Ottawa Wave Makers

Healthy oceans are vital to our communities and our economy, bringing benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
To harness the creativity and innovation of citizens, Impact Hub Ottawa and World Wildlife Fund Canada partnered to launch Ottawa Wave Makers, a first-of-its kind microgrant program designed to catalyze and support local, community-driven creative projects that raise awareness about Canada’s oceans. In 2015, Ottawa Wave Makers awarded $33,000 to eight projects after receiving applications for projects totaling $110,000 - a tremendous response from the community despite the fact that Ottawa is not an ocean city. They were chosen by a panel of entrepreneurs and experts responsible for adjudicating project submissions.

Inaugural Cohort

Buying Sustainable Seafood in Ottawa: A Video Guide to Making Local Choices

Recipient: Sonia Vani

Educational Video & Classroom Project

Ottawans, like many other people around the world, have by now heard that oceans face a variety of threats and issues that, going forward, will increase in importance. However, unlike Canadians who live, work and play by the coast, Ottawans may feel disconnected from the oceans. This a video guide for making local choices that have a big impact. An educational element for Ontario Social Studies curriculum for Grades 1-8 will be included in the project.

Watch their video

Oli’s Ocean Adventures

Recipients: CarolAnne Black, Clark Richards, and Sarah Julian.

Children’s Book & School Library Project

Oli’s Ocean Adventures is a story about a child’s discovery of Canada’s oceans and his connection to them. A boy from Ottawa goes off in search of pirate ships and treasure, but instead finds adventure and friendship on a Canadian coastguard research vessel. Stowed aboard the CCGS Kellerman, Oli sails from the Atlantic, through the Northwest Passage of the Arctic and around to the Pacific, all the while helping the ship’s crew to complete its scientific mission. A copy of the book is to be donated to the library of each elementary school in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) for children to read.

Visit the book's website

Shrimps Matter

Recipients: Tabatha Soltay and Jean-Philippe Veilleux

Interactive Original Game

What better way to raise awareness about the importance of oceans than through the use of a game? Serious games create a safe space, often referred to as the “magic circle”, to test new ideas and skills in a fun and engaging way. The content of the game will be in both official languages to ensure broad reach and be based around content on why oceans are important, and how people in Ottawa can take action to help protect them.

Visit their website.

Oceans Alive

Recipients: Hannah Beach on behalf of The Dandelion Dance Company

Youth Dance & Multimedia Production

The Dandelion Dance Company is an Ottawa-based non-profit dance theatre company for teenaged girls, exploring social issues through movement. Their winning project is a dance and multi-media production that both informs the public about Ocean health and the importance of maintaining our oceans health – but also to inspire people about the extraordinary beauty and vastness of the ocean, reminding us of our connection to it and how this affects us. An inspiring piece to provoke thought, discovery and change.

Watch their video

Oceans to Rivers and Back Again: The Ottawa River’s Endangered American Eel

Recipients: Meaghan Murphy on behalf of The Ottawa River Keepers

Educational Family Event

Ottawa Riverkeeper will organize an Eel Day celebration on the shores of the Ottawa River to educate and engage the community about this unique and often misunderstood species of the Ottawa River. Educational and interactive event with hands-on, family-friendly activities, including storytelling from an aboriginal elder. The event will take place along the shore of the Ottawa River and provide people a rare opportunity to observe live eels up close.

View coverage of the event and media coverage

H2O: House of PainT to Oceans

Recipients: Patrick McCormack on behalf of House of PainT Ottawa

Visual art and slam poetry workshops

House of PainT is Ottawa’s annual festival of urban arts and culture. This year’s festival will feature a series of experiential H2O learning activities where youth can engage in graffiti-style visual art and slam poetry. Professional facilitators will first provide background and festival goers of all ages will also have an opportunity to contribution to the collaborative H2O space.

View the poetry and graffiti albums

Home at Sea: Sentimental Stories from an Ocean in Crisis

Recipients: Catherine Brunelle and Kevin Johns

Storytelling Podcast Episode

A special hour-long storytelling podcast episode that explores written narratives of sentiment and longing for the ocean, touching upon our connection and our need to care for its preservation. Descriptive excerpts from authors such as LM Montgomery, Robert Service, Ernest Hemmingway, Herman Melville with those from Ottawa-based writers around the ocean and our sense of home.

Listen to the podcast

Thank you to our judges:
  • Tatiana Glad (Co-Founder, Waterlution)
  • Emily Daniels (Founding member, Awesome Foundation)
  • Parm Gill (Startup Visionary)
  • Josh Snider (Manager, The Natural Step)
  • Ken Huffman (Oceans management and policy consulting)
And our community partners for their support:
The Natural Step Logo
Bullfrog Power Logo
JustChange Logo
Students On Ice Logo