February’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Leigh Thorpe and the 2018 Jane’s Walk committee to support a launch event for this year’s festival, which takes place the first weekend in May.
“Inspired by the work of Jane Jacobs,” Leigh explains, “Jane’s Walk is a weekend of free walking tours led by locals who care passionately about where they live, work, and play. The walks allow people to tell stories about their communities, explore Ottawa and Gatineau, and connect with their neighbours.” Last year more than 50 free walking tours were offered, in both English and French.
Leigh and the other volunteers are planning a special launch event for 2018, which will be supported by the Awesome Ottawa award. Their first ever “Jane’s Mob,” taking place Thursday, May 3rd, will be a takeover of the Parkdale Market neighbourhood and involve community leaders discussing the history of the area, setting the stage for the weekend. “The event will bring Ottawans together,” says Leigh, “and create vibrancy within the Parkdale Market.”
“The 2018 Jane’s Walk committee,” Leigh continues, “is made up of a diverse group of women – young professionals, students, and retired community members – who are passionate about city building. Together we explore our own differing views of the city and how we can give residents of all backgrounds a voice. This festival is a volunteer-organized labour of love.”
Leigh is a behavioural scientist working in human factors and a ten-year organizer of Jane’s Walk Ottawa-Gatineau.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (March 2018)