2017 Newcomers Welcome Fair with a Great Success

Every year the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC) organizes community events to welcome newcomers to Ottawa, and introduces them to many organizations and agencies that are able to help them settle down comfortably and safely in Ottawa. On May 28th (Sunday), 2017, the OCCSC organized the Newcomers Welcome Fair at Mother Teresa High School. The event was attended by Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson, 30 service providers, community partners, and over 800 participants. It was a resounding success! The purpose was to welcome newcomers to Ottawa and celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Camilla Liu was the host; the event began with the opening performance “Red Lantern” by the JingYu Dance Group, followed by a warm welcome message from Sharon Kan, the Executive Director of OCCSC. She then read a greeting message from Catherine McKenna, the MP and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Mayor Watson, who officially launched the event, delivered an inspiring speech. MPP Lisa Macleod also attended to greet newcomers.

This is the 7th year the Mayor has attended. One of the families who took a photo with the Mayor last year just had a new baby, therefore they wanted to proudly show the baby to Mayor and take a new photo this year. Pictures were taken with over 70 enthusiastic families. This has become the most popular activity for participants every year.


Red Lantern dance by the Jingyu Dance Group

Sharon Kan read greeting from Minister and MP Catherine McKenna

Mayor had photo taken with a family and their new baby

MPP Lisa Macleod greeted newcomers

Services from the different organizations

There were 30 information booths, including OCCSC’s Settlement Services, Language Training, Employment Support, and Services for Syrian Refugees Program. Others focused on education, parenting, employment, health, banking, housing, insurance, after school programs and so much more. Ottawa Fire Services invited families to experience laser fire extinguishing.


OCCSC booth

Exhibitors greeted newcomers

Collaborative painting, “Celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary”

OCCSC invited Ottawa Tiancai Arts School to design and coordinate a huge collaborative mural, the theme was Celebrating Canada’s 150 Anniversary, and it attracted many children. The painting is 10 feet by 6 feet, combining Canadian cultural elements. It will be given to Mayor Watson after the painting is completed; participating children can sign their name on the painting and card that will be presented to Mayor Watson.


Children participated in collective mural painting

Children and teachers had their photo taken with Mayor

Extremely Popular Talent Show

It was the first year that OCCSC offered talent show opportunities to the immigrant children and youth. Over 40 children from Ottawa performed, which included Hiphop, Tap, Cucurbit Flute, Pipa, violin, piano, singing and rhythmic gymnastics by the Barrhaven Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. It showcased the talent of immigration youth and children in the community. All performances drew attention from audience. More importantly, all parents and children appreciated the opportunity to perform, while offering the younger generation the opportunity to showcase their talent and develop their self-confidence. All performers were very excited to receive souvenirs and appreciation certificates from OCCSC.


Rhythmic gymnastics performance

Michael Jackson dance

Cucurbit Flute Performance

Violin Performance

Parents took photos of the performers

Performers received souvenirs and certificates

Pre-celebrate International Children’s Day

OCCSC prepared activities for children and their parents, included a bouncy castle, hosted by the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts, face painting, various balloon animals, a crawling competition organized for babies aged 6 to 12 months, and an interactive game “ chasing tails” for older children and their parents.


Balloon Animals

Bouncy Castle

Lucky Draw and various gifts

There were over 40 raffle gifts, generously donated by our exhibitors and community partners, including a Mayor’s Welcome Basket, a Godiva Basket from Councillor Michael Qaqish, restaurant/health and wellness certificates, free passes and tickets for local attractions and museums, gift certificates for Drama, Martial Arts, English and Math after school activities, etc. Free Welcome Packs were offered by CRCRR, over 80 eligible participants received a free Welcome Pack.


Newcomers received Free Welcome Pack

Lucky Draw Winner

Hand-Made Delicious Food from Happy Kitchen

Our “Happy Kitchen, Healthy Living” project is held every Friday at the Nepean Community Health Center, where new immigrants learn to cook, make friends, find out information, volunteer, and participate in society. The students sold their handmade goods in a bake sale with various delicacies such as twisted bread, cinnamon bread, special Chinese Shaanxi cold noodles and more. We raised $581! The proceeds of the sales go towards Happy Kitchen projects.


Happy Kitchen Team

Twisted bread

Each year, the OCCSC Newcomers Welcome Fair receives great community and volunteer support. Special thanks go to our 65 volunteers who helped make our event a huge success.

Event Volunteers with some of the OCCSC staff

We would like to acknowledge Mayor Watson for his continued support. The Newcomers Welcome Fair was made possible thanks to OCCSC’s generous sponsors, donors and partners listed below:


  • Kanata South Kumon Centre
  • Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts
  • Ottawa Tiancai Arts School
  • Marks Motors- Audi, Porsche
  • Urbandale Construction

    Media Sponsors:

  • ComeFromChina.com
  • CFC News


  • Algonquin College
  • Allstate Insurance
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Caldwell Family Centre
  • Canadian Agri-Food Trading Inc.
  • CIBC (Barrhaven)
  • eSmartLive. Ltd
  • Eye Level, Math & English Programs
  • Freedom Mobile; Great Talk Wireless
  • Immigrant Women Services Ottawa
  • Jian Z Physiotherapy Inc.
  • Kanata South Kumon Centre
  • Lebanese & Arab Social Services
  • Agency
  • Marks Motors- Audi, Porsche
  • Mount Pakenham, Ski Resort
  • National Bank of Canada
  • OCCSC Happy Kitchen
  • OCCSC Services
  • Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board
  • Ottawa Fire Services
  • Ottawa Public Health, Dental Health Promotion
  • Ottawa Tiancai Arts School
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • Otto’s BMW & Subaru
  • Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre
  • Star Motors of Ottawa, Mercedes-Benz
  • TD Bank Fei Yan & Riverside Branch
  • Urbandale Construction
  • YMCA, Employment Services

    Gift Donors:

  • 3M Canada Company
  • A Gym Tale
  • Bridgehead
  • Calypso Water Park
  • Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation
  • Chances R Restaurants
  • City Councillor, Michael Qaqish
  • Coconut Lagoon Restaurant
  • Cosmic Adventures Inc
  • Escape Manor
  • Funhaven Entertainment Centre
  • Globe Awards and Promotions
  • Gray Line Travel
  • Jian Z Physiotherapy Inc.
  • Kanata South Kumon Centre
  • Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts
  • Ottawa Children’s Theatre
  • Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson
  • Rockport Boathouse Country Inn
  • Stella Luna
  • Toys on Fire