(Via Ottawa 2017)
Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are delighted to kick-off a full year of celebrations in the nation’s capital to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.
Tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at Ottawa City Hall launched 12 months of festivities with the lighting of the spectacular Ottawa 2017 Cauldron.
Built in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution and natural gas companies from across Canada, the three-sided installation – an artistic adaption of the Ottawa 2017 logo measuring approximately 5 metres high (16 feet) and 4 metres wide (13 feet) – is powered by natural gas. Enbridge has purchased an equivalent amount of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral fuel made from waste, in support of Canada’s sustainable energy future.
The cauldron will remain lit for this long weekend and will be a landmark throughout the year that will be re-lit for special occasions.
Earlier today, a First Nations sacred fire ceremony was held to kindle the flame that was shared from Ottawa City Hall to Parliament Hill. More than 400 youth, each carrying a torch, formed a human chain from the Ottawa 2017 Cauldron to Parliament Hill, lighting their torches one after the other until the entire line was aglow.
In a nod to Ottawa’s and Canada’s past, as well as to our future generations, the flame from this Fire of Friendship Torch Relay was used to re-light the Centennial Flame, initiating celebrations on Parliament Hill and in cities across the country.
History behind the Fire of Friendship:
For the 1967 celebrations, the Centennial Flame was lit on Parliament Hill by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. As part of that ceremony, the mayors and reeves of each of the local municipalities lit torches from the flame on the Hill, which were then couriered back to all parts of the region where “Fires of Friendship” were lit.