OTTAWA – September 13 – Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe will join City Councilor Stéphanie Plante, Mike Ritchie of Ritchie Feed & Seed and Carefor CEO Steve Perry to unveil the Carefor Caregivers’ Garden at 1:30 PM on Saturday, September 16th in Strathcona Park.
The Garden, created by Carefor Health & Community Services in collaboration with Ritchie Feed & Seed and the City of Ottawa, is located in Strathcona Park along the banks of the Rideau River and is filled with pollinator plants, many of which are native to the area.
Carefor created the garden in honour of Ottawa caregivers who have given so much to their loved ones over the 126 years that Carefor has been providing care to the people of Ottawa and beyond. The garden is intended not only to be a celebration of caring but a physical reminder to the people of Ottawa of the importance of caregiving on our citizens, families and communities.
The event will take place from 1:30 – 2:30 PM and will involve, remarks from Mayor Sutcliffe, Councilor Plante, Steve Perry and Mark Ritchie as well as an opening ceremony.
The event will also include the awarding of the Carefor Caregiver Award to the Malette Family whose fundraising efforts have created the Vince Malette Functional Fitness Program offered by Carefor. Vince Malette, former assistant coach of the Ottawa 67s, was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and in response the family and their community have raised over $130,000 to fund programs that support families living with dementia.
“Caregiving is an underrecognized part of our healthcare system and society,” says Carefor CEO Steve Perry. “While professionals like Carefor staff offer support, caregivers are the true backbone of the healthcare system. Without their daily commitment to the welfare of their loved ones, what we and other healthcare providers do would be impossible. This space is to honour their commitment and sacrifice.”
“One in four Canadians 15 years of age and older are unpaid caregivers,” says Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe. “For women, whether paid or unpaid that number is over 50%. Ottawa is and has been created with the quiet support of our caregivers. We are committed to working with agencies like Carefor to help ensure our city’s caregivers are recognized and supported, and we are proud to have this garden in one of our city’s parks.”
“Strathcona Park is a perfect place for the Carefor Caregivers’ Garden,” says Councilor Stéphanie Plante. “It has been created with the support of the City of Ottawa and local community groups such as Action Sandy Hill due to a mutual understanding that caregivers are essential, and we can all do more to recognize and support them. My team and I are proud to be part of this celebration.”
“Flowers are a celebration of life,” says Mike Ritchie from Ritchie Feed & Seed. “They remind us of the beauty of the world we live in. I can’t think of a better metaphor for honouring caregivers. Like Carefor, we have been a long serving member of Ottawa’s community and are proud to work alongside them to help bring this garden and campaign to life.”