Ottawa 2017 set to host the world, are you?

January 5, 2017 | by glebeadmin

From left: Ottawa 2017 Executive Director Guy Laflamme, student Jonathan Chen, Mayor Jim Watson and student Caitlin Gilchrist pose in front of the Ottawa 2017 cauldron at city hall.

For those of you who think that 2017 is just another year, you should wake up and smell the Canadian coffee.

2017 is a giant year for the entire city, and for the Glebe, and represents a massive opportunity to showcase our community to the entire world.

Ottawa 2017 has a whopping 170 events that will take place throughout the entire year, including a high-octane Red Bull Crashed Ice competition, the JUNO Awards, the 105th Grey Cup, and Ottawa Welcomes the World.

“In the Glebe, we wanted to use Ottawa 2017 to generate even more profile for our new jewel in the city, Lansdowne Park, so we will have a number of important events taking place there,” says Ottawa 2017 Executive Director Guy Laflamme. He says that the goal was to get 25 countries on board to host their national days of celebration in the Glebe, but an overwhelming number of embassies came forward to participate.  Now there will be a total of 50 different international events at the Horticulture Building and the Aberdeen Pavilion. The Ottawa Welcomes the World series is your free ticket to a trek around the globe.

“Residents of the Glebe will have a chance in their backyard to pretty much experience the world in 2017 by attending all of those free events,” adds Laflamme. The first event takes place March 21 when the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) throws its national bash.

But the celebrations begin well before March, with the Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships, Snowmania, Winterlude, and Alterna Savings Crackup all taking centre stage in January and February right here in the Glebe. The entire year is a celebration, and there will be a lot to celebrate in the Glebe: A Grey Cup Championship, the JUNO Cup, scores of community events at the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (GNAG) including a production of Fiddler on the Roof and a Sip and Savour wine event and potentially, an NHL outdoor classic hockey game.

But what’s even more exciting than the hundreds of events that will take place, is the opportunity we all have to be ambassadors of this great community, this amazing city and this beautiful country. According to Laflamme, Ottawa 2017 is set to attract an additional 1.7 million visitors to Ottawa this year, which will generate, “in excess of $320 million in direct consumer spending.”

Laflamme says that all levels of the community coming together for 2017 – BIAs, chambers of commerce, school boards, community associations, residents and volunteers – will propel the event and make it a smashing success. 2017 is an opportunity to develop a road map for where we want our city to be in the future, he says.

“The physical side of the city is going through a massive transformation, and, to a certain extent, Ottawa 2017 will be the equivalent in terms of the identity and the heart and soul of our city. This is not just another year – I think as of December 31, we will feel the effervescence.”

Glebe BIA Executive Director Andrew Peck says Glebe businesses are ready to host the world in 2017 and encourages residents, business owners and front line staff to rally together to create an experience that is second to none.

“This is a fantastic year to be Canadian,” says Peck.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to share our great city and neighbourhood with the world, to showcase our hospitality and create lasting memories for locals and visitors alike. It’s something special.”

Laflamme wants everyone to get into the 2017 spirit and says that businesses can order pageantry kits through their local BIA, by contacting Ottawa 2017, or by ordering directly on the Ottawa2017.ca website.

Here’s to 2017. Let’s celebrate this one together.