In the January 2021 edition of The OSCAR, the OSCA Fieldhouse Working Group reported on progress with the proposed design and location of the Windsor Park Fieldhouse. Since the publication of the article Councillor Shawn Menard and OSCA met with local residents at Windsor Park. This meeting was ad hoc and in response to concerns expressed by residents about the proposed location and design of the Fieldhouse. Several of the issues raised are as follows:
I hope you are well and in good spirits this festive season.
We recognize that the provincewide shutdown beginning December 26th will be in place for the next several weeks. We’ve made it this far as a community, and OSCA is committed to continuing to do all we can to keep our community safe. We are paying careful attention to the new regulations and will be communicating updates on a regular basis. The centre will remain closed until the restrictions are lifted. We will continue to run programs virtually. We will be in touch with clients of After 4 with pertinent updates. Don’t forget to follow us on social media or go to oldottawasouth.ca for regular updates.
Hello my friends in Old Ottawa South, it’s me Santa!
My pals at OSCA have been hard at work thinking of fun and festive ways to celebrate. We know it’s been a tricky year, and all of you have certainly earned a spot on my ‘extra nice’ list!
On Tuesday, November 24th, an email was sent out to residents of Old Ottawa South, marking the official launch of the fundraising campaign to Save Our Firehall. We are very excited about how many people have already responded to our plea to Ring the Bell and Save Our Firehall and we hope we can keep the momentum going!
Make this December extra special with a gift to celebrate the season of giving. Each day your child will be greeted with a new surprise. Some activities will make the perfect gift and others will encourage family time.
We are now “ringing the bell” and calling on all residents to help Save Our Firehall! We need your help to keep our community centre open.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 have had a huge impact on our Firehall’s ability to sustain itself. To thrive, the Firehall relies on revenues from the programs it delivers. The City owns the Firehall and maintains it but doesn’t cover operational costs. If we are to make up the shortfall in operational costs, we need to fundraise.
How can you help? You can help by pledging your financial support on a monthly basis. No amount is too small or too big. Every donation counts. Monthly pledges add up over time and with many families pledging their support we can make sure that our community centre remains open in 2021.
Over the past few months we have kept you informed about the overall impact of the pandemic on OSCA's operations and finances. While we have tried our best to remain positive and optimistic, you will have noticed that over time the messaging has shifted from "we'll get through this" to "we are going to need help if we want to keep the Firehall open." Over the past months, Staff, the Board, the Executive, and countless volunteers have continued to work incredibly hard to come up with alternate ways to generate revenue. We have successfully transitioned to a full suite of virtual programming, secured a significant grant through Red Cross Canada, and managed to open up in-person After-4 in a safe and secure environment. But none of that will be enough to keep the Firehall open in the long term, and we are "ringing the bell" and calling on all residents to help Save Our Firehall!
Below is the article that was published in the November OSCAR, introducing the notion and benefits of a local community fundraising effort.
Knowing that this Halloween was far from a traditional one, OSCA staff put together a whole bunch of Spooktacular activities. OSCA's HalloweeK featured lots of pre-recorded Halloween crafts, spooky front porch decorations at the Firehall, our very own pumpkin patch to entice the Great Pumpkin to visit Old Ottawa South, a Halloween decoration contest, and more. And from Thursday until Saturday evening, local resident and videographer Mark MacDonald created a spooky video display that is projected onto the large windows of the Michael Jenkin Hall.
We would like to thank all residents and participants for making HalloweeK such a spooktacular and ghoultastic success and invite you to check out some of the highlights below, including a video from CTV news featuring the Halloween projections at the Firehall!
The 2020 OSCA AGM was held on October 20, 2020—but this year it was an AGM with a difference! Because of the restrictions encountered by COVID-19, an in-person AGM was impossible. The AGM is usually held in May but it was postponed this year in the hopes that the restrictions would be lifted and an in-person meeting would be possible. Finally, OSCA gave in and held the meeting in October.
The Old Ottawa South Community Association recently received an important grant from Red Cross Canada's COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations Granting Program for Non-Profits, made possible through funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund led by Employment and Social Development Canada.
This grant was awarded to OSCA for the effort made by staff to pivot from in-person programming to free or Pay-What-You-Can based virtual programming for the Spring and Summer sessions. The grant - worth a total of $44,942.88 - is a crucial part of the survival of OSCA, as it allows the association to cover some of the considerable fixed expenses associated with running these programs at no cost to the community, while having to operate on a severely reduced and unsustainable revenue stream. OSCA is extremely grateful to the Red Cross and the Government of Canada for awarding this generous and vital grant. On behalf of OSCA, President Richard Slowikowski wrote a thank-you letter, printed in full below.