Thanks for another amazing Youth Week

Your support helped us achieve a bigger and better lineup of events during this National Youth Week. 

If you missed out this year or just want to relive the magic, here’s a recap of everything that happened. We hope to see you next year!

Monday, May 1

Book Signing

To tip off Youth Week, we joined author David Hollander at the Overbrook Community Centre for a signing of his newest book, “How Basketball Can Change the World,” and a discussion on how basketball can create positive change in our communities.

Wednesday, May 3

Mayor for a Day

Our two Mayor for a Day winners, Anya Watson and Shanaz Sabir, shadowed Mayor Sutcliffe in an incredibly eventful day on May 3. They attended a flag raising ceremony for Poland’s Constitution Day, the opening of the Rochester Heights Community House, and of course learned more about City Hall.

“Opportunities like being mayor for the day are truly incredible. My time as mayor was an amazing experience, from being a part of the Rochester Heights Community Home opening to the incredible experience touring city hall! I recommend for youth to sign up or apply whenever they can for experiences … that create lifelong memories” – Shanaz Sabir

“Meeting Mayor Sutcliffe was a fantastic and unforgettable experience! Shanaz and I were able to experience a day in the hustle of a mayor’s life and it showed us just how hard—although rewarding—the work of a city leader is. Mayor Sutcliffe’s team was so kind and I am very thankful for having met them … This event was a great learning opportunity and a marvelous outing!” – Anya Watson

We want to extend a huge thank you to Mayor Sutcliffe and the City of Ottawa for welcoming these two youth, as well as Youth Ottawa, to see a glimpse into their daily routines.

Friday, May 5


Last year, we reintroduced our Youth Action Showcase: an event to highlight the meaningful work youth are doing to create community projects. This year, we rebranded the event into “Untapped” to reflect the untapped potential of youth. We had an incredible turnout with over 300 youth, teachers, and community leaders.

The energy was palpable at City Hall and every group was clearly passionate about their project. Sounds of talking and laughter were heard all throughout City Hall and attracted even more people to check it out! 

Youth were certainly entrepreneurial and we had an amazing time learning about their businesses and products. Among some of the highlights were self-care subscription boxes, backpack strap pads, handmade jewelry, and a video game!

We also were happy to see amazing leaders in the community such as Mayor Sutcliffe, Down to the Wire, and our very own Executive Director Jesse Card take the time to speak at the event. 

“Investing in youth is not a one-day thing,” Hot Shoe Productions creative director and Youth Active Media facilitator Ben Bergeron said in a speech.

Thank you to all the students, teachers, community leaders, and more who participated in Untapped! We can’t wait to see you all again next year.


That night, our Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee also hosted a networking event at City Hall. They had productive and thought-provoking discussions all around. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us! 


Throughout the week, we also were happy to screen seven submissions to our Video Engagement Showcase Program for Youth (VESPY) contest! The VESPYs are a brand new initiative from Youth Ottawa, introduced specifically for Youth Week. Even as our first time running the contest, it was amazing to see what youth came up with for the theme “My Ottawa.” After thorough deliberation and an internal voting process, we announced the first, second, and third place winners on May 5: Sophie Longval, Murtaza Tahmid Rhythm, and Wanees Fatine. 

Check out the winning videos!

And that's a wrap!

Thank you all again for showing your support this Youth Week. We couldn’t have done it without you. We hope to make next year’s events just as impactful and hope you will join us. If you wish to learn more about how to get involved with Youth Ottawa in the meantime, explore our programs here or contact


The Youth Ottawa team