Jun 21, 2016 | Feature Stories Festival News
The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, launched today Agri 150, a new program that will be stewarded by Just Food to boost rural tourism during the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in the nation’s capital and for years to come.
From January to December, Agri 150 will offer a variety of experiences for the senses that will allow residents and visitors to indulge in the pure beauty of rural Ottawa – which makes up over two-thirds of the city – just a few minutes from the buzzing urban hub of the 2017 celebrations.
“Our country’s 150th anniversary celebrations present a wonderful opportunity to highlight the local culture, traditions, history and home-grown products of our city to millions of Canadians and visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This program will ensure that our Ottawa 2017 celebrations economically benefit the rural areas of Ottawa, further strengthening the local food industry and making it more sustainable for the future.”
Agri 150 will be managed by Just Food, in partnership with Ottawa 2017. The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to fostering vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region.
“We have a dynamic and active local food industry in Ottawa and we’re pleased to help steward this program to promote and support local food and food-related initiatives,” said Moe Garahan, Executive Director of Just Food. “By bringing increased access and visibility to locally grown food, we’re connecting participants with rural Ottawa communities and boosting the positive impact that the local food industry has on the region’s economy and vitality.”
The Agri 150 program will provide new ways to experience rural Ottawa and will take place in the following communities: West Carleton-March, Stittsville, Cumberland, Osgoode and Rideau Goulbourn.
More than 20 unique one-day outdoor events will take place over the course of the year to allow people to discover our rural communities in all four seasons, and enhance their knowledge and appreciation of rural resources, while enjoying rejuvenating adventures.
Some examples of Agri 150 experiences include, among others:
Wine and Words Tour Participants will visit several local wineries to sample area wines paired with local cheeses and other canapes. In partnership with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, at each stop, a local author or storyteller will entertain with passages that reflect the rural landscape and way of life.
Eco-Tour This cycling tour will showcase tastes and innovations in environmental sustainability in rural Ottawa, including an off-grid farm, a conservation area, solar installations and greenhouse vegetable production. At each stop, participants will enjoy locally produced treats while interacting with expert tour guides.
Rural Fair Experiences Working with farmers, producers and growers, rural fairs highlight local history and current food and farm culture. Agri 150 will ensure through marketing initiatives that even more residents and visitors alike will learn about rural resources and celebrate the distinct rural nature of the community in a fun and interactive way.
Ottawa 2017 is also working in collaboration with OC Transpo to offer transportation to Agri 150 events, allowing a greater number of residents and visitors to participate.
This rural-tourism initiative will help youth discover where and how our food grows. It will also highlight to new Canadians who have moved to our urban, vibrant city, that they are surrounded by a large source of fresh food.
“These unique Agri 150 events will entice participants with exhilarating adventures, non-traditional cultural performances in rural settings, local produce and food experiences,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “Ottawa 2017 celebrations will showcase the rural communities of the capital, enabling our city to offer a full year of immersive programming and building the potential of sustainable agri-tourism beyond 2017.”
More details about the Agri 150 program and ticket information will be available this fall.
Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.
Ottawa 2017 thanks our lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, and the Government of Canada for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.