December 31, 2012

Co-hosted one of the best LiveWorkPlay New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance parties of the past 15 years!

December 11, 2012

Back with my good friends at Daytime TV to talk about my recent journey as a United Way Ottawa Focus Area Champion and reflect on progress for people with disabilities and the work of LiveWorkPlay in light of the December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

December 6, 2012

Some more time with Mark Sutcliffe, this time in his role as host of Talk Ottawa on Rogers TV (program airs Thursday 5:30pm). I was joined by Johanne Allaire for an in-depth discussion about employment and disability and how United Way Ottawa partners are creating positive social change for individuals and the community.

December 3, 2012

Back on 580 CFRA at about 8:30am for a discussion with Mark Sutcliffe (guest host for Steve Madely) to conintue the conversation about the International Day of Persons with Disabilities I’ll be joined by Dr. Judy Laws.

December 2, 2012

Tune in to 580 CFRA at 10:00pm for an interview with Rabbi Bulka about the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities as well as local issues about employment and disability being addressed by United Way Ottawa and LiveWorkPlay.

December 1, 2012

A media campaign by United Way Ottawa has started in local newspapers that have donated ad space. Among others, the campaign features myself and Jeremy Robin, who was supported by LiveWorkPlay to obtain his job with The Parliament Cleaning Group.

November 29, 2012


Thanks to Angele Charlebois from the Bob Fern Accessibility Centre and to all the Canadian Heritage staff who attended todays LiveWorkPlay presentation!

November 28, 2012

I was a panelist at the 2012 Federal Policy Forum: “Working Together to Advance the Employment of People with Intellectual Disabilities” at the National Hotel & Suites (Ottawa).

November 27, 2012

Thanks to CACL for including me and other LiveWorkPlay representatives as one of the invitees for The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, and The Honourable Jim Flaherty, P.C., M.P., with Ms. Shelly Glover, M.P., as well as Mr. Phil McColeman, M.P. an informal breakfast in honour of the Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada with the theme: “Building an Inclusive Labour Market for Productivity and Growth – the Role of Canadians who have been labelled.”

November 26, 2012

Honoured to be supporting the 2012 Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign Achievement Celebration as a United Way Ottawa Focus Area Champion.

October 25, 2012

schmoo6I had a great time as a VIP at the 2012 United Way Ottawa Schmoozefest, an opportunity for young professionals to connect and build relationships in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, while raising awareness about United Way and how the next generation of philanthropists can make a difference in their community (I’m young in spirit if not in demographics).

October 23, 2012

I helped out with a United Way Ottawa “tie-cutting” fundraiser at Algonquin College.

October 17, 2012


They are coming fast and furious, my third Focus Area Champion engagement, this time with the Bank of Canada.

October 16, 2012

It’s a second Focus Area Champion gig, this time with MMM Group. Ottawa being the smallest big city in the world, it turns out that I was requested by an MMM staff member that helped orient me to a new school when I was 10 years old!

October 2, 2012

I was honoured to be welcomed as the special guest for the Gowlings kickoff to their 2012 United Way Ottawa fundraising campaign. It was my first time presenting to a business in my new role as a Focus Area Champion for “Belonging To Community.”

September 28, 2012

At 2012 LiveWorkPlay “Annual General Meeting and Welcome Back Family Feast” I presented a Report on Operations to a great turnout of about 150 members and guests. Not bad for a Friday night!

September 27, 2012

I took part in the launch event for the United Way Ottawa annual campaign 2012 where I was also announced as a Focus Area Champion and made a short speech about employment and people with disabilities. There was media coverage in the Ottawa Citizen.

September 19, 2012

I have accepted the honour of a keynote address to Integrated Employment: Facing and Embracing the Opportunities and Challenges September 19, 2012 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

September 14, 2012

Spoke to a packed house of United Way Ottawa staff members to help get their internal annual campaign going! As part of the festivities they showed the awesome new video about LiveWorkPlay member Jeremy Robin.

July 31, 2012

Interviewed on CBC Radio Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan about the labour market participation of Canadians with disablities.

July 30, 2012

Attended the announcement of the new federal panel on Labour Market Participation for Persons with Disabilities with Minister Finley.

July 23, 2012

My second year as a judge at the Shad Valley Carleton Campus competition. Inspiring young students!

July 10, 2012

Appeared on Rogers Daytime for an interview about LiveWorkPlay and Julie’s 40/40 award.

June 20, 2012

So pleased to be quoted in this front page story in Vanier Perspectives celebrating my wife’s Forty Under 40 Award.

May 24, 2012

Axiom News article about LiveWorkPlay and Julie Kingstone (my wife) receving an Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Forty Under 40 award with a few mentions of yours truly and some really kind quotes from third parties.

May 15, 2012

First published as a Canadian Journal of Volunteer Resources Management (CJVRM) members-only document, my article “Social Media: Being The Change” is now available to the public.

May 4, 2012

I’m was honoured to be the keynote speaker at the Concordia Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium (Montreal). Although I included some comments about social media in the presentation, it was a real pleasure to be talking about some of my other passions.

If the attendees at this conference are representative of those who will build our future, then I am very pleased with that thought! They are intelligent people who aren’t afraid to ask questions of themselves and the world around them.

Also, they laughed at my jokes.

This is very important.

May 3, 2012

I was quoted in an article in Capital City News that covered Recipe for Success 2012 and LiveWorkPlay involvement in National Volunteer Week.

April 17, 2012

A very comprehensive interview with Renee McGivern, host of NONPROFIT SPARK: A nonprofit reinvents itself: LiveWorkPlay takes on social change it was more than a little intimidating to talk unscripted for 40 minutes, but Renee is amazing at what she does. Check her suggestion for the interview with Paul Schmitz, it’s great!

April 16, 2012

I was the MC for a LiveWorkPlay National Volunteer Week volunteer recognition event with His Excellency the Governor General of Canada.

April 12, 2012

This makes 14 years of hosting the Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction for LiveWorkPlay. The real stars of the show were Sandy Sharkey and Derick Fage! I promoted the event with Derick on Rogers 22 Daytime and with Sandy on 93.9 BOB FM Cub & Company.

March 30, 2012

I hosted the LiveWorkPlay Foolish Family Feast, we had a great turnout of 120 people.

January 24, 2012

A very kind feature in the uOttawa Gazette in which I got a lot of credit for accomplishments that are shared with countless others. But I was very pleased with the opportunity to help profile how a great employer like The Works is helping make a difference in the Ottawa community!

January 12, 2012

I wrote a “Vision Blog” for Community Living Ontario which was featured on the home page of their website for several weeks. The generated a lot of discussion not only in Ontario and Canada but with an international audience.

November 7, 2011

My contribution to a discussion on CBC Radio Ontario Today about an ugly incident in Ottawa where a bus passenger thought to be an individual with autism endures a tirade and violent threat by the bus operator.

November 4, 2011

An extensive interview resulted in this article featured on the Community Living Ontario website. Speaking out about sheltered workshops risks offending some of my peers in the field, but it is time. All people belong in the community, not artificial segregated environments. It is 2011. Time for segregation to end. First we must name the problem. Then we must work to sovle it.

October 25, 2011

Quoted in this Ottawa Citizen article about the launch of the Employment Accessibility Resource Network. The launch featured LiveWorkPlay member Heather, who is now an employee at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.

October 9, 2011

Another fun interview with Rabbi Bulka on 580 CFRA Radio. We talked about issues related to the employment of people with disabilities in the Ottawa area, and how LiveWorkPlay is working with other service providers and United Way Ottawa to improve the situation.

October 5, 2011

Very pleased to be appearing in this video created by United Way Ottawa. Shot at The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro in Orleans (Ottawa) and at LiveWorkPlay headquarters. This is a great story about Melissa, an individual supported by LiveWorkPlay, who has become a valued employee at The WORKS as her manager explains in the video. Melissa was also featured in a print ad donated by the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and appeared with me on September 22 (see below).

September 27, 2011

I enjoyed delivering the plenary presenation for the Community Integration Network conference in Toronto. This network brings together agencies that provide immigration services and I’ll be leading off the first in a series of major gatherings throughout the year. Toronto Community Integration Network Presentation This was a social media for social change presentation with an emphasis on how to transition from the print-heavy marketing that is typical in this sector and incorporate social media into a communications and marketing plan. I discussed at length the important of reciprocity in social media, and was very pleased with the session feedback that often mentioned “social capital through listening, sharing, and trust.”

September 26, 2011

Presented on social media for non-profit organizations at Mills Community Support. The Mills (as they are commonly known) hosts frequent “lunch and learn” opportunities that they open up to a variety of constituents in the social services sectors as well as municipalities, schools, businesses, and anyone else who wants to learn!

September 23, 2011

Spoke at the LiveWorkPlay Welcome Back Family Feast & AGM. Our Board of Directors proposed an exciting new Vision, Mission, and Values to our membership (they were alll adopted). I was the lead on helping integrate this effort with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I delivered a speech “Being The Change” which you can see and hear below.

September 22, 2011

My heart was pounding on this one as Max Keeping “threw” to me in front of more than 1000 people at the United Way Ottawa campaign launch. But LiveWorkPlay member Melissa Cunningham was the start of this show! See photos or watch the video!

August 10, 2011

Recrear Magnify Conference 2011

Governance Seminar and Social Enterprise Panel

I enjoyed presenting on non-profit governance and participating in a panel about social enterprise at Recrear Magnify at Carleton University. Both sessions were streamed live to viewers worldwide.

Recrear is an organization believing above all in the potential of young minds. They support youth to create and carry out their own projects in the field of international development. They aim to develop a platform where project developers can be put into contact with consultants, like-minded NGOs and corporations in demand of development-based corporate social responsibility programs.

I hope that I offered useful information about non-profit governance and contributed to the social enterprise discussion with my esteemed colleagues. This was a bit far afield from my usual public speaking topics but the audience was so engaged and passionated about their work my two hour presentation ended up generating an additional hour of questions!

July 25, 2011

I was honoured to serve on the judging panel for the Shad Valley students at Carleton University. Shad Valley is an award-winning program of Shad Valley International, a not-for-profit educational organization that is based upon the values of creativity, excellence, community, diversity, and responsibility. Participants are “high potential” high school students, selected for their remarkable academic capabilities, as well as their community involvement and creativity.

I was not fully prepared for the demands of the judging task, which included evaluating four business proposals (about 40 pages each), evaluating four 30 minute live presentations, asking questions of each team, and then retreating for a wild one hour session with my fellow judges Leslie Lang, a business evaluator from the Business Development Bank of Canada, and industrial designer Tim Moore from ErgoSum. We gobbled subs, came up with an evaluation grid, and took on responsibility for speaking to key points (I got “marketing plan” and “theme” – the theme was “Designing for Improving the Quality of Life for a Canadian Child with a Disability”).

Organizers surprised the students by revealing that the judges would not decide the winner – all of the teams would vote to choose the one representative project that will later go on to compete in the Research In Motion/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup. I won’t reveal anything more but they made a great choice and we wish them the best!

July 23, 2011

speaking on social media for social change at social capital conferenceI was a panelist for the Social Media for Social Change session at Social Capital: A Social Media Learnathon in Ottawa. My co-panelists Shannon Smith and Stacey Diffin-Lafleur are both very impressive, it was humbling to share time with them! The session really heated up the twitterverse thanks to the awesome audience, and my Twitter account @keenanwellar (which is now @socialkeenan) actually trended along with other people and hashtags associated with the event! There was also a piece in the Ottawa Citizen and I got a little mention.

A week earlier I enjoyed appearing with @socapott organizer Lara Wellman on Daytime where we shared an interview about the conference with Derick Fage and guest co-host Stephanie Egan. I know the word “grassroots” has become overused (and even abused) with respect to community-building, but that’s what this was: Lara and her compatriots surmised that this was needed, and a sold-out event on a Saturday in the summer in Ottawa is all you need to know about whether or not they were correct. Well done!

June 22, 2011

Volunteer Canada released a podcast of an interview about social media for social change that I shared with Dorothy Engleman from Getinvolved.ca. It’s about 16 minutes, but you can check out at 2 minute selection of my comments and if you like what you hear, click on through to the full podcast (Episode 4). Dorothy is great at interviews and knows her subject very well, so listen in for her comments even if my contribution doesn’t float your boat (please note that’s not my normal voice, my vocal chords were almost burned out).

June 21, 2011

I’ve been quite agitated about what I felt was an unbalanced media perspective as regards changes in United Way Ottawa funding priorities (and blogged about it several times) and I got a chance to share my own views on CBC Ottawa 91.5 All In A Day.

June 8, 2011

I presented on Social Media for Social Change at the Canadian Business & Community Partnership Forum hosted by Imagine Canada and Volunteer Canada in Montebello, June 7-9.

My session on Wednesday (8th) at 9am in Le Club Room (cool name – only in the Outaouais) had a wonderful audience that asked excellent questions! You can VIEW THE PRESENTATION here.

June 2, 2011

The Engines of Success annual LiveWorkPlay celebration was a huge success. I produced the presentations and Julie Kingstone was the amazing host. There were so many deserving winners, please watch this short video to learn more about these spectacular individuals and organizations in the Ottawa community.

June 1, 2011

Slideshare Presentation Social Media for Socia Change at MARCOM 2011

Slideshare Presentation Social Media for Social Change at MARCOM 2011

I had a great time co-presenting with Stacey Diffin-Lafleur from United Way Ottawa at the MARCOM conference on the topic of social media for social change.

Audience members reported finding it both challenging and fun, which is exactly what Stacey and I had hoped for! For what I am sure is the first time, I actually “trended” in Ottawa!

You can view some live footage as well as the slide show presentation and a photo album. Below is the promotional video by the conference organizers.

May 27, 2011

Keenan Wellar Keynote Presentation to People First Peterborough Annual Conference

Media Coverage & Keynote Presentation

I was honoured to be the keynote speaker for the People First of Peterborough and Community Living Peterborough third annual self-advocate conference “Believe in Yourself…It’s all Possible.”

I discussed organizational, personal, and professional motivations for supporting People First of Ottawa and self-advocacy. Special thanks to Josee Varin for taking the live video, this was a complete surprise and I very much appreciated the effort!

May 25, 2011

Presented at the College Association for Language and Literacy conference at Algonquin College. It was an ambitious agenda that included confronting how the language of systems machinery contributes to the isolation and segregation of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I discussed how social media can help build social capital and improve perceptions and treatment of one of our community’s most marginalized populations.

May 14, 2011

Provided support to a People First of Ottawa movie, discussion, and membership event. They tripled their membership!

May 3, 2011

I had a great time with Social Media for Social Change part II! A follow-up from the sold-out workshop in January, and we sold out again! Details were at the Volunteer Ottawa website, here’s a nice picture of everybody!

April 21, 2011

A three page article in the EMC Ottawa West with coverage of Recipe for Success and lots of details about LiveWorkPlay and even some deep background on how Julie and I founded the organization.

April 19, 2011 (2)

Spoke at Social Media and Crowdsourcing for Charities hosted by Telus and Fundchange. Started the morning bright and early, with an opening by Kelly Rusk. Familiar faces included Brendan Mullen and The Stacey from United Way Ottawa. I had a really nice response to my brief presentation on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, the mainPresentation to WIMS feedback was that I “made it real” for the participants. I like that a lot!

Spoke to the Walking In My Shoes (WIMS) parent support group. I was planning on a 45 minute presentation but this is the interactive type of audience that you usually only hear about. They actually took my invitation to ask questions throughout. Then after about 2 hours I officially took questions for another hour or so! There will be an effort to find ways to continue this relationship. The real “hit to the heart” moment of the evening was a parent who told me that “everything would be different starting tomorrow” because they were going to focus on just one responsibility that they could pass on to their child.

April 14, 2011

Hosted Recipe for Success with Mayor Jim Watson, Derick Fage of Rogers TV, and Sandy Sharkey of 93.3 BOB FM. The turnout was fantastic, about 300 people at the peak of the evening (about 8:30). Jim, Derick, and Sandy were fabulous. We had some fun live tweets from the likes of Councillor Scott Moffat and MPP Yasir Naqvi. In the end about $40,000 net proceeds were raised!

April 13, 2011

Enjoyed an interview with Sandy Sharkey on 93.9 BOB FM to promote Recipe for Success 2011.

Quoted in a story about proposed changes to OC Transpo. This story came out of a presentation I made to the City of Ottawa Accessibility Advisory Committee. The article features a great photo of two self-advocates associated with LiveWorkPlay.

April 8, 2011

Helped launch the United Way Ottawa announcement of their 2011-2012 community investment. I actually didn’t do anything until it was over, at which time I spoke with the media, but I don’t think any of those interviews went to air or print. There were a lot of great stories that had already been presented and United Way Ottawa has told our story in other ways and will do so again.

April 5, 2011

A feature article on social media in the Spotlight on Transformation publication of the Government of Ontario. I was very pleased to reach this critical group of my target market for social media messaging in the sector.

April 1, 2011

Hosted the LiveWorkPlay Foolish Family Feast. Another huge turnout with heavy participation in the Foolish Hat contest!

March 5, 2011

Hosted a one-day LiveWorkPlay workshop with Dave Hingsburger supporting people with intellectual disabilities to live positive lives in the face of the many challenges of community life.

March 4, 2011

Appeared on Rogers Daytime to discuss the LiveWorkPlay partnership with People First of Ottawa.

March 3, 2011 (3)

An article in Your Ottawa Region about social media and volunteer recruitment.

Presented as part of a LiveWorkPlay delegation to the Citizenship and Inclusion forum during the day.

Presented at the Art of Social Exchange event hosted by the Carleton Entrepreneurship Association where I had a blast with a well received presentation about philanthropy, social media, and social change.

February 16, 2011 (2)

Accepted a cheque, networked, and made a short speech at the launch of the Fundchange crowdsourcing initiative sponsored by Telus. Earlier in the day presented to students at the Sprott School of Business  on the top of social media, social marketing, and non-profit organizations.

January 11, 2011

Presenter with Fran Childs for this month’s edition of the Volunteer Ottawa workshop series, I spoke about social media for social change. A packed house and a receptive audience.

December 31, 2010

A terrific annual tradition, hosted another LiveWorkPlay New Year’s Eve bash!

December 23, 2010

A nice “thumbs up” in a brief article in Abilities Magazine.

December 13, 2010

Interview on CBC Radio 91.5 Ottawa Morning to discuss social media for social change.

December 10, 2010

Hosted the LiveWorkPlay Festive Family Feast, great crowd out at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall.

November 20, 2010

Hosted an inspiring one-day LiveWorkPlay conference on Social Capital featuring Al Condeluci.

November 19. 2010

I was honoured to help host the launch of a new People First of Ottawa chapter and present a Champion of Freedom award to Richard Ruston.

November 3, 2010

I jumped on the bandwagon (actually, it was a school bus) to set the stage for a United Way “Seeing Is Believing” tour as part of their annual campaign.

November 1, 2010

The United Way Ottawa posted their public service announcement. In this version I have a short clip along with several others supporters. This clip and others that I recorded ended up getting used in some interesting places, including the jumbotron at Scotiabank Place during Ottawa Senators games. I was quite surprised the first time it happened I got a text from a friend saying “I just saw you on the jumbotron” and I had no idea why!

October 23, 2010

British Columbia Association for Community Living joined Family Focus Society and the Canadian Association for Community Living to host a National Family Conference, “Families, a Journey of Generations Moving Mountains” in Whistler, B.C. October 22 -24, 2010. I presented on Saturday with a sold out session “Social Media for Social Change” that was very well received and most importantly is moving people to take action.

October 10, 2010

Radio interview on CFRA 580 about the United Way Ottawa.

October 4, 2010

Featured in a full-page article in the New Edinburgh News.

September 14, 2010

Appeared on Rogers Daytime to talk about co-location at the C3 Centre.

September 2, 2010

Helped out with hosting and speaking at the LiveWorkPlay Annual General Meeting.

August 31, 2010

Hosted a very successful edition of the LiveWorkPlay charity golf tournament.


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