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Official club name: The Friendship Force of Ottawa
Closest major airport(s): Ottawa International Airport
Closest Regional Airport: Ottawa International Airport
Cost of transportation between the airport and our city: $US 40 (doesn't generally
apply as pick up is made by hosts)
The maximum number of Ambassadors our club can host: 25
About the club:
The Friendship Force of Ottawa was founded in 1995 with about 30 members. At present the club has 164 members. We have hosted more than 40 clubs and sent out over 40 groups. Recent incoming ambassadors have been from: Global Exchange; Kauaï, USA; Central North Carolina and Florence, USA; Medicine Hat, Alberta; Bundaberg/Cairns, Australia; Forth Worth, Texas; Mount Gambier, Australia; Southern Oregon/Lower Columbia, USA;
Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Dayton, USA; Bratislava, Slovakia; Lima, Peru; Varel, Germany; Fukuoka, Japan; and Wessex and Hampshire, U.K. Recent outbound exchanges included Chiapas, Mexico; Pécs, Hungary; Olstyn, Poland; Kiel and Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Hanoi, Vietnam; Western Kentucky, USA; Zutphen, Holland; Mitspah, South Africa; and Recife and Florianopolis, Brazil. Annually, the Ottawa club hosts up to four inbound exchanges and usually participates in four outbound exchanges, for a total of eight exchanges per year.
About the region:
Some 1.2 million Canadians live and work in metropolitan Ottawa, Canada's National Capital. Our city is located on the border of Canada's two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, at the heart of a bilingual region of English and French speaking residents. Three rivers meet here: the Ottawa, Gatineau, and Rideau Rivers. Our Parliament Buildings sit high on Parliament Hill, surrounded by national museums, vibrant neighbourhoods, and scenic parks and bikeways. Altogether, it makes for an urban environment in which people bike or skate to work, paddle their canoe to a jazz festival downtown, enjoy a picnic in a park, or lunch at a sidewalk café. Ottawa has four distinct seasons: Spring, when literally thousands of tulips bloom; Summer, when our festivals are cause for celebration; Fall, when the maple leaves turn bright red and nearby Gatineau Park features its flaming colours; and Winter, when the historic Rideau Canal, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is turned into 'The World's Longest Skating Rink', as certified by the Guinness Book of Records.
Ice carvers come from around the world to showcase their talents during Winterlude, Ottawa's annual celebration of Canadian winter fun. Our capital city through all seasons provides a truly exceptional quality of life for its residents and annually welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists from far and wide.
About the Exchange:
ambassador to Ottawa can expect to interact directly with many members who act as Night Hosts, Day Hosts and Dinner Hosts, and who participate in the many social functions. This provides a rich experience with different vantage points from which to observe our manners and customs. Traveling is arduous and the arrival day is usually spent relaxing and getting to know the host family.
Activities are planned for the second day but they are always centered around a welcome party. Program opportunities which offer a mix of culture, nature, politics, and entertainment are organized for the week, in consultation with the incoming club.
For very active clubs, warm weather activities can include world-class white water rafting and trail hiking, and time is always set aside for relaxation.
A free day allows our guests to choose a preferred activity. Eye candy describes the beds of tulips and spring flowers, the magnificent fall colours in the city, the Gatineau Hills, the Rideau Canal, and the confluence of the rivers in Ottawa.
Every exchange involves visits to some National Capital showcases. Particularly popular are: The Canadian Museum of Civilization; The National Gallery of Canada; The Parliament Buildings with ceremonial pageantry; Rideau Hall; The Canadian Museum of Nature and Gatineau Park. The National Capital Region is made up of two Cities, Ottawa (Ontario) and Gatineau (Québec), so our guests are introduced to at least two cultural experiences along with that of the Capital. Making new friends and sharing interesting experiences are the primary intent of the week which culminates in a fun-filled farewell dinner on the last evening of the exchange.
Ambassadors are escorted by hosts the next day to their points of departure.
Past Exchange Information
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