'We are going to be part of a movement;' WE Day returns to the capital
OTTAWA -- WE Day returned to the capital Tuesday at the National Arts Centre; a smaller venue than in the past.
WE Day is a single-day event focusing on youth empowerment and inspiration.
Two-thousand teens from more than 135 schools and groups across the region filled Southam Hall to listen to performers and inspiring speakers.
This year, organizers say they are doing a live webcast of WE Day Ottawa “to ensure the show can be accessible to as many schools as possible, including students in rural communities who are unable attend in person.” This is in contrast to when the event was previously held at the Canadian Tire Centre to a crowd of 16-thousand.
Speakers included WE Charity co-founder, Craig Kielburger, Emilio Estevez, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine,Tyler Shaw.
Kielburger says “We get a change to celebrate kids from across Ottawa. Their stories are awesome. And the young people are full of energy with the inspiring speakers, musicians, poets, adventurers and change-makers who are on the WE Day stage. A Beautiful epic wonderful celebration!”
Canadian singer-songwriter writer Tyler Shaw says he sees how powerful young people can be. “We do see the positive impact they are making, they are creating food drives or helping with homelessness in the community.”
Student Annie Beaulieu says young people have an important voice. “We are part of the community and I think in the future we are going to be part of a movement that will make change in the world.”
Seventeen-year-old Isabella Hajjar says climate change is the most important issue for youth. “Because in the world we are living in, we don’t know if it will be there in the future.”
Sarah Lagarde spoke on stage about how she was inspired to fundraise to raise money for a shelter. “Our WE group decided to take action by having a back sale and we surpassed our goal.”
Sawmill Creek School student Ali Kalkas says he was inspired to make change after attended WE Day. “Ordinary students like us from ordinary schools get to hear those stories and think about what they did, and think about what we can do to make the world a better place.”