Why is GNAG special?


When I think about my first month at the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group, affectionately known as GNAG, I am absolutely in awe of how many kind, passionate and talented people are working in this organization. As I get to know the Glebe Community Centre and the wonderful people who make up this community, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many of your children at summer camps and enjoying the fantastic food, art, performances and dances that they have been producing each week.

Deciding to leave Jack Purcell and the Centretown community after serving them for so many years was not an easy choice to make. I had helped build the organization from the ground up, ensured it remained running through the pandemic and put my whole heart into the community. Everyone kept asking me “Why? Why now? Why leave? Why GNAG? What makes it so special?”

It was during the interview process that I asked that exact same question of Elspeth Tory, chair of GNAG. Her answer was simple: “When I moved to Ottawa, I didn’t have any family or friends here, and GNAG instantly made me feel like I was a part of a community. It’s where I met other parents, made friends and where I felt most supported and connected.” In that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this community.

Since then, I’ve asked many people the same question and the answer is almost always the same. This is such a beautiful and supportive community to be a part of.

Not only have I seen the tremendous impact of GNAG in the building, but I’ve also felt it out in the community. One morning at a coffee shop, a resident noticed my GNAG shirt and bought my tea for me. When I asked him why, he told me that he had attended our summer camps as a child and those were some of his best childhood memories.

As I head into a meeting on fall programming, I want to invite all of you in the community to think about that question. Why GNAG? Over the years, what has made it so special for you? What moments stick out in your mind and what makes you excited to come back?

If you see me or members of our team out in the streets this summer, please feel free to share your “whys” with us! Let us share in those moments with you and help fuel our creativity as we look forward and start to plan ahead to help build more memories in the coming weeks, months and years.

To close this first article, I would like to leave you with a quote from the amazing Mary Tsai, who told me in our first meeting: “Sarah, you are walking into the best place and job in the world” – that is exactly how it feels. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the Glebe. I cannot wait to see all that we will accomplish together.

Upcoming at GNAG


GNAG will be hiring before- and after-school counsellors for the upcoming school year. To apply send your resumé and availability to ali@gnag.ca. Please ensure you are available a minimum of (2) days per week. Deadline is August 26.

Fall Registration

The fall guide is available online at GNAG.ca, and it’s packed with fun. Many of your old favourite programs are back and we have some brand-new courses you are going to love. We will be open for registration on August 30 at 7 p.m. online at GNAG.ca. Staff will be at the office so call or email us if you need any assistance. We can’t wait to show you our new lineup!

GNAG Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held September 21 at 7 p.m. More information will be posted soon at GNAG.ca

Toute la gang de GNAG, from left: front row John Muggleton, Paul O’Donnell, Sarah Routliffe, Clare Davidson Rogers, and slightly behind, Tanis Hodder; middle row: Jason Irvine, Peter Wightman, Ali O’Connor; back row: Katie Toogood, Lauren Kirk.


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