Social justice, faith and life — Featured summer programs in the Ottawa area

Below we’ve assembled a shortlist of community programs and events in the Ottawa area this summer focused on matters of social justice, faith and life questions. From time-to-time, Presszo shares a list of community-based events that we believe may be of interest to our readers. These are the sort of grassroots events that sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. For your ease of reference, we have included the contact information, whenever available, of the individual organizers. If you would like to add a relevant upcoming event to this listing, please see our contact information here.

June 2019:

  • Development & Peace Documentary Film ScreeningFrom Tears to Hope; Anne-Marie Habyalimana on the effects the Rwandan Genocide.
    • Date, time and location: Tues., June 18, 6:30-9:00 pm at Diocesan Centre, 1247 Kilborn Place (2nd floor). Register: Tara 613-738-9644, ext. 224
  • Echoes of the Soul: Music by Julian Dawes — Cantor Jason Green, British composer-in-residence Julian Dawes, and the top echelon of Ottawa musicians offer a special concert. Proceeds support the programming of Kehillat Beth Israel Synagogue. General admission: $20. Student admission: $15.
    • Date, time and location: Tuesday, June 18, 7:00pm, Kehillat Beth Israel, 1400 Coldrey Ave Ottawa, ON K1Z 7P9.
  • End of Life Workshop — Exploring end of life questions and advance care planning. Morning session: advance care planning with Clinical Chaplain Roshene Lawson. Afternoon session:  “Understanding a Palliative Approach to Care” with Nadine Valk, Executive Director of Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program. Lunch provided.
    • Date, time and location: Saturday, June 22, 2019, 9am-3pm at St. Joseph’s Parish (174 Wilbrod St., Sandy Hill, K1N 6N8, in the Parish Hall). Lunch included. Suggested donation: $20 at the door. For more information: or 613-233-4095, ext 0.
  • Mindfulness Meditation — Come and join us for sitting and walking meditation in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa in the Sanctuary. Please arrive 15 minutes before 10:00 am to join us for tea and light refreshments — you are welcome to bring some as well.
    • Date, time and location: Saturday, June 22, 2019, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at 400 McArthur Avenue in Vanier. For more information: 613-421-8360.
  • West Meets East: A Musical Journey — A fundraising concert for the Christ Church Cathedral Girls’ Choir’s upcoming trip to Asia. Music by Julius Reubke, Claude Debussy, & Yoshinao Nakada performed by James Calkin (organ) and Duo Sakura (Ineke Helby & Chiharu Zeng) (piano). Admission by donation.
    • Date, time and location: Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral (414 Sparks Street, Ottawa.)
  • Full Moon Gatherings in Gatineau Park: Join Angela Mione in cultivating a greater connection with your inner self within the tranquility of nature. Angela is hosting monthly multi-sensory evening experiences in Gatineau Park to welcome the full moon. As you walk along the path, you will be introduced to the Japanese practice of “Forest Bathing” known as Shinrin-Yoku, experience a walking meditation; and conclude the evening around the bonfire. This activity is largely done in silence; therefore, it is not intended for those who wish to bring their younger children or four-legged family members. The path is a total walking distance of 4KM. The gathering will last approximately 2-2.5 hours. Once you register Angela will send you more information on the precise location and what to bring.
    • Date, time and location: Monday, June 17; Tuesday July 16; and Thursday, August 15. For more information and to register, please contact Angela at (613) 286-5652 or email:
  • 96th Annual Lawn Supper at St. John’s, South MarchA relaxed country dinner, silent auction, and entertainment by local band Revival with a repertoire of songs ranging from folk to rock. Adults: $20; Students: $15; Children 12 and under: Free.
    • Date, time and location: Sat, Jun 22, 2019, 4:00pm – 6:30pm at 325 Sandhill Rd, Kanata, ON K2K 1X7. To reserve, please email or call 613-592-4747.
  • Israeli film screening: Here and Now by Roman Shumunov. A powerful, finely observed social drama about four young Russian immigrants to Israel, living in the slums of Ashdod. Striving to adapt to Israeli society, they form a hip-hop band, aspiring to participate in an international music festival. Their dream of taking part in the competition is seriously challenged when key band member Andrey suffers a crisis at home. Andrey’s father has been in the hospital for months, leaving him responsible for his little sister and payments on their mortgage. As this intimate and intense drama reveals, he must struggle constantly between caring for his family, work, and still participate in the band’s rehearsals. While it’s not easy, Andrey is a determined young man and artist. Here and Now is another impressive first feature by a promising young filmmaker, Roman Shumunov.
    • Date, time and location: June 23, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ottawa Art Gallery (50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa, ON K1N 0C5). For more information click here.
  • Male Spirituality Open Circle: Newcomers are welcome, feel free to invite a friend. as we get back to our Nature – fellowship, drumming, fire and silence.  It is always our intention to have a fire, however, it is dependent upon conditions; ie. if it’s dry, there can be a fire ban in effect. Wear clothing you don’t mind getting smokey. Good to bring – Flashlight / bug spray / hiking boots if there’s been rain.
    • Date, time and location: Monday June 25, 2019 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Bethesda Renewal Centre (253 Lowe Road, Ashton, ON K0A 1B0). Carpool available from St. Joseph’s Parish in Sandy Hill at 6:45 p.m. Contact Dave Perry at: or visit:
  • Vespers at Holy Canadian Martyrs: For a few decades, a small group has been gathering once a week for Evening Prayer (Vespers). The weekly celebrations were most recently held at St. Margaret Mary. With the closure of this church, they have decided to continue the Thursday evening celebrations at Canadian Martyrs.
    • Date, time and location: Starting on Thurs., June 27th, join us from 6:30 to 6:55 p.m. in the church to celebrate this biblical, ancient and traditional Christian worship offered to God. All are welcome, no special talents required! Address: 100 Main Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C2.
  • Summer Teachings with Albert Dumont: Presenting Albert Dumont, Spiritual Teacher in Residence at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. Following from the successful Winter and Spring Teachings and Poetry sessions, Albert Dumont, our Algonquin Spiritual Teacher in Residence, will be offering seasonal teaching circles in the Great Hall. 
    • Date, time and location: Saturday June 29 9:00 -11:00am (414 Sparks Street, Ottawa).

July 2019

  • The Men’s Group at the Kind Space: The Men’s Group is a peer-led discussion and social group. The Men’s Group is a time when men of all ages, cultures, abilities, and orientations can have a safe space to interact and socialize with one another. Centred on the needs of the men in the group, discussions follow topics selected by attendees. It’s a fun place to learn and explore.
    • Date, time and location: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 222 Somerset Street W., suite 404. Ottawa. ON. More information on the Kind Space here.
  • Prayer – A Three Evening Retreat: Join Father Matthew Chojna and Father Tavis Goski as they explore and teach the different methods of Catholic prayer. Mass followed by a teaching and discussion.
    • Date, time and location: St. Peter Celestine Parish, Pakenham (139 Renfrew St.)  July 2, 3 & 4, 2019 at 7 – 9 pm. To register: Shannon McGruer (; (613-623-9289). Cost: $20. Visit Parish website here:
  • Glebe Shul Texas BBQ: Join Ottawa’s Jewish Young Professionals for amazing food, great company and an inspiring talk by Rabbi Mordechai Becher.
    • Date, time and location: July 4, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Glebe Shul (302 Fifth Avenue, Ottawa, ON). For more information, email: or visit:
  • Five-Day Retreat — Relishing a More Imaginative Church for our Time: Fr. Trevor Scott S.J. will lead a 5-day retreat exploring contemporary responses to the question: Are we on the threshold of a dying church today or are we being invited to a fuller and richer faith as a church that is more deeply and imaginatively rooted in a personal encounter with Christ? 
    • Date, time and location: July 7-12, 2019 at the Galilee Centre in Arnprior, ON. (398 John St N, Arnprior, ON K7S 2P6). For more information: 613-623-4242, ext. 21 or
  • Five-Day Contemplative Retreat: Fr. R. Boucher, OMI; Fr. R. Kelly OMI; Sr. L. Germain, CSJ; Sr. M.C. Kelley, GSIC will be directing a contemplative retreat in an environment of silence at the Galilee Centre.
    • Date, time and location: July 26-31, 2019 at the Galilee Centre (398 John St N, Arnprior, ON K7S 2P6). For more information: 613-623- 4242 ext. 21 or


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