Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is currently halfway through a specially devised week which the city’s mayor hopes will help make it Canada’s most welcoming city for immigrants.
The Welcoming Ottawa Week (WOW) will see the city host a number of special events – including community sports events, public lectures and seminars, a movie screening in a neighbourhood park, music, artists’ gatherings, and the 2nd Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum– in an attempt to make newcomers feel more at home.
“We have long recognised the value of immigration to our city’s prosperity and vitality,” says the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson. “The Welcoming Ottawa Week will underscore our genuine respect and hospitality to newcomers, while at the same time creating opportunities for dialogue and interactions between newcomers and established residents.”
“As a community, we are committed to strengthening our capacity to welcome and integrate immigrants,” added Dick Stewart, Chair of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) Council. “The 2013 Ottawa Immigration Forum will help us learn from the successes of other cities; and enable us to discuss ways in which we can maintain and enhance what works well.”
According to preliminary figures released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada earlier this year, around 6,005 immigrants settled in the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area in 2012.