OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 18, 2013) - Local residents and institutions are gathering in Ottawa, June 25 to 30, 2013, for "Welcoming Ottawa Week" (WOW). During the Week, the Mayor of Ottawa will formally proclaim the last week of June as the Welcoming Ottawa Week; at a breakfast reception at City Hall with business executives, civic leaders, and representatives of faith communities in the region.

Initiated by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), and championed by the Mayor of Ottawa, the Welcoming Ottawa Week is designed to create recurrent opportunities for Ottawans to express and reflect on the warmth of our welcome; and for newcomers and long-time residents of Ottawa to have quality-based recreational and intellectual interactions that will foster trust and understanding. The calendar of the inaugural Welcoming Ottawa Week is marked with a series of engaging dialogues and celebratory activities across the city that include community sports events, movie screening in neighborhood parks, public lectures and seminars, music, artists' gatherings, and the 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum.

Media are invited to cover the following dialogues and festivities:

  • Seminar on "Building Sustainable Capacity for Equitable & Inclusive Organizations" and the Tabling of the Summary Report on Phase I of Ottawa's first ever Equity Project (June 25, morning, University of Ottawa)
  • Seminar on "L'enjeux de l'immigration francophone a Ottawa" (June 25, afternoon, Université d'Ottawa)
  • First-ever Proclamation of the "Welcoming Ottawa Week": Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, Launch and Celebration, featuring a musical performance by MASC (Multicultural Arts in Schools and Communities) (June 26, early morning, Jean Piggott Hall, Ottawa City Hall)
  • Second Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum: "The Building Blocks of a Welcoming City" (June 27, morning event, see below)
  • Town Hall Meeting: "Advancing Pluralism in the Arts" (June 28, all day, YMCA Newcomer Information Centre)
  • Movie screening in Brewer Park (June 29, evening)
  • Community Cup at Brewer Park, over 2,000 players and fans expected (closing WOW event) (June 30, all day)

CENTRAL EVENT: 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum

As the central event of the Week, the 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum on June 27 from 8:55 am to 12:30 pm, focuses on the theme of "the building blocks of a welcoming city" and looks at models of welcoming cities elsewhere in Canada. The Forum will also discuss how Ottawa can maintain its top position as a destination hub for international students, among mid-sized Canadian cities. The Forum takes place on June 27th, to mark the occasion of Multiculturalism Day. The Forum brings together 200 participants from local community agencies, the three levels of government, elected officials, civic leaders, academic researchers and analysts, and the business sector.

Speakers include:

  • Deputy Mayor and City Councillor Steve Desroches: The Making of a Welcoming City, Plans & Progress of Ottawa's Local Government
  • Dick Stewart and Salimatou Diallo, OLIP Chairs: OLIP's Vision, Directions, and Progress
  • Gerry Clement, former Assistant Deputy Minister of Manitoba Labour and Immigration: The Building Blocks of a Welcoming City
  • Professor Chedly Belkhodja, University of Moncton: International Students: Trends & Policy Context
  • Panel comprised of representatives of Ottawa's higher education institutions: Opportunities & Challenges in the attraction and integration of international students
  • Hindia Mohamoud and Marie Elise Lebon, Director and Coordinator of host organizations, OLIP & Reseau de Soutien de l'immigration francophone de l'Est Ontario, respectively.

WHERE: Delta City Centre, 101 Lyon Street, Ottawa, 1st Floor, Ballrooms B&C

Hashtag: #WOW, #Ottawa, #Immigration
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