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Happy Canada Day!

WHAT A NIGHT!

The LiveWorkPlay 20th Anniversary “Engines of Success” celebration on June 4th brought together a whopping 350 guests to enjoy stories, awards, and great conversation over a delicious meal to remember 20 years gone by and many more to come! MC Derick Fage from Rogers TV and headlining speaker Al Condeluci connected with a highly engaged audience for a truly memorable night. You can get the entire story of the night including the Legacy Ambassador Award and Rob More Good Life Award recipients Cooper Gage and Caroline Matte by reading our Engines of Success blog.

Of the many highlights, there were several standout moments. Awards were being presented to representatives from Nepean Housing and Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) when some LiveWorkPlay members who live in their buildings decided they would join in the celebration! A trickle soon turned into a flood and the stage became a celebration of community.

Other surprises were planned well in advance. This included former volunteers and media professionals Cyndi Edwards and Colin Trethewey “beamed in” to the proceedings from Florida in order to remotely present the Legacy Celebrity Volunteer Award to Derick Fage. Later in the evening there was a live interruption by Rabbi Bulka who took over the stage on behalf of United Way Ottawa to present a Community Builder Award to LiveWorkPlay chair Cecelia Taylor, who was on stage at the time, completely unaware that she was the Rabbi’s target.

The celebration was also recorded by Rogers Ottawa (Cable 22) and has already aired on multiple occasions. The 90 minutes represents just over half of the live proceedings, but we’ve also got our own digital recording and we will be providing clips not available through the Rogers production in the weeks and months to come. We got things started last week with a fun clip of the opening ceremonies featuring piper Fraser Maher with Daniel Harris as Town Crier. The celebration was also covered with a wonderful Around Town blog and newspaper article in the Ottawa Citizen. You can also experience the evening as it played out live on Twitter.

ON THE ROAD FOR SHARING AND LEARNING

LiveWorkPlay never closes, and in fact in many ways the summer is the busiest time of the year, thanks to our summer jobs initiative. But with much of the rest of the world slowing down a bit, it does offer an opportunity for staff to go on the road with lesser inconvenience to our members. This included Jen Bosworth travelling to Philadelphia for attendance and a pair of presentations at the annual Association for People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE) conference.For the first time ever, the Community Connector team of George Kranitis, Grace Hudson, and Caitlin Fortier will be travelling together and are excited to take part in the 5-day Summer Institute for Inclusion, Community and Diversity. Normally hosted in Toronto, the event was displaced by the Pan Am Games and will instead be hosted at the University of California at San Diego. The gathering will featuring a legendary cast in the field including McKnight, O’Brien, Mount, Kohler, Snow, Simmons, Kahn, Harges, Pearpoint, and more. This sold out event offers our leading-edge staff a unique opportunity to be contributors and beneficiaries of this remarkable learning exchange.


ENDING THE ODSP ANTI-EMPLOYMENT MYTH

Media coverage of sheltered workshop issues resulted in significant misinformation about the motivations and rationale for hourly wages that are far less than minimum wage (for example, $1.15 an hour). One of the most unfortunate pieces of misreporting was the incorrect message that wages must be kept below minimum wage in order to protect Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) income support.

This is FALSE as LiveWorkPlay along with many individuals and organizations fought hard to have properly represented in public forums. We also called upon the Government of Ontario to issue a clarification of ODSP policies to reinforce the existing ODSP website information, and to provide us with an additional tool for reassuring individuals, families, and organizations that have been exposed to misinformation about sheltered workshops and rationalizations for below-minimum-wage arrangements.

On June 11, just such a document was made available in a joint communique from Assistant Deputy Ministers Karen Chan and Erin Hannah. Using the link above you can access the information sheets that include questions and answers like this: Can I work and still get ODSP benefits? YES! You can work while you are getting financial help from ODSP. And you will always have more money while working than you would from ODSP income support alone.

GOLF SEASON!

With one great golf tournament already in the bag, the next opportunity is on Sunday, July 26. Presented by Dow Honda, Star Motors, and Kanata Honda (all employers of at least one LiveWorkPlay member) this

is a fun tournament with registration exclusive to the LiveWorkPlay community and the three dealerships. Please register as soon as possible to make it easier for our wonderful hosts to prepare the foursomes. With the tournament being on a Sunday, last minute registration is a real challenge, so we can help out by signing up well in advance (and taking advantage of the big early bird special).
The BNI Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec tournament on June 17 featured unbelievably beautiful weather, delicious BBQ steaks, and a fun-filled 19th hole with prizes and awards, and it all ended with $5000 for LiveWorkPlay!

MAKING A SPLASH

The 18th annual pool party and 17th in a row hosted by the Harris family was the usual wonderful day. Betty, Ivan, and Jennifer ordered up the perfect weather plus a yard full of chairs, tents, and umbrellas to augment the fun in the pool. Alex Darling did exemplary work on the BBQ with other staff and volunteers helping organize everything from transportation to food and drink supplies. Members, family, and friends contributed appetizers and desserts. Click here for exclusive cannonball footage!


GIVING THANKS TO A GREAT PARTNER


Lucas Rogers and Keenan Wellar spoke in support of Meals on Wheels Ottawa at their Annual General Meeting. One of the first LiveWorkPlay community partners, they are an incredible support to the community, as well as providing a first-class volunteer experience. You can read Keenan’s full remarks here. These were some of his final comments:

And so in conclusion, I want to pay tribute to Meals on Wheels not simply as a remarkable operation that delivers consistent quality meal service to seniors, those with chronic illness, people with disabilities, or people with medical needs or other reasons that make Meals on Wheels the right answer for them, but because Meals on Wheels is also part of the bigger social benefit of helping keep our community strong by supporting people who want to say in their homes with options other than institutional solutions.

JOIN IN THE FUN

In recent weeks there has been lots of activity on our Facebook page, so please join in that fun too! You can also follow @LiveWorkPlay on Twitter, and check out our channel on YouTube. We have eclipsed 2000 fans on our page, maybe you can help on our way to 3000!
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