Ambassador Awards

Past Recipients

(Migrate from old web site by year.)

Nominate an Ambassador

When you first arrived as a newcomer to Ottawa, was there someone especially supportive who made you feel at home in Ottawa? If so, we encourage you to nominate a Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador.

Who can nominate

To be eligible, the nominator must be an immigrant or a refugee (a person born outside of Canada). There is no restriction on how long you have been in Ottawa.

Who can be nominated for an Ambassador Award

You can nominate anyone who went out of their way to help you when you first arrived in Ottawa – whether that was 20 years ago or 20 days ago. For example:

  • A colleague who explained the ins and outs of the Canadian workplace
  • A teacher who inspired you to succeed
  • A neighbour who was supportive to you
  • A new friend who helped you make useful connections
  • Someone in a social service agency who went above and beyond the call of duty

Tell us how this person helped you – how they went the extra mile to support your adjustment to a new life in Ottawa.

How to nominate 

Nominate someone for the 2019 Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador Awards using our online submission form. Deadline for 2019 nominations is April 26, 2019. 

For more information about Welcoming Ottawa Ambassadors Awards and the selection process, contact Nyamulola Kambanji at or 613-232-9634, ext. 318.


What are the Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador Awards?

These Awards recognize Ottawa residents who go out of their way to support newcomers in their efforts to make this city their new home.
Introduced as part of Welcoming Ottawa Week in 2014, the Awards celebrate individuals who, in interacting with immigrants or refugees, have demonstrated the qualities of openness, friendship and support.

When are the Awards announced?

The Awards are handed out in June at the annual WOW launch event co-hosted by OLIP and the Mayor of Ottawa. They are posted on our web site shortly after.

Where can I find past Ambassador Award recipients?

You can find a list of past Ambassadors, organized by year, here.

Are the Ambassador Award recipients obliged to have their name and photo publicized?

No. We do invite all Award recipients to participate in a photo shoot and share their stories. However, participation in the photo shoot and story are not obligatory in order to receive the Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador Award.

Can I nominate someone for a Welcoming Ambassador Award?

To be eligible, the nominator must be an immigrant or a refugee. There is no restriction on how long you have been in Ottawa.

Who can I nominate?

Any Ottawa resident who, in interacting with immigrants or refugees, have demonstrated the human qualities of openness, positive curiosity, friendship and connection across difference.

They might be a neighbour who explained where to shop or how the schools work, a colleague who answered a newcomer’s questions about workplace culture, or strangers at a mosque, temple or church who reached out and became lifelong friends.

What is the nomination deadline?

The deadline for 2019 nominations is April 26, 2019.

What is the selection process?

Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador Award recipients are chosen by a Selection Committee, based on the quality of welcome conveyed by the nominees. The Selection Committee reviews all nominations that are received by OLIP before the deadline.

The Welcoming Ottawa Ambassadors awards are selected based on five qualities – genuine respect, intercultural bridging, hospitality, opening doors to the community, and friendship and generosity of spirit.

Are there any restrictions to nominations?

  • Nominations will only be accepted in English and French. 
  • A maximum of one nomination will be accepted from each nominator in a given year.
  • Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador Award recipients may only be awarded one time. 


Could you provide more details about the five qualities you look for in Ambassadors?

  1. Genuine respect: Openness, positive curiosity, and knowledge of or interest to learn about immigrants’ culture and countries of origin.
  2. Intercultural bridging: Tips to help immigrants understand cultural nuances and the local way of life.
  3. Hospitality: Engaging immigrants and involving their families with Ambassadors’ families.
  4. Opening doors to community: Linking immigrants to networks, social clubs, professional associations, study groups, sports clubs, civic action and leadership initiatives.
  5. Friendship and generosity of spirit: Listening, understanding challenges, problem solving, reassuring that difficulties will pass.