Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are delighted to kick-off a full year of celebrations in the nation’s capital to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

Tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at Ottawa City Hall launched 12 months of festivities with the lighting of the spectacular Ottawa 2017 Cauldron.

Built in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution and natural gas companies from across Canada, the three-sided installation an artistic adaption of the Ottawa 2017 logo measuring approximately 5 metres high (16 feet) and 4 metres wide (13 feet) – is powered by natural gas. Enbridge has purchased an equivalent amount of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral fuel made from waste, in support of Canada’s sustainable energy future.

The cauldron will remain lit for this long weekend and will be a landmark throughout the year that will be re-lit for special occasions.

Earlier today, a First Nations sacred fire ceremony was held to kindle the flame that was shared from Ottawa City Hall to Parliament Hill. More than 400 youth, each carrying a torch, formed a human chain from the Ottawa 2017 Cauldron to Parliament Hill, lighting their torches one after the other until the entire line was aglow.

In a nod to Ottawa’s and Canada’s past, as well as to our future generations, the flame from this Fire of Friendship Torch Relay was used to re-light the Centennial Flame, initiating celebrations on Parliament Hill and in cities across the country.

History behind the Fire of Friendship:

For the 1967 celebrations, the Centennial Flame was lit on Parliament Hill by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. As part of that ceremony, the mayors and reeves of each of the local municipalities lit torches from the flame on the Hill, which were then couriered back to all parts of the region where “Fires of Friendship” were lit.


“As Canadians across the country ring in 2017, the nation’s capital is on the threshold of a dynamic, inspiring twelve months of celebrations to mark Canada’s 150th birthday. We look forward to seeing the year unfold and to welcoming residents and visitors for all the great experiences ahead,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

“For our government, the 150th anniversary of Confederation is a time to look back on the road we have travelled so far, while looking optimistically to the future. It’s an opportunity to work together to strengthen our ties as Canadians, and to enjoy unforgettable experiences in our communities,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

“2017 is Ontario’s 150th anniversary, and we have a lot to be proud of. In 2017, there will be events and programs across the province to celebrate our achievements, and to inspire us to build a better tomorrow. Ontario is Canada’s largest, most diverse and dynamic province.  We’re inclusive, innovative, and full of opportunities. Ontario 150 will be a celebration of all the things that make Ontario the most amazing place in the world to live,” said the Honourable Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Government and Consumer Services and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs.

“CIBC was founded the same year as Canada, in 1867, and we are very proud of our shared history that has helped shape the bank we are today, and the one we are building for the future. Through our partnership with Ottawa 2017, we are very excited to celebrate this great country and to offer exceptional and memorable experiences for all Canadians and visitors to enjoy,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC.

“The cauldron’s flame kicks off a celebration of our rich history and our bright future. It also represents the importance of energy in our day-to-day lives, something that we at Enbridge have been proud to be part of for more than 165 years. This partnership with Ottawa 2017 is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and to contribute to the success of our country’s sesquicentennial,” said Al Monaco, President and CEO, Enbridge Gas Distribution.

“Canada’s big year happens right here in the nation’s capital. Tonight’s New Year’s Eve kick-off event is the first of over 150 events that will be produced or co-produced by the Ottawa 2017 Bureau in the coming year and we invite all Canadians to join us in 2017 to celebrate our past, explore and discover our present, and together, ignite our future,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

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 ( #ontario150) and the Government of Canada ( #canada150) for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

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