September Issue

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September, 2010

September Issue

Riding on Hope

The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal 
September 2011

Back to school

It's the most wonderful time of the year! School will be starting up again this month and with school comes The Otesha Project's performance and cycling tours! We are super stoked about our Sunshine Coast Tour and our Kootenay Mountain Tour that kick off this month. This Fall's tours will be learning together at their training week in Vancouver before splitting up and heading off on their respective adventures. It's gonna be a blast!

For this edition of Riding on Hope, take a listen to The White Stripes' goodie "We're Gonna be Friends". Well, the school bell just rang, so strap on your second-hand backpack and shine up that local, organic apple, 'cause class is back in session!

Positive change is coming

Otesha's Fall tours are ready to sail, which means the ripples of change that they leave in their wake are about to start spreading. The Sunshine Coast Tour and Kootenay Mountain Tour are gathering in Vancouver for training week, where they'll be given the tools to set up their community structure, engage with community members as they travel, and open up dialogues.

Wanna hook up with the team? Click to view the Sunshine Coast Tour route calendar and the Kootenay Mountain Tour route calendar.

New Otesha play takes action

After a few months of brainstorming, writing and tweaking, Guy Marsan (Highlands and Islands Tour 2010 O-lumnus) and dramaturge Jennifer Boyes-Manseau have completed the new Otesha play, "Taking Action". The new play deals with a variety of issues, such as the mining of coltan for use when manufacturing electronics, among other issues. We would like to thank Guy and Jen for all of their hard work in writing the play and for the O-lumni and Otesha supporters that have provided suggestions along the way. We can't wait for the feedback from our Fall tours!

Keep up with our Fall tours

If you can't make it out to see the new play, but want to be a part of the performance and cycling tour, here's your chance! Tour members want to give you the opportunity to take part in their tour experience by writing to you.

Our Fall tour teams are getting as close as they can to writing personal love letters by composing their Notes from the Road, which you can sign up for here:

Sunshine Coast Tour's Notes from the Road

Kootenay Mountain Tour's Notes from the Road

OteshaProject Twitter ImageYou can also get mini-updates direct from the team via Twitter by following "OteshaBikeTour" on Twitter. If you already follow The Otesha Project on Twitter via our main "OteshaProject" Twitter account, you'll be automatically updated when we retweet the team.

While you're keeping up to date in the virtual world of social media, you can "Like" the official Otesha Project Facebook Page for more Otesha updates.

Remembering Andrew

It was one year ago, September 16, 2010, that The Otesha Project lost a precious member of our community, Andrew Wolf. A passionate food educator, change-maker, loving son and brother, and member of The Otesha Project's Highlands and Islands Tour, Andrew's passions remain a part of everything we do. This month we remember Andrew and give thanks for the time he spent with us. We'd also like to express our deepest gratitude to all the members of the Otesha community, including the community of Grand Bay, New Brunswick, who rallied to support Andrew's team, his family and the organization in a way that touched us all. We will be forever grateful for the generosity shown us during those challenging days.

In honour of Andrew and his love for cycling, we are marking September 16th with a special public outreach event we like to call "Bike Love". Members of the Otesha Project will be fanning out across the University of Ottawa campus leaving love notes on the bikes of unsuspecting cyclists, thanking them for choosing a sustainable mode of transport.

We invite you to join us:

September 16, 2011, 12:00 noon

Front Lawn, Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa campus

550 Cumberland Street

If you are unable to attend the Ottawa event, we encourage you to celebrate Andrew's life in your own way. You can contact Julia to let her know if you are holding a gathering and would like to share it with the public.


The Otesha Project's staff are giddy as schoolchildren, hoppin' around all over the place to attend all sorts of events, including the following:

Health Canada Charity Fair - Thursday, September 15, 2011
Kind of like a science fair, but for charities instead! The Otesha Project will have a display at Health Canada's National Capital Region campaign event where we'll get to make friends with all sorts of new people.

Feast of Fields, Sunday, September 11, 2011

The newly invigorated Otesha Ottawa Play Team* has a gig coming up, so come check us out! The Ottawa Play Team's first show of the new season will be performed at Feast of Fields, Ottawa's biggest harvest festival and a fundraiser for the Canadian Organic Growers - Ottawa Chapter. Come on down for a taste of the new play team and other yummy local fare!


*If you'd like to become a member of the Ottawa play team, contact Darrell.

Centretown United Church, September 24, 2011

A workshop presentation at a weekend of action to help inspire attendees to take personal action on food issues. We can't wait!


The Otesha Office-Warming and Book Launch! - Thurs. Sept. 29

A little while ago, the Otesha office moved from the Marvelous Mansion of Mayhem to our latest digs at Heartwood House. We are definitely the new kids on the block, but our neighbours sure are welcoming and we've settled in nicely. We're now ready for family visits and would like YOU to come on over for a special get together to celebrate the launch of the new Otesha Book: Reason to Dream!

More details are upcoming, so keep an eye out on our "Upcoming Events" section of the Otesha website. We are really excited and hope you join us!

O-lumnus spotlight

Sara pedals bicycle-powered food bank

Otesha O-lumnus Sara Jennings has plenty of experience taking action to build more sustainable and just communities. After having traveled as a member of Otesha's 2005 Coast to Coast Tour, Sara, now 35, applied for the Coordinator position at Whistler food bank in British Columbia.

Sara was contacted to fill the role, but there was one condition. "The position said I needed a car to do food pick-ups," she remembers. "I told them I didn't." Sara convinced her employer to give her the job car-free, and since 2009 she has been transporting donated food on her six-foot long trailer from local businesses to the food bank each week.

Sara tows loads of up to 500 pounds with the help of an electric-assist motor. "The food bank is nicely located at the bottom of a hill, and the stores are at the top," she laughs, referring to Whistler's mountainous terrain. She helps as many as 400 people per month gain access to food in the Whistler area.

Sara strives to incorporate conscious living into everything she does and she's been 'top of her class'. She founded an environmental club for children, and as a member of Whistler Watch, she has been involved in protecting water sources and ecosystems. Sara also volunteers with the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), which promotes environmental sustainability and the protection of natural heritage. She is also a spoken word artist, uni-cycler, and a member of the Puppetistas, a puppet and theatre activist group.

Sara says her Otesha experience solidified her commitment to living life as true to her values as she can. "Otesha pushed me further," she says, "So that with every decision I make, I want to make sure it's the most environmentally and socially conscious decision I can [make]."

Postcard of the Month

After every Otesha presentation, we invite our audience members to change the world by committing to one new hopeful action. Each individual receives a postcard, writes the action on the back, and if they complete the action, they mail it in to our office. We now have thousands of postcards from across Canada, and they are our proof that we are building a movement. Here's one of our favourites from this month:

"Hello Otesha, This week I am going to help establish an organization to help proect animals. I will do so with my 4 friend[s] from school."

--Sierra, age 12, Smith Falls

Wish List
Calling all office folk! We need your help in replenishing our stock of
used (one-sided) 8.5"x 11" white paper.
We've gotten pretty low, but we know we've got tons of (re)cycling superstars out there who have paper to rescue from being wasted. Save those one-sided sheets and let them live again!

Drop offs are welcome between 9am and 5pm
from Monday to Thursday at The Otesha Office (153 Chapel St.)