Carleton University, for a Professional Development program on migration and integration or chat with Yumi Kotani on the history of Ottawa’s progress on equity through a local case study called, “Equity and Inclusion Lens.” The University of Ottawa is also organizing a learning event to study the eating habits of perinatal immigrant women. The findings are expected to help develop tools for health care providers, researchers and community members to discuss healthy eating habits.
WOW 2014 presents plenty of opportunities to learn about the different cultures that are represented in Ottawa. An indigenous walking tour will lead participants through native social, political, cultural and artistic spaces in Ottawa, while the Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’Est de l’Ontario will present an evening of discussion and networking. Newcomer Information Centre’s multicultural celebration will present activities like henna painting, calligraphy, tea ceremony, arts and crafts, music, dance performances by a Middle Eastern Troupe and a parade of national dresses.
With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, WOW 2014 will capture some of that fever with a soccer match as its finale, featuring several multicultural teams competing for the Community Cup on June 28th.
The WOW 2014 launch will take place on June 23rd at the Ottawa City Hall, hosted by Louisa Taylor and Sarah Onyango. The highlight of the launch will be the unveiling of the WOW Ambassadors’ photos/stories exhibit. OLIP had invited immigrants to submit their stories of friendship that have helped them settle in the nation’s capital. Numerous stories of generosity and acts of kindness have poured into the OLIP office. The WOW 2014 team selected a few outstanding ones to be “ambassadors” and they were invited for a photo shoot. These pictures along with the submitted stories will be part of an exhibit at the launch of WOW2014.
These are just a few sampling from the large menu that WOW 2014 is presenting to the City of Ottawa. So, join us from June 23 to 28th at one of the numerous locations from Orleans to Nepean and take part in these fun activities. All events are free, but some of them require prior registration, so be quick and register. Be sure to share your fun via social media by tweeting us your picture at https://twitter.com/OLIP_PLIO.
See you there!