Riding on Hope - July

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July, 2013


Riding on Hope

Donate via Canada HelpsRiding on Hope
The Otesha Project’s Monthly Journal

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Digging deep to the roots of your food!
Pedal to Plate Tour - Apply now!
Here at The Otesha Project, we believe that our actions have tremendous potential to create positive change.

It can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed by the dizzying array of choices before us. But what if each one of us approached these moments as opportunities, every day?
Food – and how we produce it – is complex: it can nourish, sustain, and bring communities together; or it can deplete, polarize, and exclude. And almost always, the diversity of interpretations leaves us far away from any clear answers.

So when the answers don’t come easily to you, sometimes it’s best to bring yourself to the answers: Otesha's Pedal to Plate Multigenerational Cycling Tour, happening August 10-18 in the GTA, allows you to visit, contribute to, and stay on a variety of farms and explore the politics of feeding ourselves in encounters with food producers, academics and activists. You'll dive into current food issues, from urban foraging and gardening, to composting and vermicomposting, to food security (including Indigenous food security issues) - and more!
 Apply now!
Eager to learn more and get your hands dirty?
The Pedal to Plate Tour runs August 10-18 in the GTA
Join in for a 250km urban and rural foodscape adventure.
All cycling levels welcome – no experience necessary!


News from Otesha HQ 
New smiles join the Otesha jam!
Jaime McGuireCorina Pinto
 Doug Logan

We are excited to announce that we have not one, not two, but THREE new faces joining the Otesha family this summer! Jaime McGuire (left) brings with her a wealth of experience in social work and community building as our Pedal to Plate Tour Coordinator; Doug Logan's (centre) quest for happiness has led him all across Canada, working as a Project Leader with Katimavik, working on farms and gardens, and as a dog sled tour guide (!) in Lake Louise before settling down as Otesha's West Coast Tour Coordinator; and, last but definitely not least, we are excited to welcome world-traveller, Fair Trade advocate, and avid hiker, biker, and yogi Corina Pinto (right) as our Bilingual Coordinator and event planner extraordinaire!

Seeds of Change FundSmall Change Fund

Our Nation to Nation Tour is being featured by Small Change Fund in their “Seeding Change” campaign! We are one of a handful of grassroots projects that Small Change Fund is sharing with their community of supporters, inspiring them to give to our Nation to Nation Tour and share the project with others.

We are reaching out to you as a supporter - please visit
seeds.smallchangefund.org and please give as generously as you can! You can also share the campaign with people you know on Facebook, Twitter or by email.

Upcoming Events
  Ottawa: Annual International Co-op Day, July 6
The Ottawa Co-op Network presents the 2nd Annual International Co-op Day Celebration, happening Saturday, July 6th from 1-4pm at City Hall, Jean Pigott Hall & Lisgar Field. Come visit The Otesha Project at the Co-op and Community display booths, and participate in Open Space discussion groups on co-op topics that you help choose! For more information, you can contact Lori Simpson at lori.simpson030@sympatico.ca.                                                                                                                
Sorauren Farmers' MarketToronto: Otesha visits the
Sorauren Farmers' Market, July 15

Check out Toronto's Sorauren Farmers' Market (1229 Queen W. at Dufferin) on Monday, July 15th from 3-7pm to learn more about our Pedal to Plate Tour and chat with actual tour members, all while supporting local growers! But be careful - they're pretty charming and convincing folks... you might just walk away as a new tour member yourself!

Ottawa: Asinabka Arts Festival, Asinabka Arts FestivalJuly 24-28

The Asinabka Festival creates a space for national, international, Indigenous, and non-Indigenous independent artists to share, present and disseminate their works. Learn about Indigenous issues, languages, and cultures at various film screenings and a city-wide gallery crawl.

Guelph: Otesha at Hillside, July 26-28

Hillside Festival 2013The Hillside Festival is turning 30 this year, and The Otesha Project will be there to help celebrate! Otesha friendleague Kayla will be putting on a workshop on both Saturday and Sunday in the Environment Tent called: For the Love of Pedaling: Bike Touring 101. You can also visit Olumni at the Otesha table in the Neighbourhood Tent all day Saturday and Sunday, with fun interaction to be had! So join us on the grassy expanses of Guelph Lake Island where “one of the world’s most culturally enriching events” (CBC Radio 3) embraces art, environmentalism, peacemaking and pure joy to fill you with sunlight for the rest of the summer!

Ottawa: Yoga on the Beach, August 3
Appreciate urban
Yoga on the Beach green space while improving your health and wellbeing! Come join the Sierra Youth Coalition and The Otesha Project for some fresh air and yoga on Saturday, August 3rd from 9:30-10:30am at Britannia Beach in Ottawa. Hosted by certified Hatha yoga instructor (and Otesha friendleague!) Laurel Schut. All levels welcome! 

Suggested donation of $10.00. All proceeds will go directly to Otesha and our friends at the Sierra Youth Coalition. Every donation will receive a ticket to be entered for a prize draw, including private and group yoga classes, a massage gift certificate, bike tube jewelry, and more!

Ottawa: Sense of Place Sustainability Tour

The Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City Council in partnership with Tucker House and other organizations are developing a self-guided tour of 10 sites showing different aspects of Ottawa's sustainability. A tour book will guide cyclists, drivers and bus users on the route and explain how each site relates to sustainability. The Sense of Place Sustainability Tour will be launched on Saturday, September 14, 2013. To learn more or get involved, visit the Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City website.
Opportunity Knocks

FREE for Olumni: Impact! Sustainability Champions Training Coming to Ontario this Fall       
The Co-operators and The Natural Step Canada have partnered to offer the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program! This is a fantastic opportunity for students aged 19-25 who care about sustainability and want to make a difference. Participants will deepen their sustainability understanding, enhance their confidence as leaders, and be empowered to develop meaningful sustainability projects in their community. The program is anchored by a series of 2-day in-person workshops taking place across Canada. Following the trainings, each participant is expected to develop and implement a local sustainability project that will help transform and better their community. Participants receive top-notch training, project development tools, as well as mentorship for 4 months following the workshop to ensure their community projects have the highest chance of success. Participants will also have exclusive access to apply for project seed funding from The Co-operators’ IMPACT! Fund.
Impact Sustainability Training

Upcoming sessions:
Ottawa, ON (participants from Eastern Ontario): September 27-28
Guelph, ON (participants from the GTA & Southwestern Ontario): November 15-16  

Olumni Spotlight
Alumni of Otesha’s Programs, affectionately known as “O”lumni, are continually inspiring us with what they are up to in the world. See for yourself...

Eco-Finder KenyaFor three months this year, Elizabeth Fraser volunteered in Kisumu, Kenya with Eco-Finder Kenya, a grassroots environmental NGO that, unbeknownst to Elizabeth at the start, has a sustainability theatre wing greatly inspired by Otesha! Her volunteer work focused on some of Eco-Finder Kenya’s sustainability pilot projects - in particular, evaluating the installation of ecological sanitation (eco-san) composting toilets and hybrid feed biogas generators with subsistence farmers in the Lake Victoria region.

The environmental benefits to these systems are numerous: preventing water contamination and the resulting public health risks; turning waste products into a productive, renewable energy source; providing an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers; offering a substitute to kerosene lamps (which produce a whopping 2.3M tonnes of CO2 emissions in Kenya annually, not to mention their negative health effects!) and a substitute to burning firewood for cooking … the list goes on!

Elizabeth’s time with Eco-Finder Kenya has been “wonderful on a lot of levels” – she has learned about food security issues faced by farmers in Western Kenya, given Otesha-style workshops on sustainability, made lots of new friends, and saw innovative technologies in action. “But one of the best parts [of my experience] has been the sense that I’ve now seen the full-cycle of Otesha’s power. Knowing Otesha’s genesis as a project conceived of in Kenya, it’s been amazing to see how these shared values and concepts are playing out here locally,” says Elizabeth.
Interested in finding out more? Check out www.ecofinderkenya.org


Otesha Classifieds 

Looking for your old Old cellular phones wanted!
cellular talking device!

Got an old cell phone kicking around at home, waiting to be taken to the electronic waste depot? Well - don't take it there - bring it our way! We're in need of a functional cell phone to send on our 2013 tours - it needs to be one with sim card capabilities. Give Kayla a ring-a-ling at the office, or email her if you've got the goodies we need!


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Peace and Bike Grease,
Austin, Kayla, Matt, Elly, Laurel, Doug, Jaime, and Corina

www.otesha.ca | The Otesha Project | 153 Chapel Street | Ottawa | Ontario | K1N 1H5 | Canada