• Ottawa to Host 2016 and 2017 Canadian Triathlon Championships and CAMTRI Continental Cup Races

    March 31, 2016—Canada’s top triathletes will be swimming, biking and running into the Nation’s Capital Region for the 2016 and 2017 Canadian Sprint and Standard Distance Triathlon Championships, along with the CAMTRI Continental Cup.

     “Having the opportunity to host major events in all corners of the country is critical to the growth and future success of our sport across Canada,” said Tim Wilson, chief executive officer, Triathlon Canada. “Eastern Canada is extremely passionate for all Olympic and Paralympic sports. That enthusiasm is no different for triathlon. I can think of no better place to showcase our national championships than in the heart of Canada’s capital city.”

    Triathlon Canada made the announcement in partnership with Mayor Jim Watson and the City of Ottawa, along with Ottawa Tourism, on Thursday at Dow’s Lake Pavilion – the host venue of the premiere domestic triathlon race event for the next two years.

    “Thanks to the City’s Bid More, Win More, Host More program, Ottawa residents can look forward to a growing number of high-profile sporting events over the next few years, now including the Canadian Triathlon Championships in both 2016 and 2017, ” said Mayor Jim Watson. “That strategy has been incredibly successful in positioning Ottawa as the ideal host city, enhancing our reputation on the world stage and boosting our local economy.”

    Greg Kealey will lead an experienced group of professionals, as well as Bytown Storm Triathlon Club, who will form the Ottawa Triathlon’s local organizing committee responsible for staging a total of 10 major races over the two-day sporting festival that promises to bring thousands of visitors to the area:

    Canadian Standard Distance Triathlon Championships

    Canadian Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships

    Canadian Paratriathlon Championships

    Ottawa CAMTRI (Confederation American Triathlon)

    Triathlon American Cup Canadian Elite Championships (CAMTRI Continental Cup)

    Canadian Under-23 Championships (part of CAMTRI Continental Cup)

    Canadian Junior Championships and Triathlon Series Event (ages 16-19)

    Ottawa Youth Triathlon (ages 13-15)

    Canadian Mixed Relay Triathlon Championships

    Kid of Steel Triathlons (Under 5-Under 13) 

    Richard Price, who has more than five years of international experience working on the World Triathlon Series and at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, will lead the competition team.

    Price and his team have developed a spectacular city-based triathlon minutes from Ottawa’s core. Located just three kilometres from Parliament Hill, athletes will dive into Dow’s Lake for a single lap swim. The bike courses will be flat and fast with a 20-kilometre out and back loop. The run will take athletes past many of Ottawa’s top sights and neighbourhoods while winding along the beautiful Rideau Canal and past Carleton University before making a turn to the finish stadium near Hog’s Back Falls.

    “Ottawa has a long history of staging successful world-leading events. From the facilities and services available for the athletes to the scenic course Richard and his team has been able to build out on this incredible landscape – this race promises to be a great test for Canada’s best triathletes at all levels,” said Wilson. “It is a fast course. It will be fun and it will be action packed. Even more importantly – it provides great sightlines of all three race disciplines, and will draw visitors to many of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Ottawa Triathlon simply should not be missed.”

    To register for the Ottawa Triathlon, or for more information, please visit http://ottawatriathlon.ca.

    Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.

  • Moment Factory and Ottawa 2017 to produce momentum-building Signature Event in future Light Rail Transit tunnel

    March 30th, 2016 – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, announced today a world first: an impressive underground multimedia production in the city’s highly anticipated light rail train system.

    The Confederation Line of Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit (LRT) service is scheduled to launch in May 2018. To showcase this modern mode of travel and to build anticipation for this new era of transportation in the nation’s capital, the Lyon Station will be open to the public for a free, innovative multimedia experience in the summer of 2017.

    “LRT is the most transformative project in Ottawa since the construction of the Rideau Canal. Trains will start running in 2018 and you can already sense the anticipation building,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “People are excited for the future and we want them to have a first glimpse of what that future looks like next year, when we host landmark celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday.”

    “In 2017, as Canadians mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canada’s capital will itself be on the cusp of a new age of public transportation,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre. “The Light Rail Transit project will support the single largest one-time reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Ottawa’s history. Our government is extremely proud to support this turning point in Ottawa’s sustainable future.”

    The production, which will run for a period of approximately ten weeks, will highlight this once-in-a-generation infrastructure project, its role in transforming Ottawa, and will galvanize the support and anticipation of Ottawa’s residents for the LRT network one year before it officially opens.

    “As a funding partner for LRT in Ottawa, we’re delighted to be showcasing this important infrastructure investment in our future,” said Minister Yasir Naqvi (MPP, Ottawa Centre). “This exciting Ottawa 2017 Signature Event is an opportunity to highlight the opening of Confederation Line and Canadian innovation, creativity and excellence as part of what we’re celebrating as a country in 2017.”

    “CIBC came on board as lead partner of Ottawa 2017 to help create memorable experiences for Canadians as we celebrate our 150th,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “This sensory multimedia journey highlighting Ottawa’s thriving infrastructure is a great example of how we’re bringing our nation’s birthday celebrations to life for Canadians and visitors alike.”

    Today’s announcement took place in the former Place de Ville theatre, which will be updated and included as part of the experience, alongside the newly built Lyon Station.

    “Knowing the importance of the Confederation Line to Ottawa’s future, this was the very first concept that I proposed when I took the role of leading the Ottawa 2017 celebrations, and this is the program element that I’m most proud of,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “This Ottawa 2017 Signature Event will be more than just entertainment. We want to elevate people’s souls and inspire them to do great things, in 2017 and beyond.”

    Following an open, competitive process, Moment Factory, a world-renowned Canadian production company, has been commissioned to bring Guy Laflamme’s original concept of an underground experience to life. Moment Factory is no stranger to creating large-scale productions in Ottawa, having produced the original version of Mosaika in 2010, the popular sound and light show on Parliament Hill.

    “At Moment Factory, we tell stories with light, video and sound. But more than this, we bridge the divide between the digital and physical realms to allow a sense of magic to flourish,” said Sakchin Bessette, Co-Founder, Moment Factory. “We are honoured to collaborate with Ottawa 2017 on this futuristic, momentum-building project to tell the story of a city in motion toward an innovative and connected future.”

    The full concept and title of the underground multimedia experience will be revealed soon.

    Ottawa 2017 is thrilled to present this project as one of its Signature Events and thanks our lead partner CIBC, the Government of Ontario, Ottawa Tourism and the Government of Canada for their contributions. To make this exciting event happen in its remarkable subterranean location, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with the City of Ottawa’s Rail Implementation Office, Brookfield Office Properties and Rideau Transit Group, the consortium delivering the Confederation Line, the first stage of Ottawa’s LRT project.

    For more information on the Lyon Station cavern and Confederation Line, visit http://www.ligneconfederationline.ca/.

    Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

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  • Tysen Lefebvre receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    March 23rd, 2016 – Mayor Jim Watson and Stittsville Ward Councillor Shad Qadri presented a Mayor’s City Builder Award to Tysen Lefebvre at today’s City Council meeting. The 15-year-old youth was recognized for his tireless and enthusiastic work to raise funds for Make-a-Wish Eastern Ontario to make big wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

    In November 2012, Tysen had his own wish granted: to fly to Los Angeles to meet his hero, actor Adam Sandler, who does extensive philanthropic work while filming movies and raising his family. The actor’s generosity and hard work inspired Tysen to launch Mission to a Million the next year, an ongoing fundraising project to raise $1 million for Make-a-Wish so 100 local kids can have their wishes come true.

    This was a lofty goal for Tysen, who has Pfeiffer Syndrome Type 2, a rare genetic disorder that affects the skull, facial features and limbs. He had his first operation when he was nine days old and, by the time he was three, he had spent more than half of his life in hospital. He has more surgeries in his future, but he is always planning and working on how he can make life better for others.

    Tysen has a website (missiontoamillion.ca) and a Facebook page devoted to the campaign, but it is the time he puts into being the face and voice of Mission to a Million that has made it a remarkable success. To date he has inspired businesses, schools, children’s groups, philanthropic organizations and individuals to raise more than $360,000, and on March 14 he was on hand for the presentation of the 46th wish of the campaign. He says every time the funds raised by Mission to a Million grant a wish, it feels like having his own wish granted again.

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  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin receives Ottawa’s Highest Honour

    March 23rd, 2016 – We all carry keys with us:  keys to doors, cars, lockers, you name it — anything we feel is valuable enough to put a lock on. But very few people own a Key to the City of Ottawa.

    An ornamental key – the Key to the City – is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. The key is symbolic of medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. Being given such a key means the recipient is free to enter and leave the city whenever they want, as a trusted friend of city residents.

    On Tuesday, March 22, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada. She was the most recent of 85 individuals and organizations to receive Ottawa’s highest honour.

    Chief Justice McLachlin is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the first woman to hold this position, and the longest serving Chief Justice in Canadian history.

    The first Key to the City of Ottawa was presented by Mayor Stanley Lewis at Union Train Station on

    November 4, 1935, to Lord and Lady Tweedsmuir as they arrived in Ottawa to begin Lord Tweedsmuir’s term as Canada’s Governor  General.

    Past Key-to-the-City recipients include Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II), Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, author Margaret Atwood, photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, actress Sandra Oh and Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.