February 9, 2024 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
A Message from Councillor King
Each February, Ottawa proudly embraces Black History Month, transforming the capital into a vibrant hub of cultural exploration and celebration. This annual commemoration invites everyone to delve into the rich heritage, traditions and contributions of African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) Canadians, enhancing awareness and appreciation for their profound impact on the nation.
The roots of Black History Month stretch back to its origins in the United States in 1926. However, it wasn't until 1995 that Canada officially recognized this month-long celebration on a national level. Since then, Black History Month has become a crucial time to honour and acknowledge the remarkable achievements and contributions of Black Canadians to the country's history and culture.
In 2024, Black History Month events coincide with the conclusion of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, spanning from 2015 to 2024. This alignment emphasizes the global commitment to recognize and address the challenges faced by people of African descent while celebrating their cultural richness.
Annually, the City officially proclaims Black History Month, reinforcing its commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse community. Building on this commitment, the City has actively been working on the goals outlined in the Anti-Racism Strategy, endorsed by City Council in June 2022. This strategy serves as a framework to proactively identify and remove systemic barriers in City policies, programs and services.
I gave a statement celebrating Black History Month at the February 7, 2024 Council meeting. You can read the entire speech and watch the video on my Website.
Events scheduled for Black History Month in Ottawa are anticipated to be a testament to the City's dedication to diversity and inclusion. With a large number of events scheduled, residents can expect an exciting array of activities that will inspire reflection, dialogue and appreciation for the significant role played by Black Canadians in shaping the cultural tapestry of Ottawa. I encourage all residents to participate this month.
As we celebrate Black History Month in 2024, let us collectively embrace diversity, recognize the past, and pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive future for all residents of the City of Ottawa.
Your Councillor in the Community
I attended the GLOCAL event on Parliament Hill on Feb. 7 where incredible youth across Canada were provided micro grants to pursue digital civic engagement projects in their neighbourhoods. I was very impressed that a project from Ashbury College was recognized.
As the City's Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives, I was proud to collectively celebrate the historical, cultural, economic and social achievements of the Ottawa's Black community at the start of the Feb. 7 Council meeting at City Hall. Thank you to African, Caribbean and Black community leaders for attending. My sincere thanks to Claudine Mitchell, an entrepreneur, educator, singer, emcee and president of the Jamaica Ottawa Community Association, for her moving performances of O Canada and "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
Rideau-Rockcliffe News, Events and Engagement Opportunities
Drag On Ice - Feb. 10
The Vanier BIA and Capital Pride host the second annual Drag On Ice Show in collaboration with Tim Hortons as part of Winterlude. There will be free hot chocolate and Tim Hortons chili available.
The African, Caribbean & Black Wellness Resource Centre - Feb. 14 and 23
Please join ACB Wellness Resource Centre for its Black History Month celebration this year with the theme 'Black Expression: Breaking Free.' There are two main events you wouldn't want to miss: a Cancer Screening for the ACB community and Black Expression: Breaking Free.
- Cancer screening - Feb. 14, 12 to 1 pm
- Black History Month celebration - Feb. 23, 6 to 8 pm
Both events take place at 610 Donald Street. For more information, please email [email protected] or call 613-801-7426.
- DATE AND TIME: Saturday, February 17, 9 am to 12 pm;
- MEETING POINT: in front of the Vanier Sugar Shack (320 des Pères-Blancs Avenue – Use the parking lot at the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre);
- Registration is not required.
EVENT: Community Breakfast for Volunteer Ottawa
VENUE: Rideau Hub Cafeteria, 815 St. Laurent Blvd. (free parking)
DATE: Thursday, February 22, 2024
TIME: 8:00 – 10:00 AM
Register before February 16th on the Volunteer Ottawa website.
- When: Thursday, February 22 at 7 pm
- Where: Beechwood National Memorial Centre, 280 Beechwood Avenue
The Coldest Night of the Year Walk - Feb. 24
The Coldest Night of the Year is a winterrific family-friendly walk to raise money for local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Walk together on February 24, 2024! There are a number of Ottawa routes with different distances. Click this link to donate, sign up to walk, what to bring and more details!
Comedy at the Fieldhouse - Feb. 24
Enjoy live standup comedy at the New Edinburgh Park Fieldhouse, 203 Stanley Avenue, on Feb. 24 at 8 pm. Join the Crichton Community Council for an evening of gut-busting entertainment featuring some of Ottawa’s best professional and up-and-coming comics. Hosted by Hart Shouldice (Yuk Yuk’s, Absolute Comedy). Doors open at 7 pm. The laughs start at 8 pm. Beer, wine and non-alcoholic refreshments will be available. This event is recommended for ages sixteen and up. $20 tickets are available through Eventbrite.
City of Ottawa News, Events, Meetings and Engagement Opportunities
Growing concerns around the toxicity of the unregulated drug supply
Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Paramedic Service and the Overdose Prevention and Response Taskforce are issuing an alert to warn residents about the risk of overdose related to the toxicity of the unregulated drug supply. There continues to be an increased detection of xylazine and benzodiazepines in Ontario’s unregulated drug supply, a trend we are seeing here in Ottawa as well. These substances are often present together with opioids, significantly increasing the risk of overdose and other harms. Benzodiazepines and xylazine can cause extreme drowsiness and sedation and slow a person’s breathing and heart rate. Symptoms of xylazine and benzodiazepine toxicity can be similar to those associated with opioids, but neither will respond to naloxone. In all cases of suspected overdose, call 9-1-1 right away for emergency help and give naloxone if you have it. While naloxone will not have an effect on benzodiazepines or xylazine, it can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and can be safely given to people who have taken non-opioid drugs. For information on how to respond to an overdose, information for individuals who use drugs and additional resources, please visit the City of Ottawa's website.
Lunar New Year & Chinatown New Year Parade - Feb. 10
Excitement is in the air as Ottawa Chinatown gears up for an extraordinary Chinatown New Year Parade, set to enchant the streets on Saturday, February 10, 2024, from 10 am to 12 pm on Somerset Street West between Bay and Preston. This celebration marks a joyous return to tradition, representing the first of its kind since the challenging times of the pandemic. One of the highlights of the parade is the mesmerizing Dragon Dance, a symbol of strength, power, and good luck. The festivities continue with the enchanting Yangko dance, a performance rich in cultural symbolism. The parade route, starting from the west of Chinatown near Preston Street, where the iconic kirin statues stand proudly, will make its way towards the Royal Gateway and the pair of majestic Pixiu statues near Bay Street. Click here for details.
February is Black History Month!
- For local Black History Month events and activities, please visit blackhistoryottawa.org.
- Black History Month information and resources: Government of Canada
- National Film Board collection of films by award-winning Black filmmakers, creators, and allies of the Black community.
2024 African Day on the Hill GALA - Feb. 10
Join the African Canadian Association of Ottawa for an exciting in-person event on Feb. 10 from 6 to 11:30 pm at Collège La Cité - Edifice EXENTRICITÉ Building, 801 Aviation Parkway. The 2024 African Day on the Hill is all about celebrating African culture, diversity, and unity. Get ready to be inspired by thought-provoking speeches, vibrant cultural performances, and sumptuous African cuisine. This event is a platform for Africans and allies to come together, enjoy the evening, and make a positive impact. For tickets and details, please click here.
Join Ottawa Public Library (OPL) in honouring the legacy and impactful contributions of the Black community locally and worldwide. The Library is hosting events and has a diverse collection of resources, which aims to explore the historical significance and contemporary influence of the Black community. OPL invites all to discover Black history in person or online. All events are free of charge, embracing inclusivity and accessibility for everyone.
On February 15 from 7 - 8:30 pm, join OPL for a French event at 515 rue Côté with author Blaise Ndala in conversation with Marie-Célie Agnant and let yourself be transported into a literary world while discussing his novels.
In addition to OPL hybrid events, various library branches will be screening thought-provoking Black films, offering a cinematic journey through history and culture. Showtime details are available on OPL’s program and events listing. For fresh reading suggestions, check out the booklists for adults, teens and kids alike linked on OPL’s on BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca.
- Make a real difference in your own community! Get to know your neighbours.
- Help local families.
- Become a trusted face in your neck of the woods.
- Enjoy supplementary income and perks.
- Being a Crossing Guard provides a meaningful employment opportunity that puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Experience Winterlude 2024 - Feb. 2 to 19
Winterlude is the can’t-miss winter event in Canada’s Capital Region! From February 2 to 19, Ottawa and Gatineau will be bustling with a host of indoor and outdoor activities that showcase Indigenous culture, Canadian diversity and significant anniversaries. Whether you enjoy the outdoors or prefer to take in a show or exhibit, Winterlude has you covered with more than 200 activities. For the full calendar of events, please visit canada.ca. Additional details are available at Ottawa Tourism.
Ride the Sno-Bus for free during Winterlude!
Going to Winterlude this year in the Nation’s Capital? Ride the Sno-Bus for free to several official Winterlude sites. Hop on a Sno-Bus on Elgin Street at Sparks Street. Look for buses signed "Sno-Bus" at bus stops marked by Sno-Bus signs. OC Transpo fares apply to regular service. Kids 12 and under ride free. A 2-1 DayPass is available on weekends and on Family Day for $11.75 a day. For details, please click here.
Register for spring recreation and cultural activities and 2024/25 before and after school programs
You can now browse spring recreation and cultural activities and before and after school programs for 2024/25 online.
- Aquatics registration: Feb. 13 at 9 pm.
- All other spring programs & before and after school programs: Feb. 15 at 9 pm.
Governor General's Foot Guards Youth Achievement Awards 2024 - Deadline for applications/nominations is Feb. 15
Public engagement opportunity for the Commemorative Naming Policy - Survey closes Feb. 16
Ottawa Humane Society webinars - Registration discount available until Feb. 16
Whether you have an anxious pooch or a fearful feline, the OHS webinar series: Anxiety and Pets: The Essentials will give you all the answers you need to build a healthy, happy future with your pet. Get practical, science-based information for pet owners and pet professionals to better understand stressed out, anxious pets and learn how to better understand and help our furry friends. Sign up for all three sessions for only $90, or customize your learning and sign up for one webinar for $35. Register before Feb. 16 for 15 per cent off with the discount code EARLYBIRD!
- Paws and Reflect: Unraveling the Language of Stress in Pets, Wednesday, March 13 at 6 pm
- Anxiety: The Whole Story, Wednesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. EST
- Leaving with Love: Navigating Separation Anxiety in Dogs, Wednesday, March 27 at 6 pm
Mayor Sutcliffe's Family Day Skating Party - Feb. 19
Presented by: City of Ottawa
Marion Dewar Plaza at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Monday, February 19, 11 am to 2 pm
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe invites everyone to join him for his annual Family Day skating party at the Rink of Dreams. Come on down to Ottawa City Hall and enjoy free skating, hang out with your favourite mascots and enjoy free hot chocolate, compliments of the Salvation Army (while quantities last).
City of Ottawa Heritage Day 2024 - Feb. 20
- Tuesday, February 20, 2024; 12 pm to 2 pm
- Free event
- In person at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave.
Come explore the many heritage organizations and groups that make Ottawa’s heritage community like no other! Local historical societies, museums and other associate groups will be set up in Jean Pigott Hall before and after the Heritage Day ceremony at 12 pm for you to ask questions and plan your next visit! For event details, please visit ottawa.ca/heritageday.
Applications for Doors Open Ottawa 2024 are being accepted until Feb. 23
Applications for Doors Open Ottawa 2024 can be submitted until Friday, February 23 at 5 pm! Contact [email protected] to recommend a building or sign up your building to participate by submitting this form.
Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest - Deadline is Feb. 23
The Ottawa Public Library is calling all young writers to participate in the Awesome Authors Youth Writing Contest, a fantastic opportunity to showcase your storytelling prowess and join a community brimming with creativity and passion! If you have a thing for storytelling, drawing or writing, 2024 might be your year to become an awesome author.
About the Contest:
- Dates: The contest is now open, with submissions accepted until February 23, 2024, at 11:59 pm.
- Eligibility: Open to Ottawa residents aged 9-18 (who have not completed high school) and holding a valid library card. Submissions from outside residents with a non-resident card (family membership) are also welcome.
- Categories: Participants can enter in one of seven categories - short story, poetry, comic, nouvelle, poésie, bande dessinée, and book cover.
Black Youth Action Showcase - Feb. 24
Leading Ladies Canada is a not-for-profit organization, with a mission to empower women and youth of colour. They aim to build and empower women and youth through leadership, mentorship, inclusivity, financial literacy and community. Leading Ladies Canada hosts an event to celebrate black youth in our community coinciding with Black History Month. The Black Youth Action Showcase celebration takes place Feb. 24 from 4 to 9 pm at 335 Michael Cowpland Drive in Kanata. Registration is required. Click here for details and to register.
Recreation and Parks Funding: Community Partnership Minor/Major Capital Programs - Deadlines: March 1 and May 1
The Community Partnership Minor and Major Capital Programs are initiatives designed to implement capital improvements to parks and recreation facilities by partnering with community groups and sharing costs. For more information about these programs please visit the City’s website. Note that the deadline to apply for the Community Partnership Major Capital Program is March 1, 2024 at 3 pm. The deadline to apply for the Community Partnership Minor Capital Program is May 1, 2024.
- You must submit your location for approval by Saturday, March 2 via the mural application form.
- The complete application will need to be submitted by Thursday, April 4.
When you're behind the wheel, every text can wait
Ottawa winters give you plenty of distractions, with icy or snowy roads, snowplows, reduced visibility due to blowing snow and worrying about being late because of the poor conditions. Not to mention that not everyone is confident driving in winter conditions. These are even more reasons why you should never text while driving or let your cell phone or smartwatch distract you, even in the handsfree mode. It’s so tempting to glance down quickly and even send a quick reply. Just don’t. Click here for more information.
Emergency Services News
Ottawa Police Service - Thomas G. Flanagan S.C. Scholarship applications are now open until Feb. 29
Each year, the Ottawa Police Services Board and the Ottawa Police Service, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Ottawa, have the honour of providing the Thomas G. Flanagan S.C. Scholarship to individuals who identify as women from racialized and/or Indigenous communities who express an interest in joining the Ottawa Police. Apply by February 29. Share with any students you know! Click here for details.