Christo Bilukidi receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish and Alta Vista Ward Councillor Jean Cloutier  presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to Christo Bilukidi.

Christo Bilukidi was born in Angola and lived in France and Brazil before his family settled in Ottawa. He attended and played football for Georgia State University on a scholarship, and later played in the National Football League for the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. When the six foot five, 300-plus-pound, defensive lineman left the NFL last August, after four seasons in the League, he just wanted to come back home, where he knew he could find happiness both in his heart and in his head.

A few months ago, Bilukidi became an ambassador for Ottawa Community Housing and is excited about the role. Getting involved in the community is important to him. In his work with Community Housing, he is having an impact on youth — something that makes his mom, Juliana, proud, but is also important to him. He now runs a summer camp for OCH youth with the help of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

He also has a love for fashion, which has not only translated into a business, with his men’s clothing line, Idlewood Bespoke, but a great way to give back to the community, by participating in OCH Arts Camps where he has the chance to discuss fashion and entrepreneurship with kids of all ages.

He shares with the youth that coming from a low-income area shouldn’t discourage them from succeeding in life. Bilukidi’s conversations with kids go much deeper than just football; he is there to talk about anything that may be on their minds. For these reasons, Christo is glad to be back in the place he calls home.


Ottawa Police Chorus receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, West Carleton-March Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to the Ottawa Police Chorus for their contributions to the community since 1972 and for enhancing the image of the Ottawa Police Service through song.

Chorus Manager Barbara Duggan accepted the award on behalf of the 43 members who sing in four-part harmony, and Musical Director Geoffrey Linklater addressed the audience before the chorus performed “Go Now in Peace”.

The Ottawa Police Chorus was the brainchild of former Police Chief Leo Seguin and began in 1972 as an all-male group of active, on-duty police officers under the direction of Craig Davidson an Ottawa school music teacher. The chorus was set up to encourage the men of the Police Force to become better acquainted with each other on a less formal level and to enhance the image of the police through song. In 1991, membership was extended to women, civilian staff and members of the community.

This year the chorus celebrates 45 years of singing for the community in support of the Ottawa Police Service. Three of the original tenors, Wayne Barry, Paul Rochon and Jean Roger remain singing with the chorus which has performed annually since 1978 at the Canadian National Police Memorial Service.

The chorus is privileged to stand with other police choruses from across Canada on the steps of Parliament Hill every September to honour the sacrifice of fallen officers at the National Police Memorial and also performs at the annual memorials for fallen police and peace officers held in May at Queens Park in Toronto.

Significant events for the chorus include memorial services, Remembrance Day ceremonies, and civic events like the Mayor's Canada Day Breakfast, that speak to the variety of repertoire needed and the scope as the chorus continues to address the objectives of its mandate. Over the years the chorus has performed abroad in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Germany and the United States. It has also welcomed police choruses from the UK and Germany as well as locations across Canada.


The Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, River Ward Councillor Riley Brockington, and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to the Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal, the Dean and Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas has served at the Holy Altar for 40 years and is recognized as a City Builder for enriching the life of the Cathedral and its faithful with his pastoral experience and leadership.

Father Ghattas was born in Lebanon and ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Great Feast of Pentecost, May 27, 1977. In 1990, he and his family departed Lebanon to build a new life in Canada. He established Saint Mary’s Church in Montreal where he was their first priest in charge. In 1992, Father Ghattas assumed the pastorate of Saint Elias Cathedral in Ottawa. Under his leadership, the membership increased significantly to 1,800, the new church was completed, and the mortgage paid off. In addition to his pastorship, Father Ghattas holds other leadership positions in the Orthodox Church, namely: Dean of Canadian Deanery of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, President of the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Ottawa, Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch for the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, Chaplain of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Carleton University, and Member of the Interfaith Steering Committee of Ottawa.

Father Ghattas is an active and outspoken pillar in the Ottawa Lebanese community. His passion for his Orthodox faith and Lebanese heritage are a beacon that guide the entire Lebanese community in Ottawa, not just his parishioners. Under his guidance, the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, chaired by George Hanna, has provided thousands of attendees with an opportunity to experience a glimpse into Lebanese culture and the Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas always found joy in dancing, and every July at the opening ceremony of the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, he proudly and patriotically dances carrying the Lebanese flag. His impact on the Lebanese community, and all that encounter him has been extremely positive.

 


Mayor's Rural Expo and Food Aid BBQ

June is fast approaching, and the annual Food Aid BBQ and Mayor’s Rural Expo is right around the corner, taking place on Friday June 2 at City Hall. This year’s event will be special, as it is included as one of the FCM conference tour stops. We anticipate up to 100 municipal leaders from across the country to attend. I look forward to this unique day, which provides an opportunity to showcase all that rural Ottawa has to offer in a downtown setting.

The event is sponsored by Bell Media (CTV, 580 CFRA and Ottawa’s New Country 94). Vendors selling and promoting rural goods and services will be on site starting at 10 a.m. The Ottawa Food Bank’s BBQ lunch, serving THE WORKS burgers will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a cost of $10. The celebrity milking contest will begin at 12:15 p.m. and Southbound Boots, a local Ottawa band, will be performing live over the lunch hour.

All lunch proceeds are donated to the Ottawa Food Bank for the purchase of local beef for those in need in our community. I hope to see you all there!


Glenn Mooney receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to Glenn Mooney for his many years of service with Camp Quality, a national charitable organization devoted to providing free camp experiences and year-round programming for children with cancer.

Glenn Mooney is Director of Camp Quality of Eastern Ontario and he and his wife Pam have been involved with the organization for over 18 years. Camp Quality Canada is part of an international family of organizations originally founded in Australia in 1983 and brought to Canada in 1988. Its mission is to provide programs to support children with cancer and their families, an area not being addressed by any other organization. The aim of Camp Quality is to provide uplifting experiences for kids with cancer, and the primary focus is the incredible opportunity to create a program of empowerment, encouragement and, most importantly, fun for these amazing children.

Glenn projects a warm, cheerful attitude to campers, parents, volunteers, and everyone he interacts with. He resolves conflicts and handles other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him. His willingness to take on difficult projects, such as raising the tens of thousands of dollars required to run the camps, and coordinating with teams of volunteers to see them to succeed, is impressive.

 


Discover Secret Eats, experience Early Nations food and entertainment, and take a Wine & Words Tour, all in rural Ottawa

Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce four new Agri 150 experiences. Tickets for the Early Nations culinary experience, the Secret Eats Rideau-Goulbourn Tour, the Secret Eats Cumberland Tour, and the Wine & Words Tour will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017.

 

Early Nations Culinary Experience

Saturday, June 17, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

966 Cameron St. (along the Ottawa River in Cumberland)

This farm-to-table culinary event along the Ottawa River in the Village of Cumberland will invite guests, through food and entertainment, to reflect on the early nations who influenced Canada’s development.

A four-course meal will be prepared by:

 

  • Chef Noah John Para, a Northern Cree from Saskatchewan and one of the leaders of modern aboriginal cuisine in Canada, working in partnership with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health;

 

  • Executive Chef Ramsay Sillini of Ze Kitchen, Cumberland’s newest restaurant, which brings fusion design while embracing French flavours;

 

  • Chef Stephane Frelon of Signatures Restaurant at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute.

 

Christine Friday, a professional dancer of 25 years of Temagami First Nation, will choreograph performances that incorporate both traditional and contemporary movement, representing Indigenous, English and French dance.

 

Tickets for the Early Nations culinary experience are $170*, or $200* with wine pairings (*plus tax and service charges).

 

Presented in collaboration with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Savour Ottawa.

 

Secret Eats Tour – Rideau-Goulbourn

Sunday, June 25

First Tour: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Bilingual)

Second Tour: 12:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. (English only)

Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Greenboro Transitway Station, at the Park & Ride level.

Guests are invited to eat their way through the Rideau-Goulbourn Ward!

Hosted by Scott Moffatt, the Councillor for the area, this Secret Eats tour will take participants to four stops where they will eat, visit, and learn about the people and places that contributed to the history and character of Rideau-Goulbourn.

Foodies will tour each destination on this Secret Eats adventure and sample some of the delectable local cuisine that awaits in rural Ottawa.

Tickets for the Secret Eats Rideau-Goulbourn Tour are $40 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route and the O-Train Trillium Line, to and from Greenboro Station. 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.

 

Wine & Words Tour

Saturday, July 15

First Tour: 11:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. (Bilingual)

Second Tour: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (English only)

Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Trim Road Park & Ride.

Calling lovers of wine, literature, and local foods! This tour will take participants to three different vineyards located within Ottawa: Vignoble Clos du Vully, Domaine Perrault and Jabulani.

At each winery visitors will learn about the different ways the harvest is grown, selected and blended. Participants will also learn about the fermentation process that turns your everyday grape into something truly divine.

Chosen authors will read from their works against the backdrop of these charming wineries as guests savour the local terroir. Wine tasting will be accompanied by local food products.

Santé! Cheers!

Tickets for the Wine & Words Tour are $80 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from the Trim Road 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.

 

Secret Eats Tour - Cumberland

Sunday, August 6

First Tour: 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Bilingual)

Second Tour: 12:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. (English only)

Tour shuttles will depart from OC Transpo’s Place d’Orleans Transitway Station, located across from Place D’Orleans on the north side of Hwy 174.

Hosted by Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais, this Secret Eats tour will tantalize the taste buds and introduce a new world of agri-tourism destinations, just a short drive from downtown.

This culinary adventure will consist of four stops, where participants will tour a Secret Eats location, and sample a local delight from among the diverse and delicious offerings of Ottawa’s bountiful countryside.

Guests will eat, visit, and learn about the people and places that contributed to making Cumberland what it is today.

Tickets for the Secret Eats Cumberland Tour are $40 (plus tax and service charges). A tour ticket enables free use of any OC Transpo bus route, to and from the Place D’Orleans Station. 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.

 

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.

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.


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!

 


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.


Lee Ann Napiorkowski receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Lee Ann Napiorkowski’s commitment to volunteer coaching goes beyond creating a winning attitude with her players - she instills the key values of loyalty, equity and respect for their teammates and their community. Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Riley Brockington recognized her commitment and dedication by presenting her with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting.

The influence of respect, inclusion, and teamwork is derived from Lee Ann Napiorkowski’s work as an Inclusion Coordinator Teacher at St. Peter Catholic High School, which focuses the inclusion of high-needs students in every aspect of high-school life.

At St. Peter’s High School, Lee Ann Napiorkowski also lends her leadership skills as head coach of the senior boy’s rugby team. Instilling winning and core values has translated into the team reaching several city championships, as well as the players’ participation in fundraisers and community charity events.

In addition to the high school sport scene, Lee Ann has extended her volunteer head coaching to the Ottawa Beavers-Banshees Rugby Football Club and other provincial and regional teams, including the Carleton University men’s team.

Her passion and commitment for inclusion and respect continued with her establishing an ambassador program that better connects the parent Beavers and Banshee Rugby clubs with junior players. Ensuring no player is ever left behind. Lee Ann has raised money for financially challenged players who could not afford registration and equipment. She even helped raised money for a player who qualified for the Eastern Ontario Championship, but could not afford the registration, equipment and travelling costs.

Always ready to lend a helping hand, Lee Ann was asked by a family of a St. Peter’s student, who tragically passed away, to help establish a memorial award in their son’s name. With her dedicated efforts, the John Kelly Memorial Award and a rugby tournament in his name remain a living tribute to their son’s life, and help other students pursue their rugby dreams after graduation.

 


Bob Easy receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Bob Easy at today’s City Council meeting.

Bob Easy has been involved in building and supporting youth in the communities of Munster and Richmond going back to the 1970s. The sense of community and of family he established among the teams he coached was sadly evident in 2012 when one of Bob's players died tragically during a game due to a heart condition. Bob took it upon himself as head coach to support the boy's family, his team and coaches, and the opposing team, by arranging grief counseling. He also organizes fundraising events to assist local players whose parents are unable to fully afford the cost of a hockey season; players who have been given the opportunity to play at a higher competitive level but whose parents are not able to pay the fees associated with that.

In 2001 Bob was presented with a plaque in recognition of his outstanding service to Minor Hockey under the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association. In 2009/10 he was honoured as Coach of the Year by the Richmond Munster Minor Hockey Association for his special dedication to player development and team play. In 2014 Bob was presented with the Bill Kitchen Award for his devotion of time and effort to strengthening minor hockey in the community.

Bob was also involved in umpiring for fastball in Kanata for many years, and in slo-pitch in North Gower, Richmond and Munster in his later years. He is also involved in the Munster Co-operative Nursery School's annual ball tournament in June. In 2003 Bob, assisted by Sharon Shouldice of Stittsville, organized a tournament in support of Tori Carswell, a child cancer victim in the area. Bob also volunteers as a Santa and last year he played Santa at Munster’s first Santa Claus Parade.