• Mayor Watson’s statement on recent verbal abuse case in City Long Term Care home

    I am appalled and furious with this news about elder abuse in one of our long term care homes. This behavior will not be tolerated and I am fully supportive of the immediate dismissals of those involved in this outrageous and callous behavior.

    I have asked staff to bring in a third party to review all aspects of our long term care residences and report back with all concerns and recommendations in a timely fashion.

    Jim Watson
    Mayor, City of Ottawa

  • Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls to open on October 6

    Media premiere October 5

    Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are excited to announce that Mìwàte: Illumination of Chaudière Falls, will premiere the evening of Thursday, October 5 and officially open to the public on Friday, October 6 at 7 p.m.

    Created and produced by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Moment Factory, in collaboration with the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn, and in consultation with representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities, this dynamic illumination of the falls will celebrate the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and their cultures.

    A rich soundscape will enhance the experience. Vincent Letellier led the team of composers for Moment Factory, with additional creative contributions from: A Tribe Called Red, David Maracle (Indigenous Mohawk composer and multi-instrumentalist), the Pikwàkanagàn Wildflowers (youth hand drummers and singers), and Pikwàkanagàn community members who spoke the words and phrases.

    In addition to the illumination, participants will be invited to explore the Algonquin Awareness Exhibit, which will share information on the presence of Indigenous Peoples in the region. This special exhibit is presented by the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn.

    Dates and times for Mìwàte:

    • October 6 to 22, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    • October 23 to November 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    The lighting display runs in a continuous 10-minute loop. It takes about 30 minutes to enjoy the entire experience.

    Spectators will be able to view Mìwàte from the new public space overlooking the falls that is part of Hydro Ottawa’s Chaudière Falls expansion project.

    As a complement to Mìwàte, visitors are encouraged to visit the Kabeshinân Minitig Pavilion located on Victoria Island.

    Ottawa 2017 is thrilled to present this project as one of its Signature Events and thanks our lead partner CIBC, our 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.

    To make this moving event happen in its picturesque location, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with Moment Factory, Hydro Ottawa, the City of Ottawa, the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn, representatives from local Métis and Inuit communities and the National Capital Commission.

    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.

    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.

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

    About Moment Factory

    Moment Factory is a multimedia studio based in Montreal with a full range of production expertise under one roof. The team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations. Productions span the globe and include such clients as Céline Dion, Madonna, The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, NFL, Sony, Universal Studios, the City of Barcelona, Los Angeles Airport and Royal Caribbean.

  • Mayor Watson recognizes that now is the right opportunity to transform housing

    Ottawa — As the federal government is’ expected to launch the National Housing Strategy (NHS) this fall, Mayor Jim Watson recognizes that it could be a once in a generation opportunity to transform affordable housing in Canada.

    “Safe, affordable housing is the bedrock of the liveable, sustainable and caring cities we aspire to build. Despite this, a million and half Canadian households are unable to find a home they can afford and nearly 235,000 individuals will experience homelessness this year. Housing has become less affordable at virtually every income level,” said Mayor Jim Watson, a member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC).

    The BCMC has laid out detailed solutions to Canada’s affordable housing crisis in their submission to the federal government: National Housing Strategy: Getting it Right, which calls for Ottawa to prioritize repairing and building new affordable and social housing and to leverage local innovation to ensure long-term sustainability.

    Mayor Jim Watson added that “The federal government is listening to municipalities and responded by pledging $15 billion for the NHS in Budget 2017. Getting this strategy right is the next critical step. And while our recommendations are extensive, at their core is common sense.”

    The federal agreements that developed much of Canada’s 600,000 social housing homes didn’t adequately account for long-term repairs, and today’s non-profit providers generally lack the revenue and funding for maintenance and repairs. Similarly, there was never a clear plan to replace low-income rent subsidies as federal agreements expire. Housing providers urgently need federal funding for repairs—BCMC estimates at least $615 million annually —and a commitment to replace expiring rent subsidies.

    “This is a one-time opportunity to lay the foundation for decades to come. We believe that remarkable progress within reach. Ottawa is ready to bring our local expertise to the table and play a meaningful role, in partnership with all levels of government, to ensure we get it right,” concluded Mayor Jim Watson.

    The City of Ottawa is a member of the Federation of Canadians Municipalities’ (FCM) Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC). BCMC represents 22 of Canada’s biggest cities, offering a forum for policy development on a range of issues affecting our largest centres. Through FCM, the mayors’ caucus partners with the federal government in nation-building through city-building.

  • Raffaela Plastino receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Riley Brockington recognized Raffaela Plastino’s commitment and dedication to the community by presenting her with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting.

    Plastino and her family emigrated from Cleta, Italy in 1949. After landing in Halifax, they journeyed to Ottawa where they were welcomed by friends and family. Over the years, Rafaela has worked tirelessly for the Canadian Italian community and has always been ready to lend her organizing skills to help out a good cause.

    One of Raffaela’s major contributions has been the formation and promotion of Italian Week which started in 1974. She has dedicated over three decades in various capacities, having served as the president for 8 years and vice-president for 12 years. She has taken the lead, along with other committee members, to elevate this event from a local community celebration to a full-fledged popular extravaganza that is now advertised on tourist information sites throughout North America. Raffaela has also been involved in building the long-term care centre for seniors known as Villa Marconi. She also went door to door in the community to raise funds to help people in the Friuli region of Italy devastated by strong earthquakes in 1976.

    Raffaela has never shied away from hard work and long hours because her dedication to the community has always come first. She became the go-to person for translation services, a driver for medical appointments, a referral service for legal and medical services, and a source of support for people in dire straits. She has become well known for her willingness to help others. Her efforts have increased revenues for many businesses in Little Italy and around Ottawa, but most importantly have brought people together to savour Italian heritage.

  • Ottawa 2017 wins 8 prestigious international awards

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, is thrilled to have received 8 awards from the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA). The awards recognize excellence and creativity in promotional materials produced by festivals and events around the world.

    The prizes were awarded last night during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony, held at the IFEA’s 62nd Annual Convention, Expo & Retreat, in Tucson, Arizona.

    “The Ottawa 2017 Bureau has done tremendous work this year to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary and we’re delighted to have our city’s celebrations endorsed by the international festival and events industry,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We are grateful for these accolades and look forward to keeping the momentum going in the months ahead with even more events for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

    “We’re proud and honoured that so much of the output from Ottawa 2017’s first six months of festivities is being recognized on the international stage for its high quality and creativity,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director and Producer of Ottawa 2017 and past Chair (2016) of the IFEA World Board of Directors. “These awards demonstrate the caliber of events that we were able to deliver with the support of our partners and further boost the visibility of Ottawa and our local innovators globally.”

    The professional competition, judged by an independent international jury, draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events, such as the Kentucky Derby Festival (USA), VIVID Sydney (Australia) and the Rotterdam Festival (Netherlands).

    Ottawa 2017 (Celebrations Ottawa Inc.) won awards in the following categories:



    GOLD! Best TV Promotion – Ad spot or PSA (A high-energy video showcasing what’s to come in Ottawa in 2017:https://vimeo.com/224223590)



    GOLD! Best Miscellaneous Multimedia (A captivating re-cap video of Red Bull Global Rallycross:https://vimeo.com/222415794)


    BRONZE! Best Promotional Brochure (Ottawa 2017’s year-long program showcased in an attractive calendar of events format)


    SILVER! Best Single Newspaper Display Ad (An eye-catching Ottawa 2017 ad displayed in newspaper La Presse+ “Vivez de grandes premières”)



    SILVER! Best Street Banner (A colourful 50 x 11-foot banner highlighting the Ottawa 2017 brand and partners)



    BRONZE! Best Sponsor Partner – A specific sponsor that stands out above all others for their quantity and quality of support (Ottawa 2017’s lead partner CIBC)


    SILVER! Best Sponsorship Program for Individual Sponsor (Ottawa 2017’s premier partner Bell for significantly contributing to the overall success of the program Kontinuum, creating a digital, user-friendly experience, App and website)



    BRONZE! Best New Event – Festival or event created from scratch within the past year (Kontinuum: An Underground Journey Through Time)

    NOTE: All entries must have been produced and / or used for the first time between July 19, 2016 and July 17, 2017.

    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.

    Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138710500@N02/

    Videos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://vimeo.com/ottawa2017/albums

    To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App StoreGoogle 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.

  • Mayor Watson to lead economic mission to Los Angeles and Seattle

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson announced today that on September 18, 2017, he will head to Los Angeles, California, with the heads of Ottawa’s local tourism and film industries, as well as representation from Invest Ottawa.

    On September 21, Mayor Watson will head to Seattle, Washington, to tour the Amazon Headquarters.

    The economic mission’s participants are:

    • Mr. Michael Crockatt, President and CEO, Ottawa Tourism
    • Mr. Bruce Harvey, Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office
    • Ms. Kelly Daize, Market Director, Americas, Invest Ottawa

    The purpose of this mission is to promote Ottawa as a filming destination and a technology hub, explore tourism development opportunities with worldwide partners during the World Tourism Cities Federation Summit, and create jobs and economic opportunities for residents in the tourism and hospitality sector.

    Film & Television Opportunities

    The mission will include a series of targeted meetings with decision-makers from American film and television production studios to promote Ottawa as a prime filming location, due to its affordability, beautiful and unique landscapes, and access to a talented and bilingual cast and film crew.

    On September 18, the day after the Emmys, Mayor Watson and the delegates will have the opportunity to build ties and attract interest in the film industry at a reception celebrating Canadian Emmy nominees, hosted by the Consul General of Canada, James Villeneuve.

    On September 19, the delegation will have further opportunities to develop relationships at an industry dinner where the Consul General has convened local film and television industry leaders, as well as other business development contacts.

    Tourism Opportunities

    Mayor Watson and Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, will also attend the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Summit as a guest of the organizers, where on September 20, the Mayor will speak at a forum on solutions to challenges faced by tourism cities. Mayor Watson will discuss Ottawa’s lessons learned from hosting a wide variety of major events in the context of Ottawa 2017, namely the need for early community outreach and identifying the right partners and logistical teams to deliver major events. He will showcase the recent La Machine performances that swept the entire city with excitement as an example of Ottawa’s strength and wealth of experience in planning and ensuring safe and orderly conduct for large crowds.

    The WTCF Summit will also present opportunities to strengthen our international networks. Mayor Watson will meet with the Mayor of Beijing, Chen Jining, and the Chairman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, Mr. Song Yu, to explore further partnership opportunities.

    Mayor Watson will be meeting with a number of Chinese media to promote Ottawa as a tourism destination of choice, particularly in 2018, which marks the Canada-China Year of Tourism. The governments of Canada and China have signed an agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries and boost the two-way flow of visitors.

    Ottawa has maintained an active relationship with Beijing since 1999, when Mayor Watson first signed the Ottawa-Beijing Sister City Agreement. Mayor Watson has led a number of trade missions to China since the signing of that Agreement.

    While at the Summit, Mayor Watson will also have an opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr. Eric Garcetti.

    Foreign Investment and Trade

    Invest Ottawa and the Consulate General in Los Angeles are jointly coordinating site visits and business development meetings with other leads, particularly small to medium-sized enterprises who are interested in establishing a presence in Canada or growing their Canadian footprint in Ottawa.

    Visit of Amazon Headquarters in Seattle

    Mayor Watson will tour the 33-building complex that Amazon has built in Seattle, accompanied by Michael Wooff, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada. The goal of the visit and briefing is to gain a better understanding of the scope and infrastructure requirements of the campus, in order to put forward the strongest bid to attract Amazon HQ2 to Ottawa.


    “Ottawa is well-positioned to attract interest from partners located around the world, including keen investors and producers in the United States. We need to strengthen our current relationships and build new ties abroad to keep building Ottawa’s international reputation and ensure we stay competitive in the global marketplace.

    My tour of the Amazon campus in Seattle will hopefully let me see what Amazon needs and what they will be looking to achieve with their second headquarters. I look forward to this opportunity to tour the campus and gain insight from the Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner in Seattle.’’
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Quick facts:

    • Ottawa is Canada’s technology hub, with the most educated workforce in Canada, counting 1,750 companies and 77,000 employees in the information and telecommunications industry.
    • Tourism is Ottawa’s third-largest industry and creator of jobs. As a former President and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Mayor Watson has brought a renewed focus to leveraging tourism for economic growth since he was elected in 2010.
    • The number of Chinese visitors to Canada grew by 170 per cent between 2011 and 2014.
    • The yearly average for film and television production in the Ottawa area translates into over $100 million spent directly in the local economy, including more than $50 million in Ottawa’s established animation sector.
    • Mayor Watson’s travel and accommodations expenses in Los Angeles will be paid for by the World Tourism Cities Federation. The portion of expenses related to Seattle will be covered by the City’s Economic Development Branch.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • Experience rural Ottawa by bike with the Enviro-Cycle Tour

    Tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon for Ottawa 2017’s newest Agri 150 event

    Ottawa –Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce the newest Agri 150 experience. Tickets for the Enviro-Cycle Tour go on sale tomorrow at noon.

    ENVIRO-CYCLE TOUR ($)                                                                                                       

    Sunday, September 24
    First tour group (72 km): 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
    Second tour group (21 km): 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Tour shuttle for Group 2 will depart from OC Transpo’s Leitrim Park & Ride, at 4600 Gilligan Rd.

    Come experience the countryside by bicycle, and visit some of the eco-friendly businesses and public spaces in Ottawa’s rural area.

    There are two options: tackle the entire 72 km route with your own bike, or bus part way and cycle the 21 km route with a bike provided by RentABike. Whichever route you choose, all attendees will get the pleasure of visiting Castor River Farm, a sustainable off-grid farm, SunTech Greenhouses, where vegetables are grown year-round, and W.A. Taylor Conservation area for a rest between, as you sample Savour Ottawa treats. So, hop on and let your RentABike guides and local farmers bring you on a day full of fun, learning, and exercise!

    Tickets prices:

    $20 (plus tax and service charges) for Group 1 (72 km / bring-your-own-bike)
    $40 (plus tax and service charges) for Group 2 (21 km / bus and RentABike provided)

    A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from the Leitrim Park & Ride. Tickets are to be shown to the bus operator when boarding. Free service is available from three hours before the tour until three hours after the tour.

    Presented in collaboration with RentABike.ca, Savour Ottawa and Just Food.

    To purchase tickets, visit Ottawa2017.ca.

    Agri 150 is an Ottawa 2017 program stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come. More than 20 unique events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover Ottawa’s rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.

    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.

  • Statement by Mayor Watson, co-chair of Invest Ottawa, regarding the Amazon HQ2 announcement

    ‘’Following Amazon’s announcement yesterday that it was looking to establish an important campus in a North American city, I have asked Invest Ottawa and the City’s Economic Development branch to explore this great opportunity for our community. As an innovation and research-intensive city, counting a bilingual and culturally diverse high-tech and telecommunications workforce of more than 77,000 leading professionals, Ottawa is well-positioned to host this Amazon campus, and we will work hard over the next few months to put our best foot forward in this process.

    Working with our economic development partners, we will showcase all that our city has to offer. We are holding discussions with the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, Ville de Gatineau, our postsecondary institutions, Hydro Ottawa and other key utilities, as well as industry and community leaders, to seek their input and collaboration in bringing this bid forward. Representatives from these groups will be asked to join the Task Force on Amazon HQ2, which will meet shortly to determine our critical path between now and the bidding deadline of October 19.

    My hope is that we will be placing a strong and convincing bid to host Amazon HQ2 in our nation’s capital, which would greatly benefit our community, attracting tens of thousands of jobs and helping diversify our economy.’’

    – Mayor Jim Watson, co-chair, Invest Ottawa

  • Back by popular demand! Ottawa 2017 is making a splash this Saturday with a repeat performance of Waterdance

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, invites media to capture captivating and colourful images of Waterdance, a free Ignite 150 event taking place throughout the city this Saturday. In an encore performance, splash pads around town will come alive as dancers perform unique choreographies and invite the public to join in.

    Saturday, September 9, 2017                     

    Performance #1 – Contemporary
    10:00 am
    Cumberland Millennium Sports Park | 100 Millennium Boulevard, Cumberland

    Performance #2 – Hip Hop
    11:00 am
    Blue Willow Park | 6011 Longleaf Drive, Gloucester

    Performance #3 – African Dance
    12:00 pm
    Fisher Park | 250 Holland Avenue, Ottawa

    Performance #4 – Hip Hop
    1:30 pm
    Brewer Park | 100 Brewer Way, Ottawa

    Performance #5 – Jazz
    2:20 pm
    Diamond Jubilee Park | 2810 Findlay Creek Drive, Gloucester

    Performance #6 – Jazz
    3:15 pm
    Ken Ross Park | 600 Longfields Drive, Nepean

    Performance #7 – Contemporary
    4:15 pm
    Deer Run Park | 272 West Ridge Drive, Stittsville

    Presented in collaboration with The School of Dance.

    Photos of Waterdance for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138710500@N02/albums/72157684864297161

    Video of Waterdance for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://vimeo.com/229861836

    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.

  • Final week to experience Kontinuum

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, wishes to remind residents and visitors that there is only one week left to see Kontinuum: An Underground Journey Through Time. To date, close to 300,000 people have experienced this Ottawa 2017 Signature Event, which ends on Thursday, September 14.


    Open daily until September 14, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Free tickets or walk-ups welcome anytime

    300 Sparks St.

    ***Changes to opening hours on Saturday, September 9: Due to a planned power outage by Brookfield Property Partners in the area where the event takes place, opening hours for Kontinuum will be from 8 p.m. until midnight, exceptionally on Saturday, September 9.


    Created and produced by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Moment Factory, and based on an original concept by Ottawa 2017, this impressive world-first underground multimedia production, powered by Bell, takes place in the Lyon Station of the yet to be opened Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.

    The story premise for Kontinuum: An Underground Journey Through Time is that a crevice in the fabric of reality was discovered during excavation of the LRT tunnel. Since this discovery, inexplicable electromagnetic waves have been appearing in and around the tunnel, captivating the imagination of passersby. It is an immersive, dynamic and moving experience, using the full 500-metre length of the station, where participants will be exposed to the hidden frequencies of the material world.

    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.

    Photos of Kontinuum for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://www.flickr.com/photos/138710500@N02/albums/72157682794063531

    Kontinuum videos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: https://vimeo.com/album/3924564

    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.

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