Go West, young changemaker

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February, 2015

Riding on Hope - Go West, young changemaker


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Riding on Hope 
The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal
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Happy February!

It's official: Wiarton Willie, everyone’s favourite groundhog prognosticator, is predicting an early spring this year. Sure, you might not put much stock in rodent fortune telling. But here at Otesha, just thinking about spring—and the new cycling season that goes along with it—is enough to warm the cockles of our hearts! With warm breezes and sunny skies on our minds, here’s the latest from Otesha HQ.

Go West, young changemakers!

WCT-image 2

The Rockies on the right. The ocean to your left. The open road ahead. Not a bad way to celebrate the return of warm weather. Space on our spring West Coast Tour is still available, so what are you waiting for? A life changing adventure is just a few mouse clicks away!

Join a team of other like-minded sustainability and social justice advocates as you wind your way through rural and urban British Columbia. Explore local environmental initiatives and bring Otesha’s funky brand of eco-education to schools, performing and facilitating workshops to over 4,000 students. Check out our West Coast Tour page for more details, photos, blogs and more. And help us spread the word by sharing the opportunity with your networks!


High five to our B.C. buddies

high five

A lot goes into organizing our spring West Coast Tour. From planning safe routes to booking performances to recruiting volunteers for training week, it’s a hefty to-do list. Luckily, you’ve got our backs!

A huge thank-you and high five to all the O-lumni, past staffers, volunteers and Otesha supporters who’ve been lending us a much-appreciated hand. Whether it’s connecting us with schools to visit, offering accommodations for our tour members or helping us get the word out, you’re a bunch of Rocky Mountain rock stars.

If you’ve got booking ideas, a backyard to offer up or are interested in helping out in some other way for any of our upcoming tours, get in touch with our Programs Coordinator Emma Buchanan!



O-lumnus Sebastian Ramirez's organic farm internship


Hearing what O-lumni are getting up to now is one of our favourite things (that, and baby goats of course). We ran into 2009 Great Lakes Tour alumnus Seb Ramirez at the Guelph Organic Conference last week, and were jazzed to hear about the organic farm he and his partner Bethany have started near Erin, Ontario.

Zocalo Organics provides sustainably grown deliciousness to 11 restaurants, a Farmers Market and an 80-member CSA. With a new growing season fast approaching, the dynamic duo is on the lookout for hard-working individuals to intern with them from April to November.

Check out their job posting on Goodwork.ca for all the details and share the info with anyone you think might be interested!

You can also read more about Zocalo Organics in this article from the Guelph Mercury.


Oot and aboot with Otesha


We may be buried in snow, but that hasn’t stopped The Otesha Project from getting out and about in the community. On January 23, we hosted our 2015 Couriers of Hope Kick-off Celebration in Ottawa. It was a fun-filled evening filled with hot coffee and warm company.

A big thanks to our terrific Q&A panel, made up of tour O-lumni superstars Stevie Pan, Tricia Enns, Austin Lui and Mériza Martel-Bryden. Thanks as well to Donna Lawrence for sharing information on how to combine adventure travel with supporting Otesha through the Huma Challenge. And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a tip of the hat to Robert and Randi for sharing their hard-won fair trade chocolate with everyone! Mmmmmm…

We were also pumped to have a booth at this year’s Guelph Organic Conference last weekend. With our nine-day Pedal to Plate Tour happening this July in the Toronto area, it was a great opportunity to connect with organic foodies and introduce some new faces to our programs.


A fresh online face

You may have noticed a few changes to the bike tours section of our website. We’ve spruced things up with more photos, information and stories from tour members. And while it’s also mobile-friendly, we highly recommend not checking it out from the seat of your bicycle. We don’t want anyone flying over their handlebars.

We’d love to add more testimonials from past tour members, so please add to the comments section of the website!

Click here to have a boo at the new section!


Can you help us spread the word?

As a small organization with a limited marketing budget, we rely on the Otesha community to help us spread the word. We’d love it if you could share information about our upcoming tours with your networks.

Check out the promo materials below for videos, posters, flyers and sample text for tweets, Facebook posts, emails and newsletters.

1. Social media goodies
2. PDF flyers & info sheets (for email, newsletters, posting at your office, etc.)
3. Sample copy for emails, newsletters, etc.

Itching for an unforgettable experience? Maybe it’s time to grab life by the handlebars!

The Otesha Project is looking for curious, dedicated and adventuresome volunteers! The Otesha Project’s bicycle tours use interactive workshops, theatre presentations and experiential learning to engage people of all ages to take action for a more fair and sustainable future—for people and the planet.

Deepen your knowledge of environmental and social issues, gain skills in public engagement and alternative education, and empower yourself on a cycling adventure—all while having a laugh with diverse and inspiring teammates.

Tours are as short as nine days and as epic as two months. Spaces are being filled on a rolling basis and all levels of cycling experience (or inexperience!) are welcome. You can find all the juicy details at http://reasonstodream.otesha.ca/


Last Word

“Before joining Otesha, I was beginning to lose hope. I was very worried about climate change and social injustice, but I didn’t know what I could do beyond simply recycling and eating vegetarian. When I heard about the Otesha bike tours, I knew it was a chance to feel hopeful and to make a difference.”

-- Keely Kidner, Kootenay Mountain Tour 2008



Until next time, keep on grinning and spinning!

Shooting stars and handlebars,
The Otesha Project Team

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The Otesha Project
404 McArthur
Ottawa Ontario
K1K 1G8


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404 McArthur Ave Ottawa
Ottawa, ON K1N 1H5

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