Full year of sesquicentennial celebrations in Ottawa to kick off with the lighting of an eye-catching cauldron on New Year’s Eve

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Ottawa – With just over 100 days to go until Canada’s 150th birthday year, the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are pleased to announce a New Year’s Eve event that will launch a full year of celebrations in the nation’s capital and to welcome Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. (Enbridge) as a programming partner in the creation of a focal point for the big kick-off. Also contributing to this project are: AltaGas Utilities, ATCO Gas, FortisBC, Gazifere, SaskEnergy, Union Gas Ltd. and the Canadian Gas Association.

On December 31, 2016, an event to celebrate the start of Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary will take place at Ottawa City Hall. In partnership with Enbridge and natural gas companies from across Canada, the early-evening, family-friendly celebration will include the lighting of a spectacular cauldron in Marion Dewar Plaza. The tri-sided installation an artistic adaption of the Ottawa 2017 logo measuring approximately 5 metres high (16 feet) and 4 metres wide (13 feet) will be located in the garden bed that lines the memorial fountain next to Laurier Avenue.

The sparking of this centrepiece will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown Ottawa streets.

“On the eve of a year when Canadians across the country will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, our nation’s capital will be a gathering place for commemoration and celebration,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “We’re pleased to invite Canadians to visit their capital on December 31, and throughout 2017, to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

“We’re excited to mark the beginning of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in Ottawa with an energizing and momentum-building New Year’s Eve event that involves the future leaders of our city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The partnership between Ottawa 2017, Enbridge and other Canadian natural gas companies will enable the creation of an impressive cauldron that will burn brightly on December 31st and become a lasting symbol throughout the year.”

“As our capital city prepares to welcome the world, we are happy and honoured to partner with Ottawa 2017 to build a unique cauldron that will inspire and engage Canadians in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration for Canada,” said Cynthia Hansen, President, Enbridge Gas Distribution. “Enbridge has delivered the energy its customers want and need for more than 165 years, and this is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and contribute to the success of our country’s sesquicentennial.”

The cauldron will be powered by clean and affordable natural gas. Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced its support for the expansion of renewable natural gas (RNG).  In recognition of this, Enbridge will purchase Canadian RNG offsets for the cauldron.  RNG is an emission neutral fuel made from organic waste that does not add new CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. It is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and uses the same infrastructure.

A number of events and activities will be presented in the capital throughout 2017, a year that marks both Canada’s and CIBC’s 150th anniversaries.

“There couldn’t be a more appropriate time to launch our joint celebrations than on New Year’s Eve – a night to reflect on our past and look forward to the future,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “CIBC is happy to welcome Enbridge, another longstanding Canadian business, along with a strong representation of Canadian natural gas companies, to the dynamic group of Ottawa 2017 partners that are helping to create moments that bring Canadians together with pride.”

Through a partnership with the Ottawa 2017 Bureau announced earlier this week, Ottawa’s four local school boards will recruit student participants for the human chain. Details on how to get involved will be shared with students and their families in the coming weeks.

“We are just over 100 days away from the first event of the Ottawa 2017 celebrations and we’re counting down to the start of a moving and monumental year in the nation’s capital,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “As our country rings in 2017, we felt it important to have a visual symbol of the celebrations, where people can gather and take memorable photos on New Year’s Eve and throughout the year. We’re thrilled that Enbridge and other Canadian natural gas companies are partnering with us to build excitement and enhance the celebrations.”

The cauldron will remain a special landmark throughout the year in Marion Dewar Plaza and will be re-lit for special occasions.

Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Ottawa 2017 thanks its lead partner CIBC, premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their contributions in helping to deliver twelve full months of bold events, immersive experiences and all-out celebrations.

Photos for media use, courtesy Ottawa 2017: http://ow.ly/WntCV

Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

About Enbridge Gas Distribution
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. (Enbridge) has a more than 165-year history and is Canada’s largest natural gas distribution company. It is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution. Enbridge has ranked as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations for the past seven years and was also named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in 2015. Enbridge Gas Distribution and its affiliates distribute natural gas to over two million customers in Ontario, Quebec, New York State and New Brunswick.

For more information on renewable natural gas (RNG) visit enbridgegas.com.

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Media information:

Ottawa 2017

Denise LeBlanc – Manager, Media Relations
613-858-1506

denise.leblanc@ottawa2017.ca