To mark the 150th anniversary of Canada, the Overbrook Community Association launched a unique sesquicentennial project to bring diverse groups together. Your organization led the creation of a community musical to bring people together in common cause to literally and figuratively tell their stories and bring their diverse voices and cultures to the stage. By bringing people together, we continue to work to break social isolation in our neighbourhood and help residents engage with the greater community through the arts. We were successful in raising grants from the United Way of Ottawa, Community Development Framework, Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the community musical project which which was staged November 24, 25 and 26 in the auditorium at Ottawa Technical Secondary School on Donald Street. Your organization was able to put together a 40 cast member production, with more than 90 people working hard behind the scenes in various capacities, to entertain over 600 people over three nights. The Association’s Board would like to express its deepest appreciation to the team that worked hard all year to make this project a reality. The organizing team included Diewke de Haen, Wendy Dennys and Patrick Venier, along with project director Eleanor Crowder, scriptwriter Cleménce Roy-Darisse and musical director Adam Reid. The groundbreaking work the team undertook was documented and will be used to help other neighbourhoods interested in staging community musicals across Ontario.
With the closure of Rideau High School last year, the Association has also continued to advocate for the creation of a new community hub at the previous school site. A community hub offers co-located, coordinated and integrated services such as health care and social services. Community organizations, including our Association, are committed to the vision of the Rideau High School property being retained in public hands and used for the delivery of public services. A community hub would allow a number of agencies to provide social and cultural services, as well as contribute to economic development opportunities. For this reason, we unequivocally support the efforts led by the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre to examine the feasibility of operating a community hub at the Rideau High School location. Late last year, we were pleased to learn that the resource centre, along with the Odawa Native Friendship Centre obtained provincial funding to examine the possibilities of such a service provision model at the former school. We acknowledge the fact that in lieu of an operating secondary public school, a community hub can contribute tremendous value to local residents, which can be measured and demonstrated in social and economic terms. Our community looks forward to such social and economic enhancements with the emergence of this community hub project.
Remember, we remain committed to serve this community and need your help and input, along with financial and voluntary contributions. Please learn more about the Association at www.overbrook.ca and please make sure to become involved in your community today.