Newsletter – December

Welcome to middle of December and our final newsletter of the year. We have all been through a lot over the past 8 months. With the vaccine now in Canada and soon to be in the arms of most of its citizens in the coming months, it gives us all hope that soon the pandemic will be over. We are not at the finish line yet but we can see it. We all know there are going to be some tough months ahead as we enter our naturally slow time of the year. It will be the time for all of us to lean on each other. The Ottawa-Gatineau wedding industry is made up of amazing people who support each other and now it’s time to show it. One of the first things you can do is to join us for the first ever virtual holiday party of the OGWIA being held on Monday, December 21st starting at 7:30pm. It will be a fun night where we can share our smiles, enthusiasm and positivity for the new year. Please check your inbox for an email with all the details or visit the OGWIA public page.

The OGWIA Holiday Party is a night to put all pandemic talk behind us and to celebrate the festive season. We want you to bring your family members to the event and bring some drinks and food to toast our incredible industry. There will be a visit from Santa, photos of our pets who provided us comfort this year and some food and drink ideas for the holidays. There is also going to be an ugly sweater contest and you could win a prize!! It’s an evening you don’t want to miss.

In the new year, we will be returning with our newsletter and bringing you updates as we always do regarding our industry. Several of our committee members have created some articles for you to read as part of this newsletter and we encourage you to read them. On behalf of the Ottawa Gatineau Wedding Industry Association board, we wish you a happy holiday season and prosperous new year. We will see you on Monday, December 21st starting at 7:30pm EST.

Brian Henry, Membership Committee

Government Relations and Advocacy

The Government Relations and Advocacy of OGWIA has been very active for many months. The OGWIA has promoted to federal, provincial and municipal officials and politicians a consistent message. We are asking that wedding associated venues be able to open at a 50% capacity. This would ensure that venues can operate safely and profitable. In addition, we have stated that regulated and controlled venues are safer than wild uncontrolled parties in homes and AirBnB’s. 

The OGWIA has written letters to Premier Ford and Ottawa Public Health’s Dr Vera Etches on three occasions. We have held conversations with federal Ministers Ng and Haydu. Provincially, we have met with MPPs Stan Cho, Jeremy Roberts, and Goldie Ghamari. They have all acknowledged our difficulties as a specialized sector of the economy.

Now that a vaccine is in sight, the OGWIA will continue with advocating a 50% capacity for re-opening. A new position will be put forward. Our belief that not only that continued physical distancing and masking activities are necessary, an additional requirement for admission to venues could include proof of vaccination or a recent rapid COVID test. For these two new requirements to be successful, large scale immunization is needed as well as broad availability of rapid testing from retail pharmacies. 

Alan Viau, BSc, PhD, Government Advocacy Committee


Social and Events Committee

This year has been a uniquely challenging one for us all and I sincerely hope that the OGWIA has been of some assistance in helping you deal with it and navigate it. For me, being a part of starting and growing the Association has been immensely helpful, both from a business and mental health standpoint. While better days seem, understandably, light years away, there is some glint of optimism on the horizon and I look forward to being a part of that as we plan things that will bring the membership together in the coming months. As the person heading up the Social & Events committee, I will be in touch shortly with any members that have expressed interest in joining me on this committee and I encourage others to get in touch if they have an interest as well. Keep well and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Ian Forsyth, Social and Events Committee

Social Media/ Tech

2020 has thought us that we need to think out side of the box when it comes to events. We had to innovate in ways that would have never crossed our mind when 2020 began. Some have done petite events and weddings, some virtual events but in person events will never disappear. Moving forward, we will have propose a different spin on events to make people come out and get together safely (at a distance for now). This is where silent events comes into play. Silent Beats Events is the 1st Canadian Owned Silent Disco company and it’s right here in your backyard – it’s Ottawa owned and operated! Since 2016 we have done 100’s of events across Ontario, Quebec and beyond. If you have never experienced a silent event before, you might think it’s weird or awkward – it is until you put the headphone on. Then you get it. It’s really a one of a kind experience. You can have up to 3 channels of music at the same time: 3 DJs battling for your attention, playlists, bands or a combination of. Skys the limit. In addition to this, because of COVID we have to physically distance and with the headphones it’s really easy to do this. You can literally dance anywhere and keeping your distance from others, dance inside, outside – you pick. And dance to your beat.

Stephan Gonthier, Social media/Tech

Finance Committee

Although finance may be behind the scenes, we have been busy laying the foundation for the future success of the Ottawa Gatineau Wedding Industry Association. Membership fees are being collected, and an association credit card has been secured. These small steps are helping us prepare for the future of the association and handle any monthly expenses, such as domain hosting, website, and online accounting software. We greatly appreciate the support of every member.

Jennifer McAndrew and Scott Smith, Finance Committee

Committee Heads

Membership Committee – Brian Henry

Government Relations & Advocacy – Alan Viau

Events & Social – Ian Forsyth

Education Sophie Branchaud, Shannon Kennedy & Stephan Gonthier

Communication (incl Social Media, Marketing, PR) Jessica Fewster, Stephan Gonthier

Finance – Scott Smith, Jen McAndrew

Website Management – Stephan Gonthier and Alan Viau

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