BHC's Christmas Party!
Christmas Party on December 14!

Bethany Hope Centre's annual Christmas celebration is always a lot of fun. There'll be lots of food and fun for the whole family.

Call Sandra today to register: 613.725.1733 ext 203
Free Post-Secondary?
Would you like to take a  university course for free?

Drop by the Welcome Centre at Bethany Hope Centre at 10:00 a.m. on
December 7th 
to find out how you can get involved with 
Discovery University.
2017 is a very important year in Canada

Get ready for a year long celebration!

Next year, 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday - its sesquicentennial - and both the city of Ottawa and the federal government have big plans to help us all mark this important milestone in our country's history.

Fifty years ago, on New Year's Eve - December 31, 1966, our 100th birthday party began with the lighting of the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill by Prime Minister Lester Pearson.
(The photo on the right shows former PM Lester Pearson lighting the  Centennial Flame  on 
Parliament Hill on December 31, 1967 while the photo on the left shows the 
Centennial Flame still burning brightly fifty years later.)

This December 31st, a new flame will be lit to help usher in Canada's 150th birthday year and you're invited to participate in this historic event. This early-evening, family-friendly celebration will begin with the lighting of a spectacular cauldron at Ottawa City Hall. The cauldron, which is approximately 16 feet high and 13 feet wide, is now under construction outside Ottawa City Hall on Laurier Ave near the memorial fountain. The lighting of this special flame will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown Ottawa streets. This event is free and everyone is welcome.

   (The orange coloured  tarpaulin covers the Ottawa Sesquicentennial Cauldron, still currently under construction, while the artist's rendering on the right shows what it will look like when unveiled for the lighting on December 31, 2016.)

But that's not all. 

The federal government is planning to usher in Canada's sesquicentennial year with not just one, but two, splashy fireworks displays in downtown Ottawa on New Year's Eve - including one that is expected to create a stunning, 1000 foot waterfall effect along the Alexandra Bridge. This, the first of two fireworks displays on December 31st, will be a 20 minute "pyromusical production" that promises to be a doozy, with fireworks launched from Nepean Point, the Alexandra Bridge's pedestrian boardwalk, the recreational path along the Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill and from the roof of Parliament's Centre Block. And it's all set to begin at 8:17 p.m. (20:17 on the 24-hour clock ... cute, eh?). The second fireworks display, also in the Parliament Hill area will begin at midnight on December 31st to mark the official beginning of the New Year. 

Fifty years from now when Canada celebrates its 200th birthday - its bicentennial - everyone who participates in this year's kick-off party will have something to look back on with warm memories. That in itself is a pretty good reason to join in this month's festivities. And, of course, it's all free and promises to be great fun for the family. 
In case you're curious

What does the Sesquicentennial Logo represent?

The logo is composed of a series of diamonds, or "celebratory gems", arranged in the shape of the iconic maple leaf. The four diamonds at the base represent the four original provinces that formed Confederation in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Additional diamonds extend out from the base to create nine more points-in total representing the 13 provinces and territories.

"The Canada 150 logo will become an evocative symbol and an enduring reminder of one of Canada's proudest moments. The maple leaf motif is recognized at home and abroad as distinctively Canadian, and it fosters feelings of pride, unity and celebration. This unique and colourful design is simple enough to be drawn by children, and versatile enough to appear in color variations. The possible uses of the symbol are as unlimited as the spirit and imagination of the Canadian public."

Kindergarten Sign-Up Starts Early in the Year
There's still lots of work to do
We thought you'd like to know
Bethany's excellent new building is a far cry from our previous long time location on Wellington Street. Although homey and comfortable, our Hintonburg spot was no longer able to meet the expanding needs of the Centre. Our new location on Woodroffe Ave was designed by award winning architect, Barry Hobin. Ever since moving here in 2013, this new building has received excellent reviews by participants, visitors and staff. 

(Our former home on Wellington Street in Hintonburg)

Here's how Hobin described his work for Bethany:

"The Salvation Army has a long history of ministering to the poor and vulnerable. As societal issues have evolved, the Salvation Army has continuously reinvented itself to better address these shifts. The Bethany Hope Centre is a dramatic demonstration of such reinvention.

The original building was constructed in 1968 as a Salvation Army Church to serve the rapidly growing west end community. Typical of its time, its architecture defined a walled sanctuary isolated from the world outside. By 2009, demographic changes had led the Salvation Army to relocate the congregation and to re-purpose the building to serve the hands-on programs of the Bethany Hope Centre with its ministry focus on low income young couples and single moms and dads."

(Photos of the Bethany Hope Centre on Woodroffe Ave. by Gordon King)

Check here to learn more about Barry Hobin and his work.
The holidays are a busy time for thieves

Identity theft is a growing and serious crime. It happens when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent to commit a crime, such as fraud or theft. Always be aware of new ways in which you are at risk for identity theft.

Guard Your Personal Information

Ask why: If you don't know why someone is asking for your personal information, ask why they want it. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act is one law that limits the types of information that governments, businesses, and other organizations can collect from you. For more information on this and similar laws visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner at provincial or territorial consumer affairs office may also be able to tell you about similar laws that apply where you live.

Guard your PIN: Always shield the keypad when entering your personal identification number (PIN). Never give your PIN or password to anyone, including friends, family, staff at your financial institution or the police. If you think someone knows your PIN, change it immediately and tell your financial institution.

Carry only what you need: Consider leaving important identity cards, such as your Social Insurance Number, at home and carry only the payment cards you need.

Don't make it easy for thieves: Choose a PIN or password that does not include your name, telephone number, date of birth, address or Social Insurance Number.

Protect your personal information: Keep your birth certificate, Social Insurance Number and passport in a secure place.

Be careful with personal information you no longer need: Shred or destroy sensitive information before throwing it out. This includes expired and unused credit and debit cards.

Free Legal Help is Available

Pro Bono Ontario is here to help Ontarians who have essential legal needs but can't afford a lawyer. For example, one legal need that doesn't get a great deal of attention is preparing wills. Pro Bono Ontario provides will preparation help for low-income individuals, the terminally ill or single parents in the Ottawa area who would like to make a will, but cannot afford a lawyer. Eligible individuals can now have a simple will prepared for free. This service is available to low-income Ontarians in the Ottawa area who do not currently have a will, cannot afford to hire a lawyer to help prepare their will, and cannot obtain assistance from other service providers.

Consult their web site to see how to contact them for this and their many other legal services.

Don't let a thief spoil Christmas

It's especially important to be security conscious during the holidays. While everyone is looking forward to a holiday, thieves will be working hard to take advantage of lapses in your home security. They won't be taking any time off this month so it's well worth the effort to make your home as secure as possible, especially if you plan to be away visiting friends or relatives.

* After the big day, when all the presents have been unwrapped, cut up packing boxes before putting out the garbage for collection. It's not a good idea to advertise what presents you received for Christmas.

* When you're out shopping before Christmas if you're in a car, don't leave valuable presents visible in the back seat. Lock them in the trunk. Throwing a coat or blanket over your purchases won't fool anyone. "Out of sight, out of mind" is still the best advice.

The Learning Coach - (613) 799-2668 (voice or text)

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