• Design and programming partners revealed for Ottawa 2017’s Inspiration Village

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to reveal details about the design and program partners for Inspiration Village.

    A core site for Ottawa 2017 programming from May 20 to September 4, this ephemeral entertainment locale on York Street will be the site of a succession of FREE special exhibits and performing arts events showcasing Canadian culture and Canada’s provinces and territories.

    The edgy-looking hub is being built out of 41 sea containers transformed into an aesthetic artistic installation. See the video: https://vimeo.com/215008391.

    As this summer destination takes shape, a first glimpse was offered today at the artistic renderings and the following programming partners were announced:

    Algonquin College Mini TFO
    Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene
    Bell Media Ontario 150
    ByWard Market Ottawa Festivals
    Canada Science and Technology Museum Ottawa Mission
    Canadian Museum of History Ottawa School of Art
    Canadian War Museum Parks Canada
    Carleton University RCMP
    CIBC Rent Frock Repeat
    Destination Cape Breton Tale of a Town
    Destination Nunavut Tourism Prince Edward Island
    La Cité Travel Manitoba
    Manitoba Mukluks World Wildlife Fund

    Inspiration Village will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. (until 10 p.m. on Canada Day) with exhibits, demonstrations and performances. Among the many activities, visitors will be able to:

    • step inside a sound studio and share stories about Canada and their vision for the future of our country;
    • enjoy culinary demonstrations showcasing Canadian food culture from across the nation;
    • dress-up in Canadian-themed costumes and props at the Inspiration Village Photo Booth;
    • take a guided virtual tour of Parks Canada’s natural and cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to coast;
    • express their creativity and imagine the next great Canadian invention at the Build A Nation Station;
    • take their photo in cut-outs of polar bears and beluga whales;
    • take-in live dance, musical and artistic performances representing all provinces and territories as well as local up and coming artists and previews of Ottawa area festivals;
    • discover and connect with the incredible diversity of land, history and awe-inspiring places to explore and experience in Canada;
    • and much, much more!

    The full list of activities and daily performances on the main stage will be available in mid-May.

    The public spaces of Inspiration Village will remain open and accessible 24-hours. The site will serve as a gathering place to meet up with friends, to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area, to sit back and enjoy programmed entertainment, to pick up lunch/dinner or coffee/tea in the ByWard Market and to enjoy the outdoor seating areas.

    Inspiration Village by the numbers

    5071     Weight (lbs) of an empty 20’ sea container
    880       Hours the event is open over 15-weeks, from May 20 to September 4
    440       Hours of stage and common area programming
    110       Consecutive days the event is open
    41         Sea containers on York Street
    28         Days it will take to load-in and construct
    28         Staff required to operate the exhibits
    24/7      Days each week the common areas are open to the public
    15         Weeks the event is open to the public
    8          Hours the event is open each day
    1          VERY BIG EVENT!


    “Inspiration Village will animate the ByWard Market like never before, and will be a gathering point for the millions of visitors who will come to Ottawa this summer. It will showcase the beauty of Canada’s regions and the diversity of Ottawa 2017 partners while entertaining and educating passersby about the people and places that make this country so great,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

    “The Ottawa 2017 Inspiration Village will offer Ottawans and visitors alike a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Canada 150. I encourage everyone to attend the diverse artistic events being held in the ByWard Market, one of the city’s historic neighbourhoods,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

    “What sets Canada and Ontario apart is our rich cultural diversity and inclusive spirit.   Inspiration Village is an eco-friendly and innovative way to share with our families and the rest of the world what makes this country such a great place to live, work and visit. We are proud to be part of Inspiration Village with our Ontario150 sea container to help mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  This is a great opportunity to remind ourselves how much we, as Ontarians, have to be proud of living in Canada’s largest province and the incredible things we can accomplish when we come together,” said the Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport.

    “Canada’s rich and diverse culture and heritage are the building blocks of our great nation. We are incredibly proud to help bring this showcase of creative talent and expression of shared pride to Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC.

    “One of Ottawa 2017’s goals is to foster a better appreciation and understanding of the cultural diversity we find across our country by creating new meeting places for interaction. Through transforming our city with creative urban design, we will emerge from Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations with a greater sense of pride for reimaging our public spaces. Our appreciation to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for suggesting that York Street would make an ideal new public space,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations 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.

    To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.

    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.

  • Hockey bet with the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio

    The Ottawa Senators will open their second round playoff series against the New York Rangers in Ottawa at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 27. As it is has now become tradition during for playoff games, I’ve established a friendly bet with the opposing team’s Mayor.

    The Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and I have placed a hockey bet that our respective teams will emerge victorious for this series.

    The losing Mayor will:

    • Send a delicious food item from their city to the winning Mayor (New York bagels / Golden Palace egg rolls)
    • Wear the winning team’s jersey for half a day
    • Plant a tree native to the winning city’s team in their own city

    Go Sens Go!

  • Qamar Masood receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – As a committed volunteer within the Pakistani community for over 20 years, Qamar Masood was presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Orléans Ward Councilor Bob Monette.

    Mr. Masood is President of the Multicultural Association of Orléans, an organization that facilitates the participation of the community in socio-cultural, education and intercommunity programs. He is a former Ambassador of Peace within the Universal Peace Federation and was the longest serving President for the Canada-Pakistan Association of the National Capital Region. He also sits on the RCMP Outreach Multi-ethnic Committee of Ottawa and is involved in fundraising efforts for the Masjid Bilal Mosque. Mr. Masood donated his catering services to the fundrasiser roast of Deputy Mayor and Councillor Bob Monette where all proceeds were donated to the preservation of St. Joseph Church.

    Mr. Masood advocates on behalf of the multicultural community of Orléans on matters affecting rights, interests and values that are consistent with the mainstream community. He has developed and promoted programs that focus on advancing education as well as social and culturally relevant attributes of the families that make up the community of Orléans. He has also raised awareness of the importance of giving back to our communities which is the continuation of the work he has been doing since 1993 on his Rogers Television show called Projection Pakistan.


  • Go Sens Go!

    Congratulations to our Ottawa Senators, who have successfully defeated the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Ottawa is “All In” with Sens flag raised at City Hall, the Sens Mile signs installed on Elgin Street, and excellent support shown throughout the city. In light of our team’s victory over the Boston Bruins, Ms. Elizabeth Moore Aubin, Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy, held her end of our bet and delivered a homemade Boston Cream pie to my office.

    We wish the Ottawa Senators continued success as they will be facing the New York Rangers in the second round this Thursday. Go Sens Go!


  • Mayor Watson to Seek a Strong Mandate to Negotiate the Future of LeBreton Flats

    For immediate release:

    April 12, 2016

    Ottawa  – Today, Mayor Jim Watson announced that he will be seeking a mandate from Committee and Council to allow the City of Ottawa to enter into negotiations with RendezVous LeBreton Group (RLG), the National Capital Commission (NCC) and other government partners on the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.

    Due to the significant long-term interest of the LeBreton project for the City of Ottawa and its residents, it is important that the City takes part in future negotiations. The Mayor seeks to represent the City in those discussions to ensure that the best interests of the City of Ottawa and its taxpayers are represented during the redevelopment of one of the most noteworthy land areas available for development in Ottawa’s downtown core.

    The Mayor will also work with the Ottawa Senators organization, West End councillors, businesses and residents to ensure that appropriate options are being developed to help make up for the potential economic loss to Stittsville, Kanata and the West End of Ottawa, should the Canadian Tire Centre be relocated.

    The Mayor asked City staff to prepare a report outlining Council’s vision and setting a mandate for future negotiations, including the delegated authority for both the Mayor and City Manager to enter into discussions moving forward. The report will also identify the potential long-term city-building benefits of the redevelopment, including a more viable transit system, an increase in environmental sustainability and a more prosperous and vibrant core. The report will be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee in the coming months.

    Following these negotiations this project will then follow the City’s required development review and approval process (i.e., secondary plan amendments, zoning, site plan approval, land division, etc.).  The City will encourage an open dialogue of the LeBreton Flats redevelopment by offering opportunities for feedback and public consultation.


    “This development has the potential to be a tremendous City-building opportunity. We need to be at the table to ensure that the public areas within the LeBreton Flats redevelopment are distinctive, but also developed in a manner that is consistent with the City’s urban design and accessibility standards. I also want to ensure that it promotes a mix of housing types so that residents from all income brackets can call LeBreton home.”

    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Quick Facts

    The LeBreton Flats redevelopment project will:

    -Support transit-oriented development along the Confederation Line and Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT), increasing the long-term viability of LRT investments and bolstering transit usage across the city;

    -Promote connectivity with the City’s pedestrian, cycling, and multi-use pathways;

    -Connect the downtown core and Centretown, Chinatown, Hintonburg, Wellington West and the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, and improve access to the historic Ottawa River shoreline;

    -Strengthen economic and tourism ties between the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau and improve transit connectivity for residents of both cities;

    -Build affordable housing within the downtown core and within easy access to transit and promoting a range and mix of housing types; and

    -Create both short-term and long-term jobs for Ottawa residents while fostering the City of Ottawa’s long-range economic prosperity.


    Social media




    For more information

    Media contact 613-580-2450

    Public inquiries:

    ottawa.ca 3-1-1

  • Patrick Lin receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – As the founder of RideauStone Arts Centre, a not-for-profit organization based in Ottawa, Patrick Lin was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish for promoting cultural exchanges between Canada and China. Mr. Lin was also recognized for his work with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, Invest Ottawa, and with many programs to attract Chinese investment to Ottawa.

    Mr. Lin and his wife are active patrons of the NAC Foundation, and they are supporting partners of the NAC Orchestra Canada 150 Tour. Mr. Lin also organized a concert on February 12, 2017 for a musical celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary by the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra,

    Mr. Lin was born in 1966 in the People’s Republic of China and graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Laws from Beijing University of International Relations in 1989. He worked in the Central Government of China, and Beijing Municipal Government for 10 years in senior and key positions and in 1999 received his diploma of Business Administration from Siemens Management Institute, specializing in human resources management and strategic investment.

    Mr. Lin and his family moved to Ottawa in 2011 and set up his investment company RideauStone Investment Inc, which engages in material investment in Ottawa. He also set up a consulting company in China named Beijing Ottawa Summit in order to facilitate the exchanges between Beijing & Ottawa.