• New task force will help galvanize music industry in Ottawa

    Ottawa – The City of Ottawa, together with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), will spearhead a task force of music and film industry leaders to develop a Music Strategy for Ottawa. Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Jeff Leiper made the announcement today during the “Ottawa as a Music City” panel discussion at the Innovation Centre.

    OMIC is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to growing the city’s music industry for the benefit of its artists, businesses, and the city as a whole. Since it was formed in 2015, a direct result of the City’s Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture, OMIC has:

    • developed relationships between its members and the national industry, the City and the community-at-large;
    • delivered music-focussed programming in partnership with the City, Ottawa 2017, and the JUNO Awards;
    • conducted important research on developing the industry in Ottawa.

    The City of Ottawa and OMIC will work with a task force of music and film industry partners, as well as other business leaders, to develop a strategy that will strengthen and grow our music industry, as well as other cultural sectors in Ottawa.

    In order for OMIC to conduct the research and consultation work required to develop this Music Strategy, the City is investing $30,000.


    “Live music is a growth industry in Ottawa. It shapes our identity and who we are as a city. In addition to the cultural benefits, a thriving music industry helps to level the playing field for our homegrown companies who are competing to attract talent from around the world. This music strategy will be part of the legacy of the 2017 JUNOs happening in Ottawa.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “Music is one of Ottawa’s great assets. We have incredible music talent, dedicated music entrepreneurs, and vibrant music scenes. Developing a municipal music strategy is about bringing together industry and government to create an environment that nurtures music’s transformative potential. As a representative of Ottawa’s music industry, OMIC is excited and proud to have the opportunity to work with the City and business leaders from connected sectors on this important step for the growth of our music industry and for the growth of our city.”
    Andrew Vincent, Executive Director of the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC)

  • 105th Grey Cup Festival open call for artist submissions


    It’s your turn to take the stage.

    The 105th Grey Cup Festival presented by Shaw is putting a call out to Canadian artists to perform at Lansdowne throughout the week leading up to the big game on November 26. The festival will:

    • Showcase Canadian culture
    • Attract over 250,000 visitors throughout the week
    • Put an exclamation point on Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations!

    Want to submit your act?

    Click here and fill out the form by Friday, April 21 at midnight.

    Know a good band/artist?

    Click here to forward this message to your talented friends!

  • Responses to the Mayor’s Questionnaire for Ottawa-Vanier Federal by-election Candidates 2017

    1)   The city is embarking on an ambitious Light Rail Transit project, including Stage 2 that sends light rail further East, West and South. If elected, will you, and your party support Stage 2?

    Green Party of Canada candidate Nira Dookeran

    Comments: As a representative of the Green Party of Canada, I will and do support Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit project, which will extend the LRT west to Moodie, east to Trim, and south to Riverside and the airport.

    Greens support the extension of efficient and affordable public transit systems, including such ambitious projects as Ottawa’s LRT line.

    Ottawa’s visionary 21st-century urban planning, which includes planning safe, well-planned cycling lanes, more pedestrian walkways and bridges (such as the beautiful new bridge linking Sandy Hill to River Road), and improving OCTranspo bus service, is key to Green goals of reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, making our streets and neighbourhoods cleaner, greener, safer, and more beautiful places to live, work, and play.

    This is the Green vision of sustainable urban planning and we wholeheartedly support Stage 2 of the LRT as a significant step in the right direction.

    Liberal Party of Canada candidate Mona Fortier

    Comments: Ottawa’s LRT Phase 2 is an exciting project for the people of Ottawa-Vanier, and it is one of the reasons why I am proud that in Budget 2016, the Liberal government introduced the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund through which the City of Ottawa has already received more than $155 million for 57 transit projects.This included $45 million for LRT Stage 2 early works and preliminary engineering.

    By investing in infrastructure now – in the projects Canada needs and the men and women who can build them – we can strengthen and grow the middle class and make Canada an even better place to call home.  Helping communities to become cleaner and less reliant on sources of energy that pollute the air, harm the environment, and compromise our health is critical to investments going forward.

    Budget 2017 includes $20.1 billion over 11 years through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories to support the next phase of ambitious public transit projects. This funding will make it possible for Canadian communities to build the new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way that Canadians live, move and work.  I committed to fighting for Ottawa-Vanier’s fair share of infrastructure investments and am excited to work with my city and provincial colleagues to see Ottawa’s LRT projects funded.

    Conservative Party of Canada candidate Adrian Papara

    Comments: If elected, I will support Stage 2 of the city’s Light Rail Transit. I truly believe that the construction of public infrastructure such as the LRT with 5 stations in Ottawa-Vanier, creates jobs and helps business prosper now and into the future. Making strategic investments into public transit infrastructure will also help reduce traffic congestion and the cost of gridlock in Ottawa-Vanier, and will facilitate access for Ottawa residents to jobs, education, health care services and social activities.

    New Democratic Party of Canada candidate Emilie Taman

    Comments: I am in full support of Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit project as an important way to improve commute times and help reduce the influx of traffic on many road in Ottawa-Vanier. More transit options in the riding will definitely improve the lives of Ottawa-Vanier residents.

    For years, the New Democratic Party has been pushing the federal government to invest more in transit and to provide municipalities with stable funding.


    2)   Truck traffic in the downtown core, particularly on Kind Edward Avenue, Rideau and Waller Streets, is often unsafe and takes away from the quality of life of residents and visitors. The city has approved a plan to conduct an Environment Assessment (EA) on a proposed truck tunnel that would remove the majority of trucks from the downtown core. Will you and your party support 1/3rd funding of the EA in this next fiscal year so that work can begin the study next year?

    Green Party of Canada candidate Nira Dookeran

    Comments: As a representative of the Green Party of Canada, I will support 1/3rd federal funding of the Environmental Assessment (EA) on a proposed truck tunnel to remove the majority of trucks from Ottawa’s downtown core.

    This is a problem that has persisted for more than 5 decades. It’s high time for a solution. I will support 1/3rd federal funding in this next fiscal year to match the funds already committed at the municipal and provincial levels ($2.5 million each) to conduct an EA on the proposed King Edward truck tunnel.

    Liberal Party of Canada candidate Mona Fortier

    Comments: We need to ensure that any new transportation infrastructure projects reflect an integrated system-wide approach. The City of Ottawa has undertook a feasibility study, which reported to council, that a tunnel is indeed possible.

    If elected, I am committed to working with my provincial and municipal colleagues to ensure funding is available to the city for a proper environmental assessment. In the meantime, I would commit to working on creative solutions to help mitigate the truck traffic through Lowertown and down King Edward Ave.

    Conservative Party of Canada candidate Adrian Papara

    Comments: I agree that the truck traffic in the downtown core is often unsafe and environmentally unfriendly. If elected, I will support funding of the environmental assessment so that work can begin on a study on the proposed truck tunnel. It is a project I support and one that eases concerns over alternatives such as bridge projects that would disrupt local communities. The truck tunnel is a viable idea because it reduces not only truck traffic in the downtown core, but traffic in general as over 3000 cars and trucks would be able to use it on a daily basis. What makes this project feasible is that no new major infrastructure is needed on the connecting Quebec side and it would link directly to highway 417. Improved infrastructure is key for businesses to get their products to market faster and more efficiently and cut commute times for residents so they can get home and be with their families or to their jobs faster.

    New Democratic Party of Canada candidate Emilie Taman

    Comments: Having lived on St Patrick St. in Lowertown, I am well aware of the problems with heavy truck traffic on King Edward. The level of traffic has been putting the lives of people in Lowertown at risk for many years. It’s time to stop talking about fix this problem and actually get on with doing it. Both the NDP and I fully support providing federal government funding for one-third of the cost for the Environmental Assessment. I will also do everything I can to ensure the necessary funding required to move this project from talk to reality.


    3)   Will you and your party join with the Provincial Government and the City of Ottawa in adding additional funding for affordable housing? If so, what kind of support do you envision?

    Green Party of Canada candidate Nira Dookeran

    Comments: As a representative of the Green Party of Canada, I will advocate strongly for federal funding to support municipal and provincial efforts to create adequate affordable housing for all Canadians.

    As a party committed to collaboration among all levels of government, the Green Party sees the need for strong federal leadership in the area of affordable housing across the country. This is why we support a National Housing Strategy. We support working collaboratively in good faith with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to ensure that all Canadians have safe, affordable, and long-term housing.

    Federal commitments for subsidised and affordable housing across the country stand currently at $1.7 billion, projected to be reduced to $1 billion by 2020, and to be eliminated by 2040. This is not acceptable.

    The City of Ottawa projects that 150-200 units of affordable housing will come online this year. However, the current waitlist for affordable housing across the city approaches 10 000. Clearly, the City requires significant, substantial, and sustained funding commitments from the federal government to be in a position to plan proactively to meet the housing needs of Ottawa citizens.

    The Green Party of Canada supports a National Housing Strategy that includes such significant, substantial, and sustained funding. No Canadian should be without safe, affordable, and long-term housing. It is the responsibility of all levels of government, working together, with strong federal leadership and support, to make sure this goal becomes a reality for all Canadians.

    Liberal Party of Canada candidate Mona Fortier

    Comments: All Canadians deserve a safe and affordable place to call home and that is why the Liberal Government is working towards establishing National Housing Strategy to renew federal leadership in housing. In Budget 2017, more than $11.2 billion was allocated for a National Housing Strategy to help ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs.  This strategy will have an integrated approach to address the entire continuum of housing challenges across the country, including homelessness.

    Of the total funding, $3.2 billion will be provided to province and territories to support key priorities for affordable housing through a new, expanded, multilateral investment framework that will replace the existing Investment in Affordable Housing initiative.

    I will work hard to ensure that investments into affordable housing benefit residents of Ottawa-Vanier and work to address homelessness, and increase support for vulnerable groups.

    Conservative Party of Canada candidate Adrian Papara

    Comments: The Conservative Party of Canada believes that all Canadians should have a reasonable opportunity to own their home and to have access to safe and affordable housing. As a candidate, I have made a commitment that if elected I would work to reverse the Liberal government’s “one size fits all” mortgage rules aimed at the Vancouver and Toronto housing markets that are eroding the purchasing power for would be home owners by up to 20% here in Ottawa-Vanier. The riding is home to almost 2/3 of Ottawa’s affordable housing units, and much of the money the city receives from the federal government is mostly used on maintaining existing units leaving little in terms of the creation of new units. That’s a disappointment for the almost 10,000 people currently on a wait list for affordable housing. While I am glad to see that the Liberal government has put aside billions for affordable housing across Canada, most of that funding only comes after the next election. That delay in the majority of the funding is unacceptable and I will work to make sure more of that funding will be available now when it’s needed.

    New Democratic Party of Canada candidate Emilie Taman

    Comments: With 10,000 people on the wait list for housing in Ottawa, building new affordable housing in the city must be a priority.

    While Budget 2017 announced money for investments in housing, close to 90% of the promised funds is not scheduled to be spent until after the next election. Right now only $10 million will be provided for the entire country, which does not come close to meeting the needs of our city.


    4)  As you are aware, Ottawa, along with other cities across Canada, is dealing with an unfortunate crisis with our youth around the usage of opioids. Public health officials estimate there have been about 20-25 overdose related death in Ottawa in a one year period. The City of Ottawa, joined by many partners, held a public meeting on February 27 2017 to discuss ways we can work together to combat this issue. Will you and your party commit to more funding for addiction treatment facilities, more beds in those facilities and more timely statistics to help address this crisis in our community?

    Green Party of Canada candidate Nira Dookeran

    Comments: The current opioid crisis requires immediate and urgent attention. As a representative of the Green Party of Canada, I support funding measures to address this crisis, including addiction treatment facilities, more beds in those facilities, and more timely statistics to help address this crisis among our youth. These measures should be implemented with leadership and collaboration by Ottawa Public Health.

    In addition to addressing the current crisis, however, I support improving public education, especially among youth, regarding drug and alcohol addiction, street drugs, abuse of prescription drugs, and related risks. A long-term approach to healthy choices for our young people must focus on education and prevention.

    Liberal Party of Canada candidate Mona Fortier

    Comments: The current opioid crisis is having a devastating impact in many communities. The Liberal government is committed to a comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based response to the crisis and will exhaust every possible avenue in addressing this crisis.

    In total, the Liberal government has announced $81 million in funding to address the ongoing crisis. In addition to the announced emergency funding for Alberta, $10 million in emergency funding has been provided to British Columbia, and $65 million over five years has been announced for federal initiatives, including to support the federal government’s ongoing implementation of the Opioid Action Plan.

    No single action can end the crisis, but this funding is an important step toward addressing immediate and longer-term needs.  If elected I am committed to working with my provincial and municipal counterparts to ensure treatment and prevention programmes are available.

    Conservative Party of Canada candidate Adrian Papara

    Comments: I am very concerned about our opioid crisis in Ottawa among youth. It is my understanding that the federal Health Minister made a $65 million commitment to support better lab testing, better toxicology, better data and surveillance across Canada. While I welcome this news, I believe the federal government should have also committed funding to our province and our city to increase access to the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone and create overdose prevention facilities. If elected, I will be a strong voice in Parliament and will work to keep the Liberals accountable and make sure that committed funds reach our communities that depend on it. I think it’s also important to commit federal funds to programs that engage youth and educate them on the consequences of unsafe opioid consumption.

    New Democratic Party of Canada candidate Emilie Taman

    Comments: The opiod crisis must be tackled immediately. It must include a harm reduction strategy that incorporates solutions like safe injection sites to ensure no one falls through the cracks before they are able to get the treatment they need.

    It was the NDP that first pushed the government to study this issue and has been pushing to get necessary legislation through as quickly as possible. We cannot afford to lose any more people to these horrible drugs. I will push for the necessary federal funding to make sure the support is there for people where and when it is needed.


    5) The City of Ottawa has embarked on an ambitious plan to revitalize the Byward Market, Canada’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. As part of the revitalization effort, the City plans to invest $10 million to improve the public areas around the Byward market Building, including improving pedestrian and cycling connections and public gathering spaces. The City has already invested $1 million in this project.  Will you support the City’s request to the Government of Canada for 1/3rd funding in support of the Market Revitalization initiative?

    Green Party of Canada candidate Nira Dookeran

    Comments: Canadians’ growing awareness and concern for food security, healthy, clean food and support for local farm produce dovetails elegantly with the City’s Byward Market revitalization plan. Improving pedestrian and cycling connections and public gathering spaces in the Market will take us “back to the future” with a thriving, bustling market, free of excessive traffic congestion.

    This is an essential component of the Green vision of our cities of the future – a return to relatively car-free, community-rich hubs where we gather to work, shop, play, dine. As a representative of the Green Party of Canada, I support the 1/3rd federal funding contribution to the Byward Market Revitalization initiative.

    Liberal Party of Canada candidate Mona Fortier

    Comments: The Byward Market is an important historic and tourist area of Ottawa-Vanier. If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure Ottawa-Vanier gets its fair share of investments for cultural and recreational centres. The Liberal Government is committed to improving access to public spaces that contribute to vibrant and healthier communities. The Byward Market revitalization will improve an already spectacular district of our riding. 

    Conservative Party of Canada candidate Adrian Papara

    Comments: If elected, I would support the City’s request for federal funding to support the Market Revitalization initiative. I had the opportunity to learn more about this great initiative while on a walkabout with the other candidates and Councillor Mathieu Fleury. The Market is An attraction visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists and with the opening of the new LRT station on Rideau it will attract even more local visitors. Improving pedestrian access and public gathering spaces just makes sense. Businesses in the Market are now facing competition from new entertainment districts like Lansdowne Park and we must preserve the attractiveness of the Market so that businesses that create local jobs continue to grow and prosper.

    New Democratic Party of Canada candidate Emilie Taman

    Comments: I absolutely believe the federal government must cover a third of the cost of the Market Revitalization Initiative. I also believe investing in the revitalization of the other parts of Ottawa-Vanier. To this end, I believe the federal government should move toward a more stable, efficient and transparent funding model based on population and need, rather than forcing municipalities to continually beg for infrastructure funding.

  • City of Ottawa named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers

    Ottawa – For the sixth consecutive year, the City of Ottawa has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in a competition that recognizes organizations for their exceptional workplace diversity and inclusion programs.

    The winners were selected by editors at Mediacorp and are featured in a special section of today’s Globe and Mail. The competition judges recognized the City for its commitment to reflect, in its workforce, the diversity of the Ottawa community, including the following initiatives:

    Hosting an annual AccessAbility Day event to offer residents an opportunity to provide feedback on issues related to accessibility and learn about City initiatives and programs;
    Ensuring that all City owned and operated spaces and facilities are inclusive and accessible, with its Accessibility Design Standards;
    Championing diversity internally by having each City department create and implement their own diversity plan;
    Welcoming new Canadians through an immigration strategy that includes employment initiatives and economic development programs such as the Annual Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards, to recognize the achievements of new Canadians, and the Professional Internship for Newcomers Program, which provides temporary work placements for newcomers.


    “We’re honoured to be selected once again as a national leader in workplace diversity. We are continuously striving to offer a workplace that is as inclusive, welcoming and diverse as this great city we live in, where individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds are recognized and valued.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “Our employees deserve congratulations for this recognition. They are exceptional, hard-working people who represent every facet of our City’s diverse population, and together we are constantly developing new ways to enhance inclusion and remove barriers.”
    Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

  • Special Assistant Position

    The Office of Mayor Jim Watson is currently accepting applications for future opportunities.

    The ideal candidate for Special Assistant:

    • Is highly organized, motivated, punctual, and able to work well under pressure;
    • Has strong interpersonal skills including tact, diplomacy and the ability to interact well with people;
    • Must have an interest in municipal affairs and the ability to engage with residents on their issues and concerns;
    • Is required to work evenings from Wednesdays to Fridays and weekends;
    • Will drive and staff the Mayor at community events throughout the city;
    • Must Possess a valid Ontario Driver’s License (Class “G” unrestricted);
    • Undertakes other duties as assigned including but not limited to providing general clerical support, and preparing correspondence and outreach regarding resident inquiries.

    Please send your résumé in complete confidence no later than April 7th, 2017 to:

    Serge Arpin, Chief of Staff to Mayor Jim Watson
    Office of Mayor Jim Watson / Bureau du maire Jim Watson
    City of Ottawa / Ville d’Ottawa
    110 Laurier Ave. West / 110 ave. Laurier Ouest
    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1
    E-mail : Justine.Ibrahim@Ottawa.ca

    We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only those selected to continue in the selection process will be contacted.

  • More than 1,300 young musicians pay tribute to Canada at Music Ignites

    Ottawa – Today, the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, the National Arts Centre (NAC) and Ottawa’s four local school boards, held Music Ignites, a mass band concert at the Aberdeen Pavilion to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

    O Canada and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah rang out as over 1,300 high school students from 26 local school bands performed the two arrangements under the direction of NAC Orchestra Music Director Alexander Shelley.

    In addition to the orchestral performances, young voices from Sing House Studios interpreted the province of Ontario’s unofficial anthem, A Place to Stand.

    Under Ottawa 2017’s Ignite 150 umbrella program, this event engaged students from Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board in our sesquicentennial celebrations.

    A re-cap video will be shared on Ottawa 2017 social media with highlights from Music Ignites.



    “Canada’s big year happens here in the nation’s capital and we’re delighted to present events like Music Ignites, that ensure our celebrations have a positive, lasting impact on our young people, their families and our community. We thank Ottawa’s school boards and the NAC for their support and enthusiasm in creating opportunities for students to get involved in the Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    “It was an honour for me to conduct this very special concert today. I salute the students who took part, as well as all those dedicated music teachers who helped make it happen,” said Alexander Shelley, Music Director, National Arts Centre.

    “Music has the power to transport our senses, to bring joy, to transcend language barriers and unite us all. The province is proud to support the Ignite 150 program that will showcase the incredible talent we have here in Ontario, including the Sing House Studios choir, the pianist and the 1,300 music students who performed today. And, a special thanks to the music teachers that guided them along the way,” said the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport.

    “CIBC applauds the hundreds of student musicians that have brought their energy and youthful perspective to the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. What better way to unite the country than by bringing talented young Canadians together through music to mark this historic milestone,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC.

    “One of the main goals of Ottawa 2017 is to inspire and open up new horizons for Canadian youth. Music Ignites is a perfect example of our commitment to engage young people in the celebrations of Canada’s sesquicentennial and to showcase their talent and contributions to our country,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    About Ottawa 2017
    Canada’s 150th anniversary 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.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

  • Red Bull Global Rallycross Makes Debut at Canada Aviation and Space Museum in partnership with Ottawa 2017

    Los Angeles, CA (March 23, 2017) – For the first time in its seven-year history, Red Bull Global Rallycross will head to Canada for a championship event in 2017. On Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18, Red Bull GRC will visit Ottawa, the country’s capital, for two rounds of action at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The event is part of the Ottawa 2017 calendar, a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

    “Ottawa represents a perfect fit for Red Bull GRC as we return to international competition in 2017,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “We’ve been fortunate to see many Canadian fans at our events in the United States over the years, and we’re looking forward to bringing our racing formula north for the very first time, and to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. As Ottawa 2017 celebrates the150th anniversary of Canada, we can’t think of a better way to join the celebration than by staging an event in the nation’s capital.”

    The museum is easily accessible off of the Sir George Etienne Cartier Parkway, with the double header event utilizing portions of the Rockcliffe Airport. The course will feature long straightaways and wide-open corners, allowing the 600-horsepower Supercars to reach top speed. The paved main course and Joker Lap will merge leading into the dirt section, just before cars fly over the finish line on the series’ signature 70-foot jump. With grandstands set throughout the dirt section and up to the finish, fans will be up close to some of the most exciting moments of the 2017 season.

    This year, as Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial, a record number of Canadians and visitors will gather in the nation’s capital to join in the festivities planned throughout 2017. Ottawa 2017 is presenting 12 full months of big, bold and immersive experiences that will complement national celebrations and annual events and festivals. Residents and visitors from Canada and abroad are invited to explore Canada’s history and culture through vibrant events that will spark the imagination and inspire for the future.

    “As the nation’s capital, we’re happy to welcome this exciting event to Canada for the first time. Red Bull Global Rallycross will thrill participants and viewers across the country and around the world, while showcasing our city in a new and dynamic way, said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “In support of Ecology Ottawa’s One Million Trees project and to further support this important legacy of the sesquicentennial year, the series’ organizers have committed to planting 10,000 trees in Ottawa.”

    “Red Bull Global Rallycross will be yet another legacy of the Ottawa 2017 celebrations, with the opportunity for the event to return in subsequent years.  It’s one of the bold new events we are helping to bring to Canada’s capital with the support of partners like CIBC and Ottawa Tourism. We’re equally happy to engage our federal partners at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to showcase this important institution on an international scale,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    Featuring the sport’s biggest stars and factory-supported race teams, Red Bull Global Rallycross has a long and storied history of international events and competitors. In 2013, it became the first rallycross series to visit three continents in a single season; last year, Supercar drivers represented 10 different countries, including Canada. Fort Frances, Ontario native Steve Arpin was among last year’s five race winners and is expected to join international stars like Tanner Foust, Scott Speed, Chris Atkinson, and many others.

    Tickets for Red Bull Global Rallycross Ottawa are on sale now at www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/tickets. General Admission and Club tickets are available. Tickets purchased at the door will be $5 more than regularly priced admission. All tickets include full access to the paddock, where fans can get up close to the cars and stars of Red Bull GRC. Kids 12 and under are free to attend with a ticketed adult. For more information visit www.redbullglobalrallycross.com, or follow Red Bull GRC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @GRCseries.

    About Red Bull Global Rallycross

    Created to produce the most exciting action in all of motorsport, Red Bull Global Rallycross combines the best elements of stage rally, off-road and circuit racing in a fan-friendly environment. International superstars battle wheel-to-wheel over dirt, gravel, and the series’ signature 70-foot jump behind the wheel of 600 horsepower Supercars. Events also include the developmental GRC Lites class and a new electric division due to begin competition in 2018. For more information visit www.RedBullGlobalRallycross.com.

  • Michel Picard receives the Key to the City of Ottawa

    Ottawa  – This evening, Mayor Jim Watson presented the Key to the City to Mr. Michel Picard at a ceremony at City Hall.

    Mr. Picard has served the Ottawa-Gatineau community throughout 41 years of his distinguished 45-year career in communications, television and radio broadcasting, as a celebrated voice of the Francophone news scene and a committed supporter of many local charities and organizations.

    In 1976, Mr. Picard joined Radio-Canada’s Ottawa bureau and hosted a wide variety of programs, which included “Place 1250,” “les Matineux,” “Tournée d’Amerique,” and “le Midi trente.” In 1997, he took over the anchor desk for the popular local newscast, “Le Téléjournal Ottawa-Gatineau,” where he remained until 2013.

    In addition to his anchoring role, he took part in covering many federal, provincial and municipal elections, as well as many Canada Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. He also lent his broadcasting talents to Radio-Canada’s coverage of the Montreal, Los Angeles, and Seoul Olympic Games. Mr. Picard has also taught communications and journalism at Saint Paul University and La Cité in Ottawa. Mr. Picard continues his radio broadcasting career as a host with 94.5 Unique FM.

    Mr. Picard is a devoted volunteer who has helped to support many community initiatives and charities – including the Caisse populaire Rideau-Vision d’Ottawa , Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario, the Franco-ontarien Festival, Winterlude, Bruyère Continuing Care, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), telethons in support of people with cerebral palsy, the Ottawa Heart Institute, the United Way, the University of Ottawa, the Patro d’Ottawa, and the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO).


    “Michel Picard has been the voice of a generation in Ottawa’s Francophone news. Over the past 41 years, he has garnered the admiration and respect of Ottawa residents, not only for his work as a trusted broadcaster, but for his dedication to supporting local charities. The City is proud to honour him as an esteemed member of our community.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “I am deeply moved to receive this Key to the City. I am very honoured and thankful that Mayor Jim Watson and the City Council have chosen me. All I have done is my job as an engaged citizen. I shall always be a proud ambassador of our national capital.”
    Mr. Michel Picard

    Quick Facts:

    Michel Picard

    • Mr. Michel Picard grew up in Montreal, where he graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal in dramatic arts and broadcasting.
    • Mr. Picard began his broadcasting career in 1972, with various reporting assignments with Radio-Canada in both Vancouver and Saskatoon.  In 1976, he was assigned to the Radio-Canada’s Ottawa bureau, where he would remain until his retirement in 2013. Mr. Picard continues his radio broadcasting career as a host with 94.5 Unique FM.
    • Mr. Picard has shared his knowledge and experience with up-and-coming journalists as a part-time professor at St. Paul’s University, La Cité collégiale and the Desjardins Cooperative Institute.
    • Mr. Picard co-chaired the 2001-2002 Cité collégiale fundraising campaign.
    • Mr. Picard served as board member of a local credit union, the Caisse populaire Rideau-Vision d’Ottawa for more than 25 years, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa. He also led the Ottawa chapter of the Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario for 10 years.
    • Mr. Picard has been the recipient of many community awards, such as the Ottawa United Way Community Builder Award, a recognition award from Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capital (RGA), and the Prescott and Russell ACFO Ordre de la Francophonie.
    • Mr. Picard has also received the Prix Communications et Société, Prix René-Lecavalier-Molson, the Reel Awards prize, the Médaille Gérard-Lesage from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), and the National Order of Merit from the French Republic. 

    The Key to the City

    • The Key to the City is Ottawa’s most prestigious award.
    • An ornamental key is presented to esteemed residents, visitors and others whom the City of Ottawa wishes to honour. This practice has a symbolic meaning evoking medieval walled cities, the gates of which would be guarded during the day and locked at night. The key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.
    • Since 1935, 82 individuals and organizations have received the Key to the City of Ottawa. Some former  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
    • Ottawa Senators former Captain Daniel Alfredsson
    • The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
    • Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek


  • Mayor Watson seeks input on important City of Ottawa issues from Ottawa-Vanier federal candidates

    OTTAWA – Today, Mayor Jim Watson issued a short questionnaire to Ottawa-Vanier federal candidates, seeking their input on important City of Ottawa related issues.

    All received responses will be posted on Mayor Watson’s website, www.Jimwatsonottawa.ca, simultaneously, without editorial comment, on Wednesday, March 29. The intention of this respectful initiative is to ensure local issues specific to Ottawa-Vanier receive federal attention in the lead-up to the April 3 by-election.

    The questionnaire’s responses will outline each party’s position on issues of great interest to the City of Ottawa, its residents and businesses.

    Click here to view the questionnaire.



  • Pull up to Canada’s Drive-In to see THE ROCKET

    Free tickets to outdoor cinematic event are available Thursday

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to welcome REEL CANADA’s National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150) as a Programming Partner and announce a unique retro-showing of the film THE ROCKET in an outdoor setting.

    On April 19, to celebrate our country’s 150th anniversary, residents and visitors can experience a Canadian cinematic treat at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum: Canada’s Drive-In.

    From the comfort of their cars, movie-goers will witness an outdoor projection of THE ROCKET, an award-winning Canadian film about hockey legend Maurice Richard. The aviation hangar wall will be transformed into a giant screen for this inventive outdoor installation.

    This event, under Ottawa 2017’s Ignite 150 program, will begin at 6:30 p.m. with pre-show entertainment and will feature a chat with the director of THE ROCKET, Charles Binamé (movie starts at 8 p.m.).

    Hockey fans won’t want to miss the meet and greet autograph session with Montreal Canadiens hockey greats Serge Savard and Jean-Guy Talbot. The Habs veterans, one of whom was a teammate of Maurice Richard and the other who was president of the Maurice Richard Foundation, won a combined 15 Stanley Cup® Championships.

    A special exhibit will be on display inside the museum specifically for Canada’s Drive-In. It will showcase the Maurice Richard Trophy, awarded annually to the top goal-scorer in the NHL, Richard’s game-worn jersey, stick, milestone pucks and other artifacts from The Hockey Hall of Fame’s NHL Centennial Exhibit.

    Library and Archives Canada is proudly contributing to the success of the outdoor showing of the film THE ROCKET by offering participants a pack of hockey cards, created from its extensive photo archive collection on the national sport of Canadians.

    Canada’s Drive-In is a flagship event on National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150) — a Canada 150 Signature Project. People across the country will be coming together in theatres, libraries, military bases, and film festivals to celebrate Canada through great Canadian film. With over 1,500 events on NCFD 150, the drive-in is a highlight of the world’s largest one-day film festival, EVER.

    Presented by Ottawa 2017 and REEL CANADA, in partnership with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the event will welcome 125 car-loads of participants and takes place rain or shine. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase, while quantities last. The movie can be viewed in French or English.

    Canada’s Drive-In is a free event. People can reserve their tickets as of 10 a.m. Thursday, March 23, through Ottawa2017.ca.



    “Canada’s Drive-In is a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to celebrate Canadian cinema and our passion for hockey during our nation’s 150th birthday festivities. We’re very pleased to partner with REEL CANADA for this event that will bring even more visitors to the east part of our City,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    “To show THE ROCKET in the nation’s capital brings together the pillars of our culture — language, cinema, hockey and civic engagement — that make it particularly expressive of the spirit of National Canadian Film Day 150. And on top of all of that, it’s a great movie,” says Jack Blum, Executive Director, REEL CANADA.

    “On April 19, we put Canadian cinema in the spotlight as part of Canada 150. All across the country, hundreds of movies will fill our screens. This pop-up drive-in will let Canadians enjoy a unique movie-going experience with an outdoor screening of THE ROCKET. What a wonderful way to highlight hockey’s place in Canada’s history!” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

    “Culture, sport and pride of place are important themes for Ontario during this historic year. We’re thrilled to support Ottawa 2017 and REEL CANADA as part of our Ontario150 program. We encourage all Ontarians to make a point of getting out and enjoying unique events like this one to celebrate our 150th anniversary as a province and a nation,” said the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport.

    “We’re happy that our Ignite 150 drive-in will become the national highlight of the REEL CANADA series to celebrate Canadian cinema and that we can highlight one of our national partners, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the perfect venue for this event,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    REEL CANADA is a non-profit organization that celebrates Canada through film. Canadian films are the stories we tell about ourselves — they open the door to so many conversations about place, nation, identity, and what it means to be Canadian. REEL CANADA promotes the power and diversity of Canadian film and encourages this ongoing conversation through three core programmes: Our Films in Our Schools, Welcome to Canada, and National Canadian Film Day 150. Through these programs, REEL CANADA increases audiences for our films, encourages dialogue and, most crucially, provides an opportunity to enjoy our great nation through the wonderful stories we tell. By celebrating Canadian cinematic story-telling we can build a stronger and prouder Canada.

    About National Canadian Film Day 150
    National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150), an initiative of REEL CANADA, was created as a new way to celebrate this great nation, embrace Canadian cinema, and have some FUN! As part of its educational programs, REEL CANADA has presented over 1,100 festivals of Canadian films for more than 400,000 high school students and new Canadians across the country since 2005. For 2017, NCFD 150 will become the world’s largest one-day film festival in the world. Canadian film will be everywhere — on foot, online and on-screen — thanks to the generous support of the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. NCFD 150 would not exist without our sensational major sponsors: Cineplex and Telefilm Canada, Quebec Cinema, Entertainment One, Google Canada, TIFF, Landmark Cinemas, VIA Rail, REDspace, Air Canada, Tim Hortons, William F. White International Inc. and Mercury Filmworks. Major broadcast partners include CBC, Bell Media, Hollywood Suite, Sportsnet, Corus, APTN, CHCH, OUTtv, Vision TV, Super Channel and Quebecor Media. Major distributor partners include Elevation Pictures, Mongrel Media, dFilms, KinoSmith, WFG, TVA, CFMDC, IndieCan Entertainment and Pacific Northwest Pictures.

    About Ottawa 2017
    Canada’s 150th anniversary 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.

    Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.