OSCA Special Events Committee Report
by Lisa Drouillard
Committee members: Brenda Lee, Lisa Drouillard and Kendall McQueen
2011 was a very strong year for special events in Old Ottawa South and we have started off this year with a healthy roster of activities at the Firehall. This year’s “committee” was in fact a number of small committees who dedicated their time to organizing a range of events. Brenda Lee has continued to lead on a range of neighbourhood events the community has come to anticipate each season, such as Fall Fest, craft fairs and movie nights. Kendall McQueen has led a dynamic group of volunteers in the organization of signature Firehall parties. This year’s Mad Men Party was very well attended, and guests from the neighbourhood really made a special effort to dress the part for this party. Guests were treated to live music, excellent food and incredible 1960s ambience. 2011 also saw the reunion of a group of stalwart volunteers who, for many years, brought us the Lobster Supper fundraisers used for so long to bring the community together to support the Firehall Redevelopment fund. A new group of active neighbours in Old Ottawa South have coordinated a range of Havana night events to raise funds in support of Friends of Landsdowne. Last, at the end of 2011 we began organizing activities for the first concert series to be held in our beautiful new Main Hall – Sirens of the Firehall was born weeks later, with the generous support of Tracy Arnett, and the spirited engagement of the ensembles engaged for the series: Aradia Ensemble, Renee Yoxon trio, and the Sarah Burnell Band.
The schedule of events listed below is clear evidence of the enthusiasm and commitment of OOS residents to support innovative community events. We mark the seasons with our neighbours, share in arts and music, engage in serious socializing, and support the causes that mean the most to us through these events.
Significant volunteer effort is required to keep these events going. If there is OSCA event that you really enjoy, community programming that would fit nicely in our beautiful new hall, or a fundraising initiative you think OSCA special events should support, please do come forward to help. Every year any one of these events is at risk of being cancelled for lack of support. There is also no better way for teens to accumulate volunteer hours than to help out with fun events in their community.
January 29 Havana Night
February 6 Winter Carnival
April 10 Craft Fair
May 13 Lobster Supper
June 11 Caribbean Night
September 10 Porch Sale
October 23 Fall Fest
November 19 Mad Men Party
November 27 Craft Fair
December Christmas Movies
2012 Events to date
January 25 Havana Night II
February 6 Winter Carnival
February 25 Aradia Baroque concert
March 31 Renee Yoxon Jazz concert
April 14 Shop Your Local Talent Sale
April 21 Sarah Burnell Band
Special Events Report for 2011-2012
By Brenda Lee
As Lisa Drouillard mentioned in her report the Special Events committee was split into a few different committees this year.
Our team of Julia Danis, Valerie Macintosh, Deirdre McQuillan, Dinos Dafniotis, Cathy Buchanan, Chelsea Pepin, Cas Houde, Anne Marie Corbett and myself worked together on the well loved and traditional events including the Winter Carnival in 2011, Spring Shop Your Local Talent, Fall Fest, Winter Shop Your Local Talent and a new event was also introduced…the Christmas Celebration at the Firehall.
On Feb 6th 2011 we held our annual OSCA Winter Carnival. Anne Marie Corbett and I have been proud to organize many of these Winter Carnivals over the years, but due to our own personal time constraints we decided that this would be our last one (at least for awhile.never say never I have learned)
We were lucky enough to have a beautiful winter day for our last carnival. Featured were Sleigh Rides (sponsored by Tracy Arnett), music, games for the children, face painting, snowmen building, local vendors the now famous (or infamous) Turkey Toss, soup donated and served by our favourite local chef, John Taylor, raffle prizes and our Chili and Bread competitions. We had three categories for chili ( spicy, vegetarian and meat) and the competition was incredibly strong this year with almost 20 pots of chili and 10 loaves of bread entered. We also served up over 300 hotdogs and drinks to the hungry crowds.
Thanks to our sponsors : Tracy Arnett, John Taylor, Mayfair Theatre, The Clothes Secret, Kaleidoscope Kids Bookstore, Quinn’s, Life of Pie, Yummy Cookies, Taylor’s Genuine, The Works, Wag, Ottawa Folklore Centre, and Tom Alfodi photography.
Thanks also to our many volunteers who helped to run this well loved event.
On April 10th 2011 we held our first ever Spring Shop Your Local Talent Sale. This event featured over 30 artists in the neighbourhood and their one of a kind creations. It was a great opportunity for artists to display their work and for the neighbourhood to do some spring shopping and to see the amazing array of artists in our area.
On Oct. 23rd 2011 we held the annual OSCA Fall Fest. After having to move the event back a week due to rain, we were very lucky to have a fine Fall day so late in the season.
This event featured live music (Spencer Scharf), Best Soup Contest, Best Pie and Jam contests, pumpkin sales, raffle prizes, games, an inflatable slide, jelly bean guessing contests, local vendors and of course GOAT BINGO.
We may need to expand our soup contest categories next year as we had over 25 pots of soup and the judges found it very hard to decide on just one!
Thanks to our sponsors: Alpenbick Farms, Taylor’s Genuine, Domus, Quinn’s, Life of Pie, Yummy Cookies, Mayfair Theatre, Kaleidoscope Kid’s Bookstore, local musician John Allaire, The Clothes Secret, Tom Alfoldi photography and local artist Christopher Heilmann.
Thanks also to the many volunteers who helped with this event. A big Thank You to Melanie Farr who has volunteered to assist in the running of this event in 2012.
On November 27th 2011 we held our annual Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Sale. This event is a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping with your local artists and their unique, hand made creations. A well-loved and well-attended event, we look forward to running it every year for both the artists and the neighbourhood as a whole.
On December 10th 2011we introduced a new event to the Firehall, the OSCA Christmas Celebration. This event featured holiday crafts, a some neighbourhood Christmas caroling, face painting two classic Christmas cartoons that were shown on our new big screen in the main hall….and of course a special appearance by SANTA himself. It was a very nostalgic and fun filled event, and we will be holding it again in the upcoming year.
Thanks to our many volunteers who helped with this event…especially with all the sweeping up of glitter afterwards!
In 2012 we look forward to hosting :
Spring Shop Your Local Talent (April 14th …already past)
Our first annual OSCA Windsor Park Art Show (June 17th 10-4) featuring live music, a community BBQ and over 30 artists and their creations.
Fall Fest (TBA)
Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Sale (TBA)
OSCA Christmas Celebration (TBA)
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Deirdre McQuillan for all of her help and support in Special Events over the many years that she has worked at the Firehall. I first joined the OSCA board over 13 years ago and have been a part of it over the years on and off and have worked on many special events over this time period. Deirdre took a very uninformed and green girl and taught her the ropes, really taught me the joys of giving back to the community and how to organize these large events. She has been my other half through all of these events and I will miss her greatly and will be forever grateful for her friendship, for her patience and for her hard work and dedication. She truly is a shining example of what a community activist and volunteer is…..Thank You Deirdre!!!