GNAG salutes traditions old and new

The GNAG “Gold Jacket Club” of long-time GNAG board members, from left: Geoff Kellow, Clare Pearson, Mary Tsai, Brad Sigouin, Kate McCartney and John Richardson, at Mary Tsai’s retirement party on September 8.


I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a parent whose favourite holiday was Halloween, and that has been passed down to me. To have a dad who was always willing to dress up, take my sister and I trick or treating and let us stay out as long as we wanted made it one of the best days of the year. I love a good costume, a haunted house, a scary movie and that late-night binge on mini chocolate bars. In my opinion, traditions are key for children, and it allows them to have memories that last a lifetime. This year, bring your family to the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (GNAG) Haunted House on October 30, and start a new tradition with us.

Book a walk-through time in our Fun or Haunted House, depending on age and how much you want to be scared.

Fun House 2:30–4:30 p.m., 3–7 years (must be accompanied by an adult)

Haunted House 6– 8 p.m., 8+ years (really scary)

$15 a person


We had our Annual General Meeting on September 21, and the overall strategy for the next year will be to rebuild the organization and introduce more programming and events back into the community. New traditions were also a theme at our AGM, as we focused on what initiatives and programs started during the pandemic will be continued to add to the success of GNAG. What did the organization learn from the pandemic that can help us moving forward?

Closures and restrictions challenged the staff on resiliency and how to create a flexible operating model. Not only were classes offered in person and online, but the team was also able to pivot operations quickly, and that will continue.

Event formats were changed, and the team had to come up with creative ways to offer events and follow restrictions. Some of these changes made events more successful and will remain; for example, the Craft Fair will again be held over two weekends this year. Please join us November 19 and 20 and November 26 and 27 and start your holiday shopping early!

Fewer clients in the building and attending programming in person made it tricky for word-of-mouth marketing, which is usually helpful in community recreation. We had to rely more on social media and online marketing promotion, a practice we will build on in the next year. Please follow us on Facebook @GNAGottawa, Instagram @gnagottawa and Twitter @GNAG_Ottawa.

Finally, we are always stronger together, and the community, including businesses and other organizations in the Glebe, can continue to build on relationships that were strengthened during the pandemic. I tend to pop into businesses and try to meet all the community stakeholders I can, so if we haven’t met yet, I’d love to meet you.

Thank you to everyone who supported GNAG in 2021-22! If you have any traditions or programs you would like to see in your community, please feel free to reach out to us at or 613-233-8713.

Board of Directors

Thank you to the outgoing 2021-22 board of directors of GNAG. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to Heather Moncur, Dominique Milne, John Richardson and Kate McCartney on behalf of myself, the staff, the board and the community. The years of volunteer work that they have put into this community is a testament to the current strength of GNAG and its future. Gold jackets were given to Kate and John at Mary Tsai’s retirement party for serving the board for more than 10 years – another GNAG tradition – and in Mary’s words, “for their solid gold work!”

With the exit of such valued volunteers, we were thrilled and lucky to have such a stellar new group join our board. We would like to formally welcome Rebecca McKeen, Christopher Griffin, Deborah Sarmento and Julie Lafrance. We can’t wait to start working with all of you.

To wrap up this article, I wanted to let the community know of one new tradition started at GNAG. In observation of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we decided to cancel any non-essential programming on September 30 and run only childcare programs. In addition, we donated revenues from those cancelled programs to two important reconciliation charities – this year, we donated a total of $800 to the Gord Downie & Charlie Wenjack Fund and to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

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