Category Archives: Community Groups

PHOTOS: Hair Donation event collects over $115,000 and 10,000 inches of hair

(Above: City councillor Shad Qadri had his head shaved as part of Sunday’s fundraising event at Algonquin College. Wayne Patrick from Shears in Stittsville has the razor in hand and organizer Helene Hutchings looks on. Photo by Barry Gray.)

With money still coming in, the organizers of Hair Donation Ottawa say that this year’s fundraising efforts have raised at least $115,000 for cancer research.  They’ve also collected at least 10,766 inches of hair that will be recycled into wigs for cancer patients.

Hair Donation Ottawa was organized by Helene Hutchings and Perry Pavlovic, two Stittsville-based real estate agents. Photo by Barry Gray.
Hair Donation Ottawa was organized by Helene Hutchings and Perry Pavlovic, two Stittsville-based real estate agents. Photo by Barry Gray.


Students cut teacher’s hair at Stittsville Public School

Students in Mme Reed’s Grade 4 class at Stittsville Public School managed to get away with cutting a teacher’s hair.

Students in her class raised $80 for Hair Donation Ottawa, more money than any other class in the school.  As a reward, they got to hack away sixteen inches of kindergarten teacher Liz Aitken’s hair on Wednesday, with help from Helene Hutchings of Hair Donation Ottawa. Continue reading


100th Regiment marches in Pipefest

The 100th Regiment at Pipefest 2015.
The 100th Regiment at Pipefest 2015.

The 100th Regiment marched downtown in Ottawa’s Pipefest 2015 on Sunday. The event featured several pipe bands and many people in kilts.

“We were three officially from the 100th with one more dressed in our uniform which consisted of one sergeant, drummer, lance corporal, and a private. One captain from the 19th Light Dragoons (blue) and one private from the Glengarry Light Infantry (green),” says William Sinka, president of the 100th Regiment Historical Society.

Established in 2013 and based in Ottawa, the volunteer group recreates the 100th Regiment during the 1813 to 1815 period. Throughout the year, they take part in regular training and attend community events, parades, heritage days, and battle re-enactments. Learn more about the group here…


Volunteers needed for Cleanup the Capital in Jackson Trails

Volunteers are needed to help with the Tim Hortons Cleanup the Capital Campaign in the Jackson Trails area. We will be picking up litter on Saturday, April 25 from 9:30am to 12:30pm. The targeted areas are Pioneer Park fronting on Main Street, Main Street to the dead end, along the path near the Storm Water Run-off Pond and behind and around St. Stephen school. People may participate for as little or as long as they wish, whatever time they can spare. Everyone is welcome. It’s a good idea to bring your own green garbage bags, and wear disposable rubber gloves. Rain date is Sunday, April 26.

Please RSVP to


West Ottawa Ladies Chorus gives back to the community

The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus at Robertson House in Bells Corners.
The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus at Robertson House in Bells Corners.


(Press release from the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus.)

An important philosophy of the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) is to bring joy to community members that might not be able to attend local events and concerts. This week at Robertson House was the first of six times the group will gather to take music to seniors. They will visit Stittsville Villa, Richmond Hospice, Empress Kanata, Fairview Manor and the Royale Senior Residence. They will present a selection of numbers from the annual spring concert program. Residents at Robertson House sang and clapped as they were treated to the voices of WOLC last Wednesday. Continue reading


Southwest Stittsville Community Association holds first meeting on April 16

You are invited to the first meeting of the Southwest Stittsville Community Association on Thursday April 16th at 7pm in the community room at Sobey’s (6315 Hazeldean Rd, Stittsville).

The purpose of this meeting is to establish our neighborhood association; which would be representative of the households south of the TransCanada Trail and west of Main Street. The association is a voluntary group of neighbours who seek to preserve the strengths of our neighbourhood, build a sense of community, and address any problems or issues that may arise. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate.

The proposed development at 6279 Fernbank Rd is a current issue facing our community. There will be an Ontario Ministry Board hearing on this proposed development on April 20th. The group presenting on behalf of the community would like to receive your input concerning this development.

Please join us on April 16th to meet your neighbors, hear about the benefits of a community association, and determine where we would like to go from here. Bring your neighbours and friends to help us develop a strong community association.

If you have any questions about this meeting, or are unable to attend and would like to provide comments, please send them to our community email address:

We hope to see you there.

Your SWS Community Association Executive
Jillian McKim – Co-Chair
Sheri Vermette – Co-Chair
Jennifer de Sa – Treasurer
Catherine Fafrowicz – Secretary


Stittsville student’s leadership a key part of “Unlock Change” fundraiser

(Article via the Let’s Unlock Change organizing committee.)

Chris Carroll
Chris Carroll

When Chris Carroll applied to be treasurer of the Algonquin College Public Relations students’ “Let’s Unlock Change” campaign in support of The John Howard Society, he included the following detail on his resume: “My friends always make me be the banker in Monopoly.”

Carroll’s professors were impressed by his sense of humour—and his solid track record as a PR student. He got the job, and has been handling the campaign’s funds ever since.

Carroll has lived in Stittsville since he was six, attending Holy Spirit Elementary, followed by Sacred Heart High School. Before landing at Algonquin, where he is pursuing a post-graduate diploma in public relations, he studied communications at Carleton University.

An active community leader, Carroll studies martial arts at Pathways Jiu Jitsu and every Sunday and he can be found at Holy Spirit Parish church, where he serves as a lector. He has been a lector since he was 12 years old, and was the youngest serving lector at the time.

Carroll credits his involvement with Holy Parish with helping him to become more open-minded and compassionate.

These qualities have served Carroll well has he and his classmates prepare to host 13 different fundraising events for the John Howard Society, which offers a range of programs and services for people involved in the court system. The Let’s Unlock Change campaign has an ambitious fundraising goal of $23,500.

Let’s Unlock Change runs from March 25 to April 14. Carroll’s team is planning a trivia night on April 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin St.

“I’m incredibly excited to be hosting this event,” Carroll says. “Trivia nights have always proven to be lots of fun, and when it’s for a good cause like the John Howard Society, everyone wins.”

Carroll’s classmates credit him for his strong leadership qualities and his smooth, confident speaking style, which can capture the attention of any audience. As Alex Scantlebury, one of his classmates, puts it: “Chris would be able to sell sand while standing on the beach, and still turn a profit.”

If you can’t make it out to the trivia night, there are many other campaign events to choose from. There is also an option to donate online if you want to help Carroll and his program reach their fundraising goal. Visit their website at or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #LetsUnlockChange.


Westwind school council raises funds for in-school learning experiences

The Westwind Public School Parent Council is once again hosting a kid-free event for the our community in an effort to raise funds for in-school learning experiences and curriculum enhancing equipment.

On Saturday April 18, alongside Bistrofiftyfour at Amberwood and FullHouse Casino, the council invites the community to come out for a lighthearted evening of cashless gaming, friendly poker tournament and silent auction.

This is the second yea, the council has taken on such an event. Last year’s Murder on the Menu…who’s NeXT was a wonderful success with the team from NeXT food and Lakeside Players raising over $3,000. The goal for this year’s event is $5000.

A limited number tickets can be purchased here.

The fundraising team continues to seek sponsorship for the casino tables, raffle prizes and silent auction items. If you would like to help please contact

Money raised by the parent council has funded and will fund this year arts programs such as Luv2groove dance workshops & Blues in the Schools music programs, and science programs like Scientists in the School.

We also provide the buses for field trips and extracurricular activities like the OCDSB Track and Field day in the spring.

This year w have also purchased noise cancelling headphones and voice recorders for each classroom as well as iPad charging storage bins for our mobile technology classrooms.

It is our hope to raise enough funds at this event to provide the school with an automatic 18′ projection screen in the gymnasium to help with holiday concerts and movie night presentations instead of projecting on the wall which is inefficient and challenging to see.

This Wednesday, March 25 we will host an information session for parents in the community on the benefits of attending GMS and South Carleton high school with the help of local principals Robin Darragh (GMS) and Colin Anderson (SCHS).
All the support from our community at events like the Monte Carlo night help us provide these opportunities to our community and our students.


Algonquin student plants the seeds for a community garden

Algonquin College student Kelsey Boggis-da Silva wants everyone in Stittsville to have the opportunity to start a garden, even if they don’t have enough room in the backyard, or any yard at all.

She’s organizing a meeting on Saturday, March 21 at Quitters Coffee at 2:00pm and is hoping to connect with people who want to help establish a community garden project.

“It not only would promote a sense of community, but allow those who don’t have the space or even expertise learn from neighbours and observation how to grow their own plants,” she says. “I think gardening is a wonderful, and important activity. We should know how our food is grown, how to grow our own food and care for the earth.”

She posted the idea to the Stittsville Neighbours group on Facebook and received dozens of comments in support and nearly 50 likes.

“The comments have been many, and all excited about the idea, with offers of support and suggestions. It’s been wonderful. It seems like it would be a project that could really get us together as a community,” she says.

A typical community garden is usually a co-operative effort between residents who share the costs to maintain a small plot of land, on public or private property. They grow vegetables and other plants for their own use and sometimes donate the produce to local food banks.

Boggis-da Silva is a business administration student at Algonquin so she’s hoping to put her management training to work out the details needed to get this project off the ground, like budgets, design, contracts and equipment.

One of the biggest challenges is finding a location for the garden.  She thinks the big space near Hazeldean and Stittsville Main that was once home to the Stittsville Flea Market would be great, but wants to get more feedback and ideas from the community.  Another idea is using space in Bell Park on the south end of Stittsville Main near Fernbank.

UPDATE: Shad Qadri says he’s been in contact with City staff about using the park between 67 and 77 West Ridge Drive for a community garden.

“My approach is goal-oriented. Look at the requirements of what is needed to reach that goal, put them in a logical order, access community resources the City has set aside for such endeavours and get our hands dirty. (Then we) rally the troops and put the people with specific talents in the right jobs, whether it be research, organization or community outreach,” she says.

She’s planted the seed, now she needs support from the community for the idea to take root and grow.


The City of Ottawa provides funding for community garden projects through an annual grant to Just Food, a local non-profit organization that promotes sustainable food programs.  This year they will receive about $90,000 to help establish new gardens and support existing projects through the Community Gardening Network.

The network started with three or four gardens in central Ottawa nearly 20 years ago, and has grown to include more than 50 community gardens within the City of Ottawa, according to interim coordinator Jordan Bouchard.  Some of them have long waiting lists to get a plot.

“We’re building more each year,” he says. “Call me in three months and it will be a bit different!  It’s probably a fairly even split between gardens in central areas and gardens in the suburbs.”

“Our goal is to get as many people gardening in the City of Ottawa as possible.”

He says the number is actually much higher than 50, perhaps as many as 100, when you take into account about 30 gardens at local schools and other projects that aren’t part of the Community Gardening Network.

The group holds regular workshops throughout the year to help people in the community learn about what it takes to get a community garden project going.

He says community gardens can go just about anywhere, including private and public property, hydro corridors, Greenbelt land and park spaces.


Stittsville does have an existing community garden on Stittsville Main Street near Cathcart.  It provides vegetables exclusively for the Stittsville Food Bank.

“Food Bank volunteers and Scouts helped build the boxes.  The horticultural society planted the vegetables and looked after the weeding and watering,” says Theresa Qadri, chair of the Stittsville Food Bank.

“Now the Food Bank volunteers plant the vegetables and work with the horticultural society in weeding and watering and harvesting. We are very thankful for our partnerships.  It is nice to know you can call on organizations to help the Food Bank and they respond with a yes so quickly,” says Qadri.


For more information about Boggis-da Silva’s community garden project, check out the Stittsville Community Garden Initiative page on Facebook.


Pointe of Grace Dance Company’s Dance 4 Wishes Spring showcase supports Tysen’s Mission

(Press release from Pointe of Grace Dance Company.)

On Sunday, March 29 many young dancers will be on stage helping to make other children’s dreams come true.

That afternoon and evening, Stittsville’s Pointe of Grace Dance Company will be holding its third annual Dance 4 Wishes Spring Showcase at Sacred Heart High School. Proceeds from the event will support Tysen’s Mission to a Million for Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario.

Tysen Lefebvre, a young Stittsville resident, is the driving force behind the “Mission to a Million.” He set his goal to raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario after his own wish was granted in 2012 when he travelled to California to meet his favourite actor, Adam Sandler. He wanted to help other children have the same positive experience and set out to raise enough money to grant 100 kids their wishes. So far he has raised more than $210,000 and helped grant 22 wishes.

Amanda Leroux and Carly Sherwin, Directors of the Pointe of Grace Dance Company, say they are proud their dancers are helping to raise funds for such an inspirational cause.

“We have been so thrilled to be able to help Tysen meet his goal,” said Leroux. “It means a lot that our dancers are able to do something that has a positive impact on other kids in our community.”

Last year’s Dance 4 Wishes Spring Showcase raised $10,000 for Tysen’s Mission to a Million, which was enough to grant one wish. Last November, members of Pointe of Grace’s Junior Competitive Team were invited to perform at the annual Make-A-Wish gala. Following a heartfelt lyrical performance, they helped present a surprise wish to 10-year-old Emma, who dreamt of going to Disney World.

“It was so special to be a part of presenting Emma’s wish,” said Sherwin. “We were able to meet Emma and be there to see her reaction. It was such a moving experience for all of us.”

Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario is a non-profit charitable organization that grants wishes to ill children with life-threatening medical conditions. The wishes are one-of-a-kind experiences for the children and their families, and they come at a time when the children need them the most. There are four types of wishes granted by the organization: “I wish to be, I wish to have, I wish to go, and I wish to meet.” The wish experiences help lift the spirits of everyone involved.

Leroux says all of the dancers are looking forward to showcasing their dances for the community on March 29.

“It means so much to our dancers to get up on stage and perform for their families and friends,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for our dancers to get some more experience on stage and at the same time support a really great cause.”Both Tysen and Emma will be there to watch some of the performances and cheer the dancers on.

There are more than 80 dancers from Stittsville, Kanata and other local communities on the Pointe of Grace Competitive Dance Team – boys and girls ranging in age from 7 to 17-years-old. They perform a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, hip hop, step dancing, lyrical and musical theatre. The dancers have been practicing for months, spending hundreds of hours in the Pointe of Grace dance studios on Iber Road learning and improving their routines.

The Dance 4 Wishes Spring Showcase features two performances on Sunday, March 29 at Sacred Heart High School, which is located at 5870 Abbott Road in Stittsville. The Junior showcase is at 1:00 p.m. and the Senior showcase is at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per show or $15 for both performances. Pointe of Grace recreational class dancers can come see a show for $5.

Tickets can be purchased at Pointe of Grace studios at 69 Iber Rd, Unit 103 in Stittsville, or by calling 613-836-0557. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on March 29.

To read more about Tysen’s Mission to A Million, click here.


GUEST POST: “Buy Nothing” group is about much, much more

“You need to declutter”. This is a phrase I say over and over in my profession as a realtor.

So when I caught wind of a new Facebook group in Stittsville called “Buy Nothing Stittsville,” I was intrigued. My initial thought was this would be a great resource for my clients to get rid of their clutter and make the job of getting their home ready to list that much easier. I also thought that maybe I could do a little purging myself, as my own basement has become overrun with unused items! I joined the group and what I have witnessed over the last few months is nothing short of unbelievable. Continue reading


Retired military medic trains for fundraising bike tour from Vimy Ridge

(Above: Matt Muzzi on Juno Beach, June 2014.)

Stittsville resident Matt Muzzi is training to take part in his second Battlefield Bikeride, a fundraising bike tour to raise money and awareness for Canadian Armed Forces veterans who face challenges from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other injuries. Continue reading


Nominations are now being accepted for the Stittsville Appreciation Awards

(From City Councillor Shad Qadri.)

You don’t have to look far to recognize excellence in our community. It could be a neighbour, a friend, or even a family member. This is your opportunity to bring their special contributions forward. My office is now seeking nominations for the annual Stittsville Appreciation Awards! Nominations must be received by Friday April 10th!

The Roger Griffiths Memorial Citizen of the Year is awarded to an individual who best exemplifies community involvement and participation. The Senior of the Year is awarded in recognition of a senior citizen who has made a significant and long-standing contribution to our community. The Youth of the Year is presented to an individual who contributes leadership, volunteer service, serves as a peer example, and has overcome personal challenges or responds in an emergency situation. The Business of the Year is awarded to a Stittsville business that has contributed significantly to our quality of life.

Winners will be announced at the Appreciation Awards celebrations, which will be held on Tuesday May 12th commencing at 7:00pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex.

I encourage you to visit my web site to fill out the nomination form located on the front page. You can also print the form and drop it off at my ward office which is located in the Goulbourn Recreation Complex, or mail it to 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1. Please include a detailed, written submission outlining why you are nominating a particular individual or business.


Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre proposed for West Carleton

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre wants to build a new facility at 1883 Bradley Side Road.  The City has received new proposals for a zoning by-law amendment and official plan amendment that would allow for a 30-bed facility for youth aged 13 to 21 years of age with substance abuse issues.

Bradley Side Road is just northwest of the intersection of Richardson Side Road and Huntmar Drive, backing onto the Thunderbird soccer domes and golf course. Continue reading