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Springing Ahead To A Busy LiveWorkPlay Summer


LiveWorkPlay board chair Cathy Velazquez was on hand in Aurora on May 26 for the announcement of the latest (second) round of projects funded through the Ministry of Community and Social Services Housing Task Force.

Full details are available through the Community Living Ontario Update Friday.

LiveWorkPlay will be the lead on the “Just Enough Support” project with Multifaith Housing Initiative, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, and Mills Community Support as well as partnering on an Algonquin College project with United Families of Eastern of Ontario.

“We want to find the right support for each unique individual…to have every opportunity to receive their full potential. I know that these projects will help move us in the right direction,” said Minister Jaczek.


Supported by the MCSS Employment and Modernization Fund, the LiveWorkPlay summer employment initiative is off to a fabulous start!

More than 20 hires are already confirmed and many have already started work, including Shohan (pictured) at Kelsey’s in Barrhaven.

Now in its second year, the initiative has an ambitious goal of 40 jobs! This can include part-time paid jobs during the school year.

“We know that having a job as a student is an incredibly important predictor of future success in the labour market,” says Jen Soucy, Manager of Employer Partnerships.

“It’s a also a great investment by employers in getting to know young workers who can potentially join their permanent staff team after graduation.”


Co-Leader Keenan Wellar was honoured with the opportunity for an interview with Craig Oliver as part of the AMI series “Challenges and Change.” 

During the 12 minutes Oliver skillfully covers a variety of topics, exploring how LiveWorkPlay is engaged in housing, employment, and social belonging, as well as the broader implications for social change and the leading-edge practices being utilized on the journey towards a more inclusive society.

“I was amazed at how the time flew by,” says Keenan. “I grew up watching Mr. Oliver on TV with my parents and of course he is still a leading analyst and commentator on the Canadian political scene. To bring those talents and apply them to broadening the understanding of disability and inclusion issues in this country is a wonderful gift to the public from the AMI network.”


LiveWorkPlay supports inclusive travel opportunities, including motor coach trips, often with Ottawa Valley Tours.

This trip in the last week of May took eight of our members to the Ogonquit area of Maine and included a lobster boat experience launched from Kennebunk. Or was it Kennebunkport?

Either way, it was a great time getting to know the 40 other travellers on the bus, who sat back looking relatively relaxed while LiveWorkPlay member Caroline Matte piloted the 65 foot vessel! Special thanks to our tour guide Pam (pictured, red).

You can get a taste for the experience with this trip video!


Connections made at the Person-Centred Gathering in April resulted in a learning and training opportunity with Community Living South Muskoka.

After an evening with part of the leadership team, Julie and Keenan spent a full day with about 35 representatives from across the CLSM organization.

“They were easy to listen to and very inspiring. My head is spinning, but in a good way!” said one enthusiastic participant.

As with many Developmental Services organizations that have a long and significant history, Community Living South Muskoka is balancing the need for change with respect for longstanding programs that are cherished by their constituents and also well-known in their own community.

“I remember at the Person-Centred Gathering how Steve Scown from Dimensions talked about the importance of having a hunger for change,” says Keenan. “You could feel that energy in the room with CLSM staff and even though there is only so much that can be accomplished in one day, I hope we supported the instincts that these talented people already have with respect to what it will take to deliver more person-centred services and more inclusive outcomes for their community.”


Board members Kari Whatley and Daniel Spagnolo visited Ashbury College on May 24 to take part in a ceremony celebrating a $5000 Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) award given to LiveWorkPlay. 

Reflecting on their experience at Ashbury. both Kari and Daniel were impressed with the process the students followed in championing LiveWorkPlay as their cause of choice, and ultimately being selected to as the top team in the friendly competition.

“They thoroughly researched LiveWorkPlay, but also convinced their fellow students of the connection to relevant values,” says Daniel. “Our dedication to supporting an inclusive community clearly resonated with these young leaders.”


Joe Dale was brought in to spend time with our volunteer Employment Task Force in May as well as a day with the Employment Supports team in June talking about strategies and marketing approaches for making an effective business case for the hiring of persons with intellectual disabilities.

“This is a great team here,” said Joe. “The key is to help employers understand how you can save them time and money by meeting their needs, and I look forward to seeing how LiveWorkPlay implements some of the ideas we have been discussing.”

Also on the employment front, Jen Soucy has learned that her session at the Canadian Association of Supported Employment (CASE) 21st annual National Supported Employment Conference (June 14-16 in Edmonton) has been moved to a larger room to accommodate more than 100 pre-registered attendees.

“I’m not surprised there is a lot of interest in learning more about our Employment Task Force,” says Jen. “They’ve opened so many doors for us here in Ottawa and there is no reason why the same approach would not be just as effective in other communities.”


The BNI Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec golf tournament for LiveWorkPlay is coming up fast on June 15, 2016.

If you hurry you can still register!

Future tournaments are with Dow Honda/Star Motors/Kanata Honda on July 24 and Rotary Club of West Ottawa on September 15! 


Please mark your calendars, the LiveWorkPlay Annual General Meeting and Welcome Back Family Feast is a few weeks earlier than usual this year: Friday, September 9th. The Board of Directors is already working on the agenda and as always we’ll enjoy a delicious meal together. Registration including dinner is just $20.


By popular demand, we are now on Instagram! The LiveWorkPlay channel is just getting started, but please follow us! There has also been a ton of recent 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. Want to catch up on your LiveWorkPlay history? Don’t forget our 20th anniversary book!