Spring Fever Edition

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April, 2012
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Otesha is as busy as a bumble bee baking bread while wearing a bonnet (pretty busy!). Here’s a sneak peak of a few of the things we’re up to. To see all the details and ways to get involved, check out our events calendar.

If you have an event you’d like us to feature, email kira@otesha.ca to post your event. 

BLUESFEST Line-Up Party is coming up soon!

Be the first to hear the line-up at this year's Bluesfest! Support Otesha and other local youth projects while you're at it. The Line-Up Party will be taking place on Tuesday April 24th at the Canadian War Museum. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:www.ottawabluesfest.ca/party

Otesha is a partner for the 3i Summit

3i Summit

Otesha is happy to partner with the 2012 3i Summit on Sustainability: Collaboration for Action! The 3i Summit brings together change agents, leaders and connectors from many sectors to learn from each other and collaborate on a shared mission: to advance new initiatives for a better community through a focus on practical, tangible ideas to put into action.

Join us and other movers and shakers in the Ottawa community at the 2012 3i Summit on Sustainability on May 4th and 5th. For FAQ and to register for the Summit: http://www.3isummit.com/

Got food on the brain?
Food is one of the six key areas Otesha focuses on in our environmental outreach, and with gardening season approaching, we've got food on our minds. Keep an eye on us through Facebook and Twitter to see what juicy tidbits we come across. Here are some goodies to get you started:

How much do you know about Canada's quota system? Local Food Plus

Joel Aitkin gives his overview on agricultural supply management in this series on the Local Food Plus blog:



story of food

USC Canada's The Story of Food is a short and sweet introduction to the challenges of the global food system. Their message? Each one of us can help rebuild a healthier food system and regain our lost connection with real food and the people who grow it. We can do this with the food choices we make every day.



postcard of the month

Riding on Hope 
The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal
April 2012: Spring Fever Edition
It’s that time of year when even the grumpiest of grumps can’t help but smile…birds are a-singin’, green buds are wrestling their way out of the soil, and streets are alive with vitamin D addicts. If the rest of the world gets so uplifted by spring fever, just imagine how excited the already ultra hopeful and inspired Otesha Project is! We’ve got oodles to be jazzed about this month, and we hope it’ll rub off!

$10,000 for 10 (more) years of change campaign kicks off

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of The Otesha Project. Do you know the story of how it all began? We’re proud of all that this organization, movement and community have accomplished in a decade. While we celebrate 29 cycling tours and over 150 000 Canadians invited to take action for a more sustainable and just world, we want more. We want 10 more years of youth empowerment, 10 more years of sustainability education, 10 more years of community building and taking action. 

This year we want to raise $10,000 to ensure that we keep the wheels of change in motion. We’re asking if you can help us reach our goal of $10,000 and "join us for 10 more years of change". We need your support to propel The Otesha Project forward and to ensure that we are here to celebrate our 20th birthday. You can donate online here or by sending a cheque to:

The Otesha Project, 153 Chapel St., Ottawa, ON, K1N 1H5

*Cheques should be payable to The Otesha Project

*All donations over $20 are eligible for a tax receipt.

Making Change with Everyday Choices

Otesha is an advocate of using daily actions to create the kind of world we’d like to live in…so what actions are we up to these days?

Otesha is powered by BullFrog!Bullfrog Power

We are proud to announce that the Ottawa HeadQuarters are fully powered by BullFrog, Canada's 100% Green Energy Provider! This spring we leaped into action and we challenge you to join! Check it out: www.bullfrogpower.com

Helen RostewigO-lumnus Spotlight

Each month we like to show off the accomplishments one or more alumni of Otesha's tours, affectionately known as "O-lumni"

Cultivating a new food culture with the Chocolate Garden

Ferocious Farm Tour (2010) O-lumna Helen Rostewig is hard at work in Guelph, ON, making trade fair. Her vision? That exotic goods, like cacao and coconut, are shared with us “with willingness, out of joy and pride, rather than coercion, robbery, and environmental destruction, which is sadly often the case with these mass-produced crops.”

Chocolate GardenHelen created The Chocolate Garden, a small-scale creator of exotic treats, with the hope of getting people excited about Real Food, good quality ingredients, and the history and people behind them. By sourcing ingredients procured through the fair trade and horizontal trade models, and producing her treats with a care and respect for people and the planet, Helen is providing an opportunity to actively engage with the foods we eat and the story behind them.
When asked how her Otesha experience has helped to shape what she's doing now, Helen explained: 

Otesha gave me a chance to live in community and be seen in a way I hadn’t been seen before. It brought out my faith in my own gifts and my deep power to be connected with and empower other people. I emerged stronger and more connected to my potential. Now I keep asking myself to be more of what I can be. How can I continue to shine, what can I offer to community, and how can I challenge the status quo? I am more creatively audacious than I was before Otesha, and have more faith in the power of one single act. It’s still a huge learning curve. It was a combination of restlessness, determination to be more of myself, devotion to re-claiming the food system, and sheer dumb adrenaline that birthed the Chocolate Garden - I woke up one morning with a particularly powerful craving and ran with it. It is that spirit of “running with it” which Otesha taught me. Otesha shamelessly teaches us the opposite of what I was brought up in school to believe – that the momentum of one person’s inspiration is enough.

TickTock....Rising Tide Tour is Rearin' to Go!

How do you feel about Gas? No…not the bean burrito kind. The kind stored down in the ground which requires a special kind of drilling (called fracking) to extract it! This is one of the top issues that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are dealing with and an issue that the Rising Tide Tour (RTT) is excited to learn more about! 

The RTT is ready to roll; the tour is booked and the team is ready to go…well… almost! There remains some gear to scrounge up and bikes to tune, but the next generation of hopeful change-makers are gearing up to make waves as they perform in town centers, meet with superstar environmental organizations (such as Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute) and take our enthusiasm about sustainability to the road. 

Here we come New Brunswick!

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.  Here's one of our favourites from this month:

I will recycle, compost and put stuff in the garbage to make this an eco friendly world. I will turn off the lights when I leave a room.

- Aniek, 10, Ottawa, ON