These Awards recognize Ottawa citizens 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 and friendship.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

The deadline for 2020 nominations is May 31, 2020.

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.
  • 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.
  1. Genuine respect: Openness, positive curiosity, and knowledge of or interest to learn about immigrants’ 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.