Galvanizing Day in Ottawa

Get inspired and dress accordingly, because it’s  We Day and Day of Pink in the capital city


About 16,000 students and teachers are at the Canadian Tire Centre today, but not for a Sens game.  Instead, they’re cheering loudly to celebrate National We Day and they’re getting inspired to change the world.

An initiative of Free The Children, We Day empowers youth to take action on local and global causes. And at 1000 Palladium Drive, a slew of world-renowned speakers and chart-topping performers are getting the local crowd worked up to do some major good. Headliners include Queen Noor of Jordan, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Kardinal Offishall, Simple Plan and Martin Luther King III, along with international activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger.

If your youngsters haven’t been to We Day yet, encourage them to put it on their Bucket Lists, because the energy, enthusiasm and positive messages are unforgettable and potentially life-changing, in the best possible ways.

What’s more, We Day happens in conjunction with We Act. It’s a year-long international program that supports young people to take part in local and international initiatives that encourage volunteerism, philanthropy and positive citizenship.

In the crowd at Canadian Tire Centre, 10 Grade 7 and 8 boys are from Sawmill Creek Elementary School.  These boys meet weekly to have a cup of tea and think of ways to make a difference in the world, both globally and locally.  They call themselves Man Tea. And this year they collected almost 900 food items for a We Scare Hunger Food Drive; sold over $1000 worth of Rafiki Friendship Chains for global education programs; and raised almost $500 for global health care by selling Lollygrams and We Love buttons on Valentine’s Day.  They are now planning their next event: Sawmill Creek at the Movies.

“The ten boys were invited to National We Day because they are making a positive difference in the lives of others,” says their principal, Bambi Ross. “The event will only further to encourage and inspire their continued positive efforts.” These young men are excellent ambassadors for the 570 students who attend Sawmill Creek Elementary School, she notes, and the school is fortunate to have a diverse ethnocultural and multilingual population.


International Day of Pink


Also center stage in Ottawa today is International Day of Pink. Schools and work sites have events underway to celebrate diversity and to take a stand against bullying. International Day of Pink is an annual opportunity to speak out against all types of bullying and to discuss ways to be more respectful, inclusive and tolerant of others. Residents are encouraged to wear pink, to celebrate with music and dance and to speak up individually and collectively to stop bullying when they see it. Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about bullying and its consequences. They’re also asked to be mindful of the example they’re setting through their own words, action and behavior.

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