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Festive Family Feast, BOBs Kudos, International Volunteer Day, Giving Tuesday, Congratulations ISED, From Presence To Citizenship 2020, Season’s Greetings!


Except for Make A Buzz Ottawa in May, this is our most popular annual event, drawing 200 or more members of the LiveWorkPlay community. This year the agenda was deliberately light, but MC Ryan Nevitt capably delivered opening remarks commemorating International Day of Persons with Disabilities and International Volunteer Day, as well as a reminder about the Celebration of Inclusion Family Feast in March. You can see from the photo album that a festive spirit was in the air!

Ryan also urged LiveWorkPlay insiders to move quickly for their May 7th Make A Buzz Ottawa tickets: “This event always sells out anyway, but this year we have Dueling Pianos, one of Ottawa’s most popular music acts, so you should get tickets in December before public sales take off in January.”

LiveWorkPlay does not close over the holidays, but because many of the people we support choose to cancel or reorganize their support for other times of the year, many of our staff will take time off with their own families and get ready for a busy 2020, our 25th anniversary year!


Last edition recognition for LiveWorkPlay as Ottawa’s Best Non-Profit had just been announced following the Best Ottawa Business (BOBs) Awards on November 22. The news generated hundreds of well-wishes from supporters, and this enthusiasm has continued well into December, aided by new media coverage in community newspapers (example below) and the Ottawa Business Journal (co-host of the BOBs with Ottawa Board of Trade). NEW! The official video is now available!


The first week of December is always a busy time, with International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, and this year Giving Tuesday fell on the same day, with International Volunteer Day three days later on the 6th! LiveWorkPlay staff juggled schedules (thank you to our members for your understanding) to attend the many important special events.

This included the Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada annual policy forum, the City of Ottawa’s IDPD commemoration, Department of Defence, a reception hosted by Minister Qualtrough, and the Disability and Work in Canada conference and the launch of the Canadian Accessibility Network. Below: Laura Lobay and Anna Nelson from the LiveWorkPlay employment team enjoyed reconnecting with Chris Beesley, Yvonne Spicer, and Theresa Somerton who all have Community Living Ontario connections among other roles. 

Giving Tuesday is timed to follow the big consumer days known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the idea being that after the shopping frenzy, it’s a good time to think about donating and volunteering in service to others. While our participation in Giving Tuesday seldom generates any surprises, our supporters are more than generous throughout the month of December. If you would like to make a donation (many people donate before the end of the year for tax purposes) please check out our new and easy donation form!


Do we enjoy receiving awards? Sure, it’s fun, and it helps increase our profile in the community which ultimately helps open doors for homes, jobs, and relationships for our members. But what’s even better is when we help someone else be at their best! Innovation, Science and Development Canada has received a prestigious Top 100 Employers Award! Reading about the award we were very excited to see that ISED’s partnership with LiveWorkPlay was a part of their winning nomination. Congratulations ISED! For an example of our employment partnership, check out the inclusive workplace video starring Tara Pahwa!


LiveWorkPlay is an original member of the From Presence To Citizenship collaborative, an Ontario network of agencies that shares inclusive values, and most importantly, a commitment to practices that lead to welcoming communities where people with intellectual disabilities are included as contributing citizens. The annual gathering has moved from February to March for 2020, so please save the dates! There is also a pre-gathering on the evening of March 4 for those who arrive in Toronto the day before.


it really is! Buy your tickets, our 25th anniversary celebration will be Thursday, May 7th and it will sell out. We can now confirm our musical guest is Dueling Pianos (Dave Kalil and Tyler Kealey) plus the Todd Huckabone Experience on guitar! The Make A Buzz team is making 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!


This will be our final newsletter of 2019. We would like to thank all of our supporters for an amazing year – and an amazing 25 years to be celebrated in 2020!