This year’s Welcoming Ottawa Week reached and exceeded 100 events and welcomed more participants than ever. We achieved this new milestone by building on our strengths, and creating new and improved experiences for partners and participants.

Ambassador Awards Highlight of Launch

Once again, WOW kicked off with our popular breakfast event at City Hall, co-hosted by Jim Watson and OLIP, with CBC Ottawa’s Alan Neal as master of ceremonies. Typical of the event, we were at full capacity, with city councillors, diplomats, officials from IRCC, business executives and community members rubbing shoulders with WOW event hosts and welcoming ambassadors and their families.

As always, the launch’s Ambassador Awards ceremony was a highlight of the morning. New for 2019 were video interviews of the Ambassadors, available online, so that even those not in attendance could get to know these remarkable individuals. Congratulations to all of the 2019 Welcoming Ottawa Ambassadors!

New Partners, New Online Presence

A key result to support and capture WOW activities going forward is our new website and searchable online Calendar of Events, so that people could more easily find and access WOW events. Visits to the site exceeded our expectations – so much so, we had to expand our server’s capacity!

Our brand new partnership with Apt613 allowed us to reach new audiences, and new potential connections for newcomers through the popular Apt613 blogs on what is happening in town.

Unique to 2019 was our one-time partnership with the International Metropolis Conference. The largest annual international gathering of experts in migration, integration and diversity, the Conference was hosted this year by Canada in Ottawa and Gatineau. WOW joined up with the Conference to offer study tours for its 1,200 delegates.

100+ Events

Of course, our biggest milestone this year was reaching and exceeding 100 events, thanks in part to new organizations joining our growing number of WOW event hosts. Among the new WOW event hosts this year were the Royal Thai Embassy, the Embassy of the Republic of Albania in Ottawa and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

The Ottawa Public Library offered multiple WOW events across the city all very well-attended, as were the ever-popular Immigrant Heritage Walking Tours. New art workshops inspired by the iconic Welcoming Ottawa Mural were hosted by the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre.

Thank You to Our Supporters

Like WOWs before, we couldn’t have done it without our partners, contributors and sponsors. Our steadfast media partner CBC Ottawa, our committed event hosts, our incredible planning team, the talented OLIP secretariat, our devoted volunteers, the remarkable ambassadors and their nominators, and our generous financial and in-kind contributors: , IRCC, Canadian Heritage, the City of Ottawa, Heritage Ottawa. Thank you!