Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce partnerships with Ottawa’s four local school boards, the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board, to engage students across the city in Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.

“Ottawa’s school boards have been very supportive and enthusiastic about creating opportunities for students to get involved in the Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Next year will be like no other in Ottawa and, through these invaluable partnerships, we’re ensuring that Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations will have a positive, lasting impact on our young people, their families and our community.”

The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Ottawa’s four school boards will work together to:

  • recruit local schools to pair with some of the 150 exchange groups that Experiences Canada will be recruiting across the country;
  • gather and share stories of immigration and how “home” is defined, in collaboration with the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership;
  • launch a poetry contest in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library, during National Poetry Month in April;
  • have students write postcards to family and friends across Canada, inviting them to come to Ottawa for the celebrations;
  • enable students to volunteer at Ottawa 2017 activities, accumulating valuable volunteer hours, which are mandatory for graduating;
  • have classes adopt a country, study its culture and traditions, then visit that country’s Ottawa Welcomes the World showcase at Lansdowne Park.

“The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est is proud to be part of the Ottawa 2017 celebrations and offer an unforgettable experience to our 22,600 students and their families,” said Johanne Lacombe, President, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE). “By participating in the festivities for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, CECCE students will leave their mark in history.”

“The Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario is extremely proud of its many students and staff who are involved in the Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” expressed Linda Savard, President, Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario (CEPEO). “It is for us an opportunity to showcase the talents of our youth, our school communities and to demonstrate our French and Canadian pride. Let’s celebrate together both the past and the future of Canada.”

Pino Bufone, Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) Superintendent of Instruction said, “at the OCDSB we support and encourage a culture which develops creative, confident and engaged learners. We believe this is in keeping with Ottawa 2017’s vision to contribute to the identity and positive reputation of our Capital City.”

Denise Andre, Director of Education, Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), noted that “the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday will be a wonderful learning opportunity for #OCSB students as well as a chance to engage with their community and celebrate our heritage and history.”

“CIBC welcomes our new partners and the energy and perspective they bring to the celebration of our country’s 150th birthday,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for youth in Canada’s capital to become involved and discover more about Canadian culture, values and identity.”

The Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Guy Laflamme added: “Next year will be about celebrating our past and igniting our future. It will be about sharing. Sharing our stories and values. Sharing our culture and experiences. Sharing our hopes and dreams for the future and sparking the imagination of a generation with memories that will last a lifetime.”

Canada’s 150th 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 and the Government of Canada 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:

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