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Soup for the Community

14 Mar

IMG_0983Whenever I go to a restaurant I never think to order soup. I always want to get something that I can’t make at home, either because I don’t know where to get the ingredients or because I don’t have the skill to create the dish. After trying five soups from some of Ottawa’s top restaurants, I will be ordering soup a lot more often. This weekend was the annual Great Bowls of Fire event, hosted by the Ottawa Guild of Potters. This is the third time I’ve been to Great Bowls of Fire, 2010, 2012 and 2014. You can find my pervious posts about the event HERE and HERE.


My new bowl!

Great Bowls of Fire is a unique event here in Ottawa. For the price of your ticket, $45 this year, you get to choose a handcrafted bowl and then enjoy soup from some of Ottawa’s top restaurants. Held in the Glebe Community Centre, the atmosphere of the event is warm and inviting. Hundreds of people fill the main hall and eat family style, so you get to meet new friends and run into old friends every year. This year there were ten restaurants showcasing some of the best soup I’ve ever had. What really makes the night for me, other than the soup, is knowing that the event is raising money for the Ottawa Food Bank.

It’s great to see local restaurants supporting the community. Great Bowls of Fire is only one example of restaurants making a difference in the community. There are lots unsung heroes in the Ottawa’s culinary world. Restaurants in Ottawa are selling t-shirts to raise money for local charities, hosting their own events where proceeds go back to the community, providing food to fundraising events and are even helping teach people how to cook. If you see a restaurant at the next fundraising event you’re at, make sure to take note and think about supporting them the next time you’re going out.

I want to give a huge shout out to all the amazing restaurants that took part in this year’s Great Bowls of Fire. Thanks for the awesome soup and I can’t wait to visit your restaurant!

If you’re inspired to give back to the community after reading this post think about giving to the Ottawa Food Bank, you can get more information HERE. Or help me raise money for Right to Play, you can read more about my efforts HERE.

Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala

28 May

Ever wonder how you could fuse your passion to make the world a better place with your drive to make some money? Well Mark Brand has figured it out and is making a huge difference in his community.

Mark Brand is a business owner, entrepreneur, social activist and all round cool guy. His life as an entrepreneur began in the summer of 2007 with the opening of his first venture, Boneta Restaurant. Since then Mark and his team have also established other ventures in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside including Sharks + Hammers, The Diamond and Seamostr Shushi.

In 2010, MarK Brand assumed control of the historic Save On Meats Butcher Shop / Grocery & Seafood in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is noted for a high amount of poverty, drug use, sex trade, crime, violence, as well as a history of community activism. Mark didn’t want to treat Save On Meats like any other business. He wanted it to be part of the community. To do this, Save On Meats hires people from the community, giving people who face obstacles to employment a chance to earn a living. They have also launched a token-program, where you can buy a token at the store and it will be given to someone in need to be redeemed for a free meal.

Mark Brand

If you want to get a feel for what Mark Brand is all about check out this awesome TEDxVancouver video.

On June 6, 2013, Mark Brand will be at the United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala. There are still tickets available, if you want for information or buy tickets visit the Community Builder of the Year Gala site HERE.

United Way Ottawa is also holding a contest where you can enter to win two tickets to the 2013 Gala to hear Mark’s story on the importance of good business doing good. To enter the contest click HERE.

Gift Idea!

18 Dec

It’s almost Christmas time! Only 7 more sleeps until you get to open all of your presents. While it’s amazing to open great presents, it’s even better seeing the face of someone as they open a really great present that you got them. The trick is finding that really awesome gift. Some people are impossible to buy for. They don’t seem to have any hobbies, they aren’t into sprots and anything they might need they buy themselves. You still want to get them something awesome but what? Well instead of wracking your brain, check out United Way Ottawa’s new online way to give,


Gift of Change is an online gift giving system that lets you give a gift to both someone important in your life and also to the community. When you visit the site you’ll get the opportunity to choose from a number of different gifts that range from $35 to $125. The cool part of Gift of Change is the gifts you can give. You can help a newcomer start a new life in our community by helping them find a job that matches their skills or help a child grow up great by supporting activities that help him develop social, language, literacy and math skills so he can start school ready to learn. Whichever gift you get, you can be sure that it is making an impact in the community. Once you’ve selected your gift(s) you get to personalize a card and decided if you want to send it electronically or print it off. The last step is to pay and you’re all done! So if you’re still looking for the special something or someone special check out You could always get one for me!giftofchange

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