Archives

The “Keenan Speaks” blog was initially a menu item at my personal blog “Keenan Wellar” these listings were taken from my original collection of entries.

July 12-15, 2014

I’ll be contributing what will likely be a unique perspective on accessibility at this highly anticipated summit. “Access” is  an issue traditionally associated with physical disabilities – and in terms of public perception, most commonly considered with respect to wheelchair access. While there is still much room for improvement for physical access to our communities, systemic and attitudinal barriers facing people with summit-blogintellectual and developmental disabilities (such as autism or Down syndrome) are of a fundamental nature – segregated housing, segregated lifestyles, and an absence of reciprocal relationships. Even with an investment approaching $2 billion per year in Ontario, there are long waiting lists for government supports and services. Can we refocus our efforts on a different approach – one that is person-centred and community-based – and realize dramatically better results at the same or lower cost? I say YES! And I believe I can convince you! @SocialKeenan @LiveWorkPlay @ISAccessibility #ISAccessibility

July 1-3, 2014

Along with my colleagues Julie Kingstone and Jen Bosworth, I’ll be attending and presenting at the 25th Annual APSE (Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst) National Conference in Long Beach, California. APSE offers the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of employment for people with intellectual disabilities. For the past 25 years, the National APSE Conference has brought together business and community leaders from across the country to network and focus on state-of-the-art strategies to ensure equitable employment for citizens with disabilities.

June 17-19, 2014

Along with my colleague Julie Kingstone I’ll be presenting at one of the plenary sessions and then we’ll be branching out for a pair of workshops at the State of Washington Community Summit in Wenatchee. The conference bring together some 1000 individuals committed to building inclusive communities that are rich with people contributing as neighbours, co-workers, and citizens. People with intellectual  disabilities and their families and friends, staff that provide residential, employment, educational and personal supports, state and county staff, and community members and leaders are all welcome.

May 9, 2014

Talking about the Ottawa RedBlacks and the importance of fans using public transportation. This was aired on CBC News at 6 and also on various CBC radio broadcasts.

April 10, 2014

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With Julie Kingstone I co-presented Person-Centred Thinking and Building Social Capital: Supporting an Included Life in the Community with Homes, Jobs, and Friends for People with Intellectual Disabilities at the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities.

April 3, 2014

I’ll by helping host the 15th Annual Recipe for Success Culinary Adventure and Charity Auction for LiveWorkPlay!

March 21, 2014

I’ll be helping host the LiveWorkPlay Festive Family Feast!

March 20, 2014

Julie and I were on the Lunch out Loud radio show!

March 17, 2014

An interview on Rogers Daytime television to talk about the Wall of Inspiration and other topics.

March 13, 2014

Representing LiveWorkPlay at the United Way Ottawa 2014 Wall of Inspiration event at Ottawa City Hall. LiveWorkPlay was added as the 2013 recipient of the Community Builder of the Year award (Belonging to Community).

March 7, 2014

An interview on CBC All In A Day to discuss a ruling of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario with respect to sheltered workshops

February 5, 2014

My second sports interview! Back on CBC (Ottawa Morning this time) talking about the signing of quarterback Henry Burris.

January 16, 2014

Quoted in a Metro newspaper story about the Select Committee on Developmental Disabilities (read full brief).

December 17, 2013

My first interview as a sports commentator! I was on CBC Ottawa All In A Day talking about the CFL Expansion Draft for the Ottawa RedBlacks football team!

December 4, 2013

Enjoyed an interview about International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 580 CFRA with Rick Gibbons.

November 25, 2013

National exposure today in The Globe and Mail careers section!

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November 20, 2013

Three appearances today as a United Way Ottawa Focus Area Champion. Started the morning at 1310 News, made a lunch presentation to the Professional Institution of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and then spoke to a major gathering of TD Bank leaders.


November 5, 2013


October 30, 2013

Join me at Schmoozefest 2013! I’m a VIP so please make me look good by seeking me out and saying hello. I can give you all sorts of bizarre career advice, or you might even end up with a job, as happened to one attendee last year (if you want the story you’ll have to ask). As an amazing bonus almost all of the LiveWorkPlay team will be in attendance. Have a beer or a glass of wine with them, you won’t be sorry! Or even a club soda is fine. They are entertaining without need of alcohol.

October 25, 2013

Julie Kingstone and I will be participating in the Symposium on Social Capital and Community Engagement looking forward to hearing the latest and greatest from Al Condeluci and friends.

October 24, 2013

I’ll be presenting at the Polivery conference hosted by the Government of Ontario Policy Innovation and Leadership team. I’m keeping the presentation topic under wraps!

October 22-23, 2013

Along with Julie Kingstone I’ll be presenting about brokering natural relationships in the community for people with intellectual disabilities at the The Learning Community for Person Centred Practices 2013 Ontario Gathering and participating in a panel discussion about organizational change.

October 10, 2013

I enjoyed recording this interview with Professor Davidson at Concordia University where I discuss social media and related comments, and received feedback from students in Digital Communications Technology.

October 1, 2013

Appeared on the mighty CKCU radio as part of the Welcome To My World show with Kim Kilpatrick, Shelley Ann Morris, and Parastou.

September 27, 2013

It’s that time of year, the Welcome Back Family Feast and Annual General Meeting for LiveWorkPlay. I’ll be presenting the executive report.

September 26, 2013

I’ll be a celebrity server (minor celebrity) at the United Way Ottawa launch breakfast.

September 25, 2013

I’ll be helping out with a United Way Ottawa announcement on CTV Ottawa 6pm news.

September18, 2013

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September 5, 2013

Off to a great start with another year of United Way Ottawa Focus Area Champion engagements! This standing-room-only crowd at the Canadian Medical Association headquarters was very welcoming and enthusiastic.

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June 19, 2013

This interview with Rick Gibbons on 580 CFRA is already one of my personal favourites. It’s a pleasure to have the time for a conversation instead of pressing to summarize complex issues in short quotes. Our discussion focused on employment but ranged into housing, community life, and the effective use of resources for supporting people with intellectual disabilities in our community.

June 6, 2013

This was one of the wildest nights of my life. Julie and I would normally be hosting the annual LiveWorkPlay Engines of Success community recognition banquet, but we found ourselves a few minutes away at the United Way Ottawa Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala. We had the honour of representing LiveWorkPlay to receive the Community Builder of the Year award for Belonging to Community. In order to include the 250 or so supporters celebrating across town, we organized a Skype feed and everyone joined in. It was a real team effort.


June 6, 2013

I was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen article “Nurturing a business approach for social good.” The article demonstrates the need for a new level of understanding about the relationship between meeting social needs and meeting business needs. It is very trendy at the moment to champion alternative methods of funding and organizing in the pursuit of social change. The danger of overdoing the “run it like a business” perspective is that we could lose sight of social justice and fairness if profitability enters into the equation. Some of the most important work being done by charitable organizations is work that will never yield a profit. Our responsibilities as a civil society cannot be solely framed by what is profitable. Please note that my concern on this issue should not be confused with having any concerns about the need for charities to be transparent about their outcomes and their costs – just bear in mind that lots of for-profit businesses have a very bad track regard on accountability, so telling a charity to “run it like a business” is not necessarily the greatest advice.

June 4, 2013

Renee McGivern from Nonprofit Spark radio followed up on a tweet about my article “Social Change and a Welcoming Environment for Youth in the Nonprofit Community” (in The Philanthropist) by inviting me to follow her show “Keeping high performers happy at your non-profit” which featured Monique Ayotte-Hoeltzel, a partner with The Management Center. Listen to my interview with Renee right HERE or check out the brief summary below.


June 2, 2013

I joined LiveWorkPlay Employment Supports Manager Jen Bosworth for an interview on The Shotgun Show™

May 7, 2013

I co-presented at the YAI International Conference 2013. It was a jam-packed session and our message was very well received and a great fit with the theme of neurodiversity and community inclusion.

May 2, 2013

I was invited to comment on CBC following the story: “Unable to get enough help from social services, an Ottawa family says they had no choice but to leave their son — who is living with severe developmental delays — in the hands of the government.” Listen to the interview for more details.


April 26, 2013

My article Social Change and a Welcoming Environment for Youth in the Nonprofit Community was published in The Philanthropist special edition on youth in the non-profit sector.

April 16, 2013

I testified to The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities where “Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)d) and the motion adopted by the Committee on Thursday, January 31, 2013, the Committee resumed its study of exploring employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.” It turned into a fairly exciting experience when one of the members raised a “point of order” as a result of one of my responses to a question. Listen for yourself: innuendo, or just telling the truth?


April 11, 2013

EMC reported on Recipe for Success and included a nice photo with me in my “bee shirt” along with former MPP Richard Patten, MPP Yasir Naqvi, and LiveWorkPlay member Daniel Pinsonneault.

April 4, 2013

Normally, I would just make a brief introduction and get out of the way, but when co-host Derick Fage became unavailable, I took the stage with Sandy Sharkey and she absolutely rocked the live auction. It was a huge team effort with hundreds of people and in the end we raised $45,000 for LiveWorkPlay! Oh, and I fell through the stage. Ouch.


March 7, 2013

I was pleased to have a small role in helping recognize LiveWorkPlay volunteer Felice Miranda on the occasion of being inducted into the United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award Wall of Inspiration at Ottawa City Hall. Felice joins former LiveWorkPlay chair Wendy Mitchell (2003) and myself (2010) on the wall.

March 5, 2013classification

I spoke to my peers at the Rotary Club of West Ottawa through what is known as a “classification speech” of about 20 minutes.

A classification speech is an opportunity for a Rotary member to talk to their peers about their personal and professional interests, their community service, and how these interests and experiences relate to their Rotary membership.

March 1, 2013

Appeared on CBC Ottawa Morning with my wife Julie Kingstone and two other Amazing Race Canada applicants.


February 26, 2013

Contributed to a three-page feature in Ottawa Family Living Magazine.

February 19, 2013

Honoured to take part in the head table with President Ken for hosting of Rotary Club of West Ottawa meeting and providing an introduction for today’s speaker.

February 8, 2013

Contributed an interview to this Capital News report about the Government of Canada “Rethinking Disability: Report from the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.” The story includes an interview with LiveWorkPlay members who are employed at The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, as well as the franchise co-owner.


February 1, 2013

Joined by an esteemed panel of colleagues I contributed to the 2013 United Way Visioning Day, presenting on the “agency perspective” with respect to issues of general concern in the social services sector and at LiveWorkPlay, and offered constructive thoughts about the United Way Ottawa role in our community.

January 22, 2013

Contributed to the Charity Village article: “Poke, pin and tag: Using social media to engage volunteers” by Susan Fish.

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

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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

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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

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

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

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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