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December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Make A Buzz 2020 Announcement


Save the date and buy your tickets, our 25th anniversary Make A Buzz Ottawa celebration will be Thursday, May 7th and it will sell out faster than usual. This time we’re going to have a musical guest and make sure this is more of a party and less about speeches. But of course we do have to take a bit of a walk down memory lane, and add a new chapter to our 20th anniversary book!

Our musical guests are none other than Dueling Pianos, with local living legends Dave Kalil and Tyler Kealey on the keys, accompanied by The Todd Huckabone Experience on guitar! The trio are no strangers to LiveWorkPlay – Dave and Todd have both played at past events, but many of our members, volunteers, staff, and others have attended Dueling Pianos at a wide variety of Ottawa venues. They know what we like and it’s going to be a blast! Get your tickets – and hurry!


Maybe you have heard of Giving Tuesday, maybe you haven’t – the idea is that after “Black Friday” (November 29) which is all about spending on ourselves and our loved ones – we take some time to think about others and donate to a worthy cause. It’s also a great time to make donations for tax purposes. If you are planning to make a Giving Tuesday donation (or just thinking about donations before the year is over) please consider LiveWorkPlay! It’s not all about money of course – we rely on more than 150 volunteers and we are accepting new applicants!

This year Giving Tuesday also falls on the same day as International Day of Persons with Disabilities! The theme for 2019 is: “The Future is Accessible.” LiveWorkPlay representatives are taking part in various December 3rd events hosted or facilitated by the Canadian Association for Community Living.

The United Nations established each December 3rd as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) “to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.” LiveWorPlay’s vision, mission, and values statements are all derived from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


The Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal presented the BEST NOT-FOR-PROFIT award to LiveWorkPlay at the prestigious 2019 Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs) gala amidst a gathering of 750 leaders from business, public sector, and non-profit organizations (hosted at the Westin Ottawa on November 22).

With a limit of three representatives on the stage, Co-Leaders Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar were joined by Michelle O’Doherty of the Board of Directors to accept the award, with another 27 members of the LiveWorkPlay community cheering them on from nearby tables within the room, and hundreds more celebrating online (click here for the live experience).

“We’re here 30 strong and with a huge online audience because LiveWorkPlay supporters understand the extraordinary journey of our charitable organization” says Keenan. “We started in 1995 as an idea on a notepad, and grew to be an influencer of social change that supports some 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities and autistic persons each year, and works with more than 150 local businesses to deliver incredible outcomes related to employment, housing, and social inclusion.”

Although the award category is “not-for-profit” the nomination process included the same questions and information requests (such as financial data and impact analysis) that must be provided by for-profit businesses. Non-profit nominees must further demonstrate that their work is meaningful, measurable, memorable, financially viable, and shows leadership in best practices.

“LiveWorkPlay has received other awards honouring our achievements in promoting inclusion, but this is a unique and special night because we appreciate being recognized also for our financial planning, human resources, and governance practices, and all of the work we do with communications and public relations too” said Julie.

Within the room also were countless representatives of businesses that are already partners with LiveWorkPlay, and every effort will be made to build new relationships with those who were introduced to the organization for the first time.

“The business leaders in the room who have already worked with us are the perfect ambassadors to help us build our community network” says Michelle.  “I am confident that starting next week, introductions made here tonight will help us identify opportunities for jobs and other connections that will help improve the quality of life for those we support and their families. I want to thank all of the staff team, my board colleagues past and present, our volunteers, and partners in all sectors for helping us get to where we are today, and for being a part of an exciting future in 2020 and beyond.”

The BOBs are co-presented by the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal.

“We are honoured to recognize LiveWorkPlay as the recipient for Best Non-for-Profit” says Sueling Ching, Interim President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade. “They demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative thinking, and play a vital role in making Ottawa the best place to live, work, study, play and invest. We are privileged to have them in the National Capital.”

“The BOBs celebrates untold success stories across our city” says Michael Curran, OBJ publisher. “Anyone attending the gala leaves much better informed about what’s happening across our local economy.”