GA 20th Anniversary Celebration

To mark the 20th anniversary of its founding, the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital held a celebration on October 26, 2017 at the Ferme Moore pavilion, a lovely heritage building restored by the National Capital Commission as one of its Canada 150 Confederation Pavilions.

Over forty members, past members and guests attended, spanning the entire history of the Alliance, from its first days in the fall of 1997 to just recently joined volunteers. With current chair Paul Johanis acting as Master of Ceremonies, the proceedings opened with a traditional song performed by Monique Manatch, a member of the Barrriere Lake First Nation,  welcoming us to the unceded Algonquin territory on which our celebration was held. Original member and co-founder Erwin Dreesssen then shared his wisdom about where the Alliance had been and where it is now headed, underlining the practices and positions that are the source of our longevity and success. See his text here.

Refreshments were served, including cake and champagne of course, as befits a 20th anniversary party, providing an opportunity for friends and members to renew their acquaintance and meet new ones. In addition to vice-chair Nicole Desroches, board members J.P. Unger and Amy (Kempster) Steele and guests were in attendance, as were Erwin and Gert Dreessen, Diane Beckett, Donna Dubreuil and Kate MacNeil, from member organization Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre, Al Crosby, Theresa Jamone, David McNicoll and Janice Dowling, Mary Hegan and guest, and long time members and friends of the Alliance Judy Makin and Janice Seline. Recently joined members and volunteers Van Nguyen and Claudia Ruiz joined us as did Anne and guest, whom we had just met at Ecofest 2017. The Green Party of Canada made an appearance, in the person of Nira Dookeran, candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, and her guest and we were pleased to see the Poets’ Pathway Jane Moore and her guests enjoying themselves as well.

The evening closed with a song circle, in which six musicians, including members Paul Johanis and David McNicoll, took turns leading the group in songs on the theme of nature and the environment.  Special thanks to musicians Gib Rozon, Steve Doggett and Aaron Reid for volunteering their time, and a special commendation to Aaron’s wife Tracy and daughter Carolyn for leading us in a rousing rendition of Big Yellow Taxi!


All in all, everyone agreed it was a very enjoyable evening and something we should perhaps do more often than every twenty years.

Display board showing our timeline over the last 20 years.

See full text version here, and also the list of past chairs since 1997.