LiveWorkPlay Blog - Edition 40 - 6/Apr/2010

LiveWorkPlay is a Canadian charitable organization supporting people with intellectual disabilities to have a good life in the Ottawa area community. LiveWorkPlay is an affiliate of Community Living Ontario. You can subscribe to the LiveWorkPlay Blog using Networked Blogs. We also invite you to visit us on our Facebook fan page and follow us on Twitter @GetBuzzed.




OK, we talk about this every year - that maybe we will break the all-time Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction fundraising record of $48000 in 2005. Everything from playoff hockey games to economic downturns have stoof in our way. But conditions seem right, April 8 could be the night!

What conditions you say? How about more than 130 silent auction packages and 30 live auction items plus many new sponsors, no competition from hockey, and (hopefully) advance ticket sales that will result in record attendance? That's the sort of combination that breaks records!

There is also a lot more anticipation building up to this year's event thanks to frequent Twitter and Facebook updates. You can read @AuctionBuzz tweets directly from the auction website at

This year attendance will be the critical issue. We have the donations - including 100 level seats and boxes for amazing Scotiabank Place shows - now we need the audience to purchase them. If you were planning to help out with Recipe for Success this year but time passed you by, it is not too late, and your badly needed contribution is simple: bring a friend.


With attendance of over 130 the popularity of LiveWorkPlay Family Feast events continues to grow. 45% of attendees were family or other supporters of our members, 20% were adult members, 10% were
youth members, and 20% were from the volunteer team! The other 5% were special guests, such as our raffle host Robert Bigras or musician Dave Milliken.

Some of the biggest buzz of the night was created with the presentation of the results from the 2011 trip planning committee. There will be three different trips available to adult members next year - a 7 day all inclusive to the Caribbean, a 5 day journey to Las Vegas, and a 3 day road trip to New Hampshire. These options represent the desire of members for different types of trips and budgets.

Although the food was reviewed as "Great" by 80% of survey respondents, in the "other comments" section there were an overwhelming number of requests to bring back the prime rib that was featured in December. Guaranteed, it will show up somewhere in the 2010-2001 lineup. Next up is the Welcome Back Family Feast on September 2!


As discussed at Orientation & AGM 2009. this year was to be the year that LiveWorkPlay finally had a chance to start connecting with the community in a big way. We are doing it!
LiveWorkPlay has already hosted three public workshops that included A Question Of Safety, Estates & RDSP, and Label Free Zone (see below) and with a full quarter to go we have made more public presentations than in any previous year.

This month it was mostly about employment and rights. Adult member Caroline Matte, CEO Keenan Wellar, and Board member Marlene Floyd met with Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill to talk about issues of affordable housing, employment, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Manager of Employment Supports Jen Bosworth and Board member Dan Patton teamed up to speak at the United Way "Discovering Talent: The Business Case For Hiring People With Disabilities" conference. Keenan and adult member Cooper Gage spoke about competitive employment and partnerships at a meeting of the Bank of America disability advisory group. Jen and Keenan presented to representatives of the Canadian Human Rights Commission at a gathering organized by volunteer Alexis Dusonchet. And those are just the highlights!

This type of advocacy work is relatively new for LiveWorkPlay, and we need to talk about what to do next! "From Social Services To Social Change" is the tentative title for Visioning Day 2010 on June 12. The Board of Directors has been discussing the challenge of the dual nature of LiveWorkPlay - and organization that provides direct supports and services to individuals and families, but also seeks to change the Ottawa community and the rest of the world so that it is a more welcoming and inclusive place for all people with intellectual disabilities. When we dream, we dream big!


The second of two adult member travel experiences came to an end on March 12, with the return from Club Med Sandpiper. It was not a great winter for weather in Florida, but the LiveWorkPlay trip featured comfortable temperatures above 20 celcius, and this was apparently perfect for sports! Never before has athletic activity so strongly dominated a LiveWorkPlay trip.

The feature activity was definitely tennis, pretty much everyone gave it a go at least once. There is an interesting carry-over from this experience, with many members asking for help from staff to set up an informal tennis league! There was also swimming, basketball, golf, and even trapeze!

This is not to say that there was no lazing about, enjoyment of beverages with little umbrellas in them, dancing in the bar, or shopping at the boutiques, but most everyone came back a little more fit than before they left.

Another payoff from this trip and previous LiveWorkPlay trips is that many members have developed the confidence to travel on their own. For example, member Lucas Rogers flew out to Calgary and back to visit relatives. Was he proud of this? His wide grin could barely fit through the door when he came to report on this news!

The next LiveWorkPlay travel experience will be the summer youth trip to New York City in July. Travelling across an international border with a group of teens is a new LiveWorkPlay first. It will be interesting to see at what age these young people will be ready to travel on their own as adults!


It was a very (very!) long labour, but staff member Anthony Stratton and his wife Jenn let everyone know (thanks to the magic of Twitter and Facebook) that baby Isaac came into the world just before midnight on March 30! The LiveWorkPlay fan page was soon on fire, with more than 30 comments. The entire LiveWorkPlay community had been following Isaac's epic journey into the world as Anthony provided text updates from his smart phone.

Staying with baby news, President Julie Kingstone and member Paul Hamilton made sure everyone at the Family Feast got the news that Jen and Dan Bosworth have a second baby on the way, expected at the end of the summer.

In student news, it's almost time to say goodbye to Michelle Struthers (left side in photo) who will finish her placement shortly after the auction wraps up on April 8th. Michelle represents another in a long line of successful placements. She achieved the highest possible leve of trust in earning the opportunity to work independently and lead sessions and activities with LiveWorkPlay members. Best of luck in the completion of your Social Work program at Carleton University!


This year's Engines of Success Annual Recognition Banquet will take place on June 24 at the Hampton Inn Ottawa. Watch for a streamlined agenda with increased attention to celebrating people's lives and relationships - members, volunteers, staff, family, partners, and others.

Engines of Success is about how we all benefit from coming together and building community. Our daily interactions are important: sometimes they result in "big moments" but usually important changes take place over time, and we want to celebrate how we all come together to enrich each other's lives.

There is another type of richness to celebrate, and that's our ability to come together and raise money so we can continually do more than expected - everything from affordable housing to our international trips is made possible because at least in part thanks to grassroots fundraising.

Next to the auction, the annual golf tournament has become our biggest fundraising event. This year it will be on Tuesday, August 31, once again at the ClubLink GreyHawk Golf Club. Jack Murphy has already started work on developing sponsors for the event. The registration fee will be a flat $150 and Jack is on a mission to increase sponsorships "I would like to see a sponsor on every hole!"

We'll give you a few moments to rest up from the auction before tackling that little task. We all want to give Jack a successful golf tournament for his birthday!


LiveWorkPlay was very pleased to host a Label Free Zone workshop in conjunction with the National Film Board, People First of Canada, and People First of Ontario. The star of the show was Manitoba film maker Josée Boulanger who was very modest in accepting hearty applause and cheers upon being recognized for production of The Freedom Tour. Josée showed off the Label Free Zone website to an attentive audience of 40, comprised of people with intellectual disabilities, support staff, volunteers, students, and even a professor!

Kory Earle, President of People First of Ontario, suprised everyone with free People First t-shirts in addition to some lovely door prizes. This event is the first outcome of meeting between Mr. Earle and Keenan Wellar in the fall, when pledges were exchanged to work together to increase the presence of People First in the Ottawa area. "LiveWorkPlay is a wonderful organization and I hope we will work together again soon" said Earle. Keenan credited People First for their clarity of vision "Inclusion has become a lot of things to a lot of people, but your focus on real homes, real education, and real work reminds us of what it is all about."

It is hoped that Josée's presentation will spur many LiveWorkPlay members to feel more comfortable about telling their own stories, as exemplified by people like Dwaine Scott in Saskatoon. Youth member Emily Menard did not waste any time, she took up Josée on her offer to record videos right after the event concluded, so watch the Label Free Zone website and you never know who you'll see!


If you would like to make a donation to LiveWorkPlay, please click here to donate online or use our new PDF donation form, which now has options for credit card and pre-authorized withdrawals. You may also specify how you would like your donation to be used.

We are no longer in United Way Ottawa/Centraide campaign season (but of course donations are appreciated throughout the year) and this is a great time to contribute to LiveWorkPlay and any other charities that you support. You can download a United Way donation form that already has the LiveWorkPlay information included. The United Way supports LiveWorkPlay youth services!

We hope you have enjoyed this 40th edition of the LiveWorkPlay Blog. If you have received an email about this blog in error and/or you would prefer not to receive future LiveWorkPlay blog messages, simply click here and follow the simple instructions. Click here for the web page that can be used by newcomers who would like to receive LiveWorkPlay Blog email notifications. You can also subscribe using Networked Blogs. Please your friends, colleagues, and family membes to subscribe. Send story ideas to Keenan Wellar.