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The LiveWorkPlay News: April 23, 2018


Tickets are selling fast for Make A Buzz Ottawa 2018 on Thursday, May 10. This celebration of community recognizes people with intellectual disabilities, volunteers, employers, and partners who contribute to our vision of a community where everyone belongs.

There is also a reception with silent auction and a photo booth, and our fabulous MC Graham Kay will also be raising funds with a few live auction items during the awards ceremony. It is expected that all tickets will be sold within a week, so please don’t delay any longer, get your seats today! The cost is just $40 per person which includes a four course meal.


Emily and MoiraWe celebrated National Volunteer Week  (April 15-21) with a special blog post and a daily social media campaign with photos and stories about our volunteer team, including some of our one to one matches, like Emily and Moira (pictured).

Of course, many of the individuals we support to have a good life in the community are volunteers themselves, contributing to important organizations and past Make A Buzz award recipients like Meals on Wheels and Parkdale Food Centre. LiveWorkPlay had nothing to do with it, but we certainly took note of the fabulous article about Paul Knoll’s volunteerism with Westfest!


On April 14 our co-leader Keenan Wellar enjoyed the unique opportunity to talk in some detail about LiveWorkPlay with Sam Laprade, host of 1310 News “An Hour To Give” a new morning radio show you can enjoy every Saturday at 7am.

You can listen to the interview with Keenan and Sam on our YouTube channel!


We recently changed our end of fiscal year from June 30 to March 31, which means our Annual General Meeting jumps up from September to June (June 25, 2018). The Board of Directors has also updated the voting membership process.

As always, anyone is welcome to attend the AGM, but in terms of who votes at the meetings (for example, electing the directors or approving the auditor for the coming year) there are now 35 voting members. This includes individuals supported by the organization, family members, volunteers, and community partners. If you are planning to attend the AGM, why not apply to be a voting member? It’s free, and it takes about 3 minutes to complete the short survey.


Since last issue, we’ve had four more work anniversaries for members of the staff team! Wendy (2 years)Anthony (9 years), and one year each for Anna and Joshua! Each anniversary blog includes comments about what other staff, members, or their family have to say, like this comment about Anthony (pictured):  He represents the very idea of “someone you can count on” which gives people a lot of comfort  – a really important outcome with a value that you really can’t quantify.


It has been a busy winter with respect to news and announcements impacting people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and agencies who support them. LiveWorkPlay provided testimony to the Minster of Finance (Ontario) where along with other voices across the province, we called for a long-term solution to the crisis in Developmental Services. The new budget has delivered some of what is needed, but with a pending election, LiveWorkPlay encourages our constituents to discuss issues that are important to them with their local candidates. Community Living Ontario Update Friday is a great way to stay informed.

LiveWorkPlay was at St. Peter High Schoolon February 22 to participate in an information and planning event for individuals and their families who are preparing for life after high school, and will be at the upcoming Service Coordination “My Home, My Community” event at Brookfield High School. As founding members of the provincial From Presence To Citizenship initiative, we also helped support the annual Learning Exchange in Toronto. Through our social media channels and direct conversations with the media, LiveWorkPlay was pleased to make a small but passionate contribution to the public discussion over the possible closure of Storefront School – there is good news for nowbut stay tuned! Staff members Chris Floyd and Alex Darling (pictured) were at Algonquin College on March 21 to meet students exploring careers in the field. Last but not least, we were pleased to see the launch of the DSW Co-operative, a Housing Task Force project that LiveWorkPlay supported as a partner organization.

In national news, immigration polices that discriminate against people with disabilities have been long overdue for a major overhaul, and there is now some progress. The Canadian Association for Community Living says there is more work ahead.


The Foolish Family Feast (so named for its proximity to April Fool’s Day) was rocking this year, thanks to Chicken Fried. No, not fried chicken. We had steak. Chicken Fried is a band, and a great one too!

Check out photos and video from the event on our blog, which includes video of the World Down Syndrome Day commemoration by Paul Knoll and Daniel Pinsonneault.

Another outstanding gathering that took place over the winter was a LiveWorkPlay Federal Employment Strategy Group meeting. Co-Chairs Mary Gusella and Daniel Spagnolo along with our Manager of Employer Partnerships Jen Soucy were thrilled with the turnout, and most importantly, continued hiring of people with intellectual disabilities in the federal public service!

Speaking of employment and employers, a tip of the hat to Andrew Scott and Pita Pit Canada. Andrew successfully nominated LiveWorkPlay for a $1000 “Refuse To Settle” award! Read more about it on our blog.


Valentine’s Day isn’t usually an event that puts LiveWorkPlay in the news, but thanks to Jalynn and Natalie, that’s exactly what happened! Click here or the image below for the news clip!

We hope you have enjoyed this jam-packed edition of The LiveWorkPlay News. If you like what you see, why not make a donation? We’ve got a new and improved donation formthat saves you time and gives you more options!