The Top Five LiveWorkPlay Stories of 2013

5-rowWe asked ourselves “What were the TOP FIVE LiveWorkPlay stories of 2013?” To answer that question we used the insight statistics from our Facebook page. This is far from perfect (not every LiveWorkPlay story finds its best expression on Facebook) but we can say with confidence, the top five definitely attracted massive attention! There were a few stories we did not include. The passing of former LiveWorkPlay member Rob More was by far the most read story on our Facebook page and on and we did not include it here. That story stands alone. We also did not include stories about staff members. There were some news features about our co-leaders Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar (in the University of Ottawa Tabaret Magazine  and Globe and Mail Careers Section in particular) that were also heavily read, and also the announcement of the birth of baby Hannah (staff member Anthony Stratton) that had the “likes” going through the roof. This one and only photo of the staff team was also a big hit. Some stories covered by (but not about) LiveWorkPlay that attracted thousands of views included sharing the news of an award given to our good friend and social capital champion Al Condeluci in Pittsburgh, and the recent class action lawsuit settlement and apology in the legislature to victims and survivors of the Huronia, Rideau Regional, and Southwestern institutions.

Some stories from December continue to attract readership, and would likely have made our list if given more time. These include coverage of the amazing Festive Family Feast (with many sub-stories including Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant, Rob More Good Life Award, and Matt Suttie/Imperial Coffee video) and the speech given by Cooper Gage at a United Way Ottawa cabinet meeting. Cooper and his volunteer match (and LiveWorkPlay board member) Alexis Dusonchet also ranked in the top ten with readers  after their story appeared in Ottawa Metro and the story of Phil and Catherine’s match also had readers buzzing in a big way.

Our top five featured stories in no particular order are as follows:

A story during National Volunteer Week that focused on how LiveWorkPlay facilitates the development of relationships. The amazing photo with Emily and Ellyce certainly didn’t hurt. Discussing the many different types of volunteers at LiveWorkPlay and how they contribute to the lives of individuals and the community attracted a lot of interest, and was an important part of presentations to the YAI Conference and Person-Centred Practices conference.

Some reflections on the trip to Washington, D.C.  no doubt attracted visitors who wanted to view the videos and photos, but it was more the story of how members from LiveWorkPlay interacted with other travelers on this Ottawa Valley Tours trip that had people sharing the story with others. Our readers were also touched by a retelling of the encounter with a stranger who was moved by the obvious enjoyment of everyone in the group.

The Recipe for Success Charity Auction is hardly news, since it happens every year, but we had a big spike in interest about it in 2013, probably because there were a lot of newcomers who were tweeting it and posting about it on Facebook. There was also the rumour that someone had fallen through the stage and crashed into MC Sandy Sharkey. To find out if this is true or false you’d need to go to the 3:55 mark of this video.

The last two stories both took place on the evening of June 6! At the annual United Way Ottawa gala, LiveWorkPlay received a Community Builder of the Year award for Belonging to Community. It was a big moment with an amazing speech by Vaughn McKinney from The Parliament Cleaning Group who stood alongside employee Jeremy Robin and told the story of how LiveWorkPlay brought them together. Then Julie and Keenan made a few brief comments and accepted the award on behalf of the LiveWorkPlay community, who were watching the ceremony via Skype while taking part in Engines of Success!

Last but not least, the Engines of Success annual recognition banquet. This event received massive attention, not only while it was being hosted, but in the days and weeks to follow. Perhaps the many fans of The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro had a lot to do with all of the extra interest, as they accepted the 2013 Community Ambassador award for their efforts in promoting the employment of people with intellectual disabilities.

In conclusion, these five examples were statistically among the most popular moments, events, and stories of 2013, but they are just that: examples. What an analysis of our networks also shows is that we have a strong community of supports who are always interested in what individuals and organizations are doing to make Ottawa and the rest of the world a more inclusive place for all!


About Keenan Wellar

Starting in 1997, Keenan Wellar has served as Co-Leader and Director of Communications for LiveWorkPlay, a charitable organization based in Ottawa that helps the community welcome and include people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons, and individuals with a dual diagnosis to live, work, and play as valued citizens. LiveWorkPlay was honoured as the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal’s Best Ottawa Business Awards as the best Ottawa Non-Profit of 2019 and was the recipient of the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) 2020 Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment as the top service provider of 2020. As both a professional spokesperson and volunteer advocate, Keenan supports change locally in the Ottawa area community, as well as provincially as a founding member of the From Presence To Citizenship initiative, nationally in partnership with housing, employment, and other advocacy organizations, and worldwide via Inclusion International and other allies. Keenan makes frequent media appearances, mainly as a spokersperson for LiveWorkPlay, but is also called upon for commentary about local sports as an avid fan who closely follows the Ottawa RedBlacks and Atletico Ottawa, as well as general news commentary. After many years as regular panelist on the 1310 News Talk Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe (Mark is now the Mayor of Ottawa) in fall 2022 Keenan became a monthly regular on the the 580 CFRA Morning Live (Saturdays) Weekly Rundown Panel with Andrew Pinsent. Keenan has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Carleton University as well as undergraduate degrees in History and Education (Ontario Teacher Certification) from the University of Ottawa and many professional certifications such as Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing (Sprott School of Business) and Certified Governance Trainer (BoardSource). Keenan is a founding member of the Carleton University Alumni Mentor program and has supported more than a dozen students making their way from academics to the world of work. Previous volunteer efforts include more than 10,000 meals delivered with Meals on Wheels Ottawa, three years as Focus Area Champion of United Way East Ontario, and two years as Provincial Advisor to People First of Ontario. He is currently serving as a member of the Public Services and Procurement Canada Accessibility Advisory Panel and as Co-Chair of the Freedom From Harm sub-committee at the Council for Community Living Ontario. When not working and advocating, Keenan enjoys back country camping, kayaking, and nature photography with his wife Julie.
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