Why Has Ottawa 2017 Gone Flat?


Residents wonder why Ottawa 2017 is facing attendance difficulties.

One reason travelling around city hall, at least according to my source Deep Pothole, is that the municipality when it was creating Ottawa 2017 forgot one thing.

That every big city and little town across the country will be having its own Canada 2017 celebration.

Why travel across the country when you can see a good show with your friends and family at home?

If Ottawa 2017 flops, and it looks like there’s a very good chance it will, that disappointment will be a surprise.

That’s because Mayor Jim Watson might not know a lot about many endeavours, but one thing he does know is how to throw a party … at least until now.


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14 thoughts on “Why Has Ottawa 2017 Gone Flat?

  1. It would have made far more sense to piggyback on the Canada 2017 events and only offer up a handful of Ottawa-specific 2017 events.
    There is so much going on that resources are spread thin as are potential attendees. They are also in direct competition with the federal events.
    There should have been a few marquee events and the rest based on local community events that people are going to be engaged with. The publicity for so many rah-rah events has been skimpy and you have to plow through a lot on their website to find anything.
    A lot of the events are very pricey which reduces your potential audience immediately. Many have nothing to do with ‘Ottawa’ or ‘2017’, i.e. the fire-breathing dinosaur, so they only have novelty value instead of being memory-creators. There aren’t a lot of family-oriented activities and little was done to engage the younger generation in the festivities. How many activities are there where people are participants rather than passive observers?
    Where are the legacy projects that people will look back on years from now? Those of us that were around in 1967 or 1992 have memories of the 100th or 125th celebrations. What will people remember from this year? I would fault the feds as well as the city for that.
    It’s a real hodge-podge of activities and it just looks like they were in the event candy store and said yes to every idea that was put in front of them. A few things done well would have been better than a menu of things done poorly.

    1. The Voter:

      I wondered why the city was involved in entertainment when the federal show would dwarf what the city could do.

      Better a legacy project of lasting value.



  2. The Ottawa 2017 website does list “Ottawa 2017 Legacy Projects” as the Ottawa LRT, the Ottawa Innovation Centre, the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Main St. Renewal Project. Its a mixed up list of whatever City staff could come up with to add to the Ottawa 2017 website to make it look better. Though I thought the City of Ottawa and Ottawa 2017 were supposed to be separate legal entities for liability reasons.

    It is like the organizers of Ottawa 2017 were in a panic with the valid criticism that all they did was plan a picnic, 3-storey robots, art/sporting events, and parties.

    LRT is not an Ottawa 2017 legacy project!

    1. A couple of decades ago one of my colleagues came up with a wonderful term: Retroactive Original Thought, also known by its acronym, ROT. In this instance, the LRT has retroactively become a 2017 legacy project. Rot indeed.

      1. Ron:

        What I don’t understand is why people waste government time posting 2017 legacy projects that aren’t legacy projects.

        Sounds like a make-work project or someone is trying to cover his posterior.

        It’s bad enough they made a mistake but now they waste money doing an ineffective cover-up.




        1. The concept of Retroactive Original Thought arose from observing an outcome and then declaring that that was the original objective. As applied to these so called legacy projects, we have individuals that are trying to justify the outcome by going back and changing the original parameters, a re-writing of history so to speak. This is a common event in larger organizations, where there is a strong correlation between ROT and job security and promotions.

          1. Ron:

            We don’t have that problem at The Bulldog.

            I asked the editor if they would consider me for publisher but he said no so I’m stuck being the editor.

            The editor is a bit of a dork and yet a nice guy.



  3. I don’t think they forgot about events across the country, or that that is why it’s turned into such a disappointment. Ottawa 2017 was designed as Watson’s pre-election PR campaign, and it’s failure is just a lack of vision coupled with terribly poor execution. The purpose of Ottawa 2017 was never to have a legacy, or to do anything meaningful. It was all to generate PR and keep Watson in the news.

    The Voter summed it up well as “a real hodge-podge of activities … A few things done well would have been better than a menu of things done poorly.”

    I wonder how CIBC feels about Ottawa 2017.

  4. Party on dudes. Go to Mooney’s Bay Park and play on the swings. Ride your bike down the painted bike barriers. After all, these must be legacy projects too.

  5. Should never have been an Ottawa 2017 in the first place! It’s Canada’s birthday. Message could simply have been “Come celebrate in Ottawa”. No need for special logos, clothing, coasters, etc. How many have you seen sporting Ottawa 2017 clothing? What a waste tax payers dollars. Yup, and that’s one thing Watson does well, is empty city coffers.


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