While COVID-19 continues to change the ways we gather, celebrate, and honour one another, it has not changed the way our neighbours step up to support each other in times of crisis.
United Way East Ontario kicked off 2022 by recognizing eight more incredible community builders who have worked tirelessly to make our communities safer, healthier, and more resilient. These people are community leaders and fearless advocates who have stepped up and demonstrated a local love that has not gone unnoticed. All this week on Apt613, you can read about these eight amazing individuals and organizations. Today: Dominion City Brewing Company and loveOttawa.
Dominion City Brewing Company was founded in 2014 and has made it a priority to invest back into their community. They have consistently demonstrated that they believe in purpose before profit, and they make sure it’s a principle they live out every day. Since opening, Dominion City employees have dedicated time and effort to volunteering, creating atypical partnerships, raising awareness on local issues, fundraising for neighbourhood charities, and planning events.
A champion for equity and inclusion, they created a diversity in brewing scholarship that supports a person with a background underrepresented in the beer industry with a contribution toward their tuition and a paid eight-week internship at Dominion City upon completion of the study.
“We’re just a little business, a part of a bigger community, we feel like we’re at our best when we can connect with other people.” — Josh McJannett, Co-Founder of Dominion City Brewing Co.
Dominion City staff advocates for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, forges relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities, and actively promotes other small businesses to build opportunities for mutually supportive initiatives.
During COVID-19, they increased their community support. With monthly fundraising drives, Dominion City and its customers have provided tens of thousands of dollars each year in much-needed support for the work of non-profit organizations, specifically for smaller charitable organizations in their own neighbourhood. They continue to be an avid supporter of United Way East Ontario and the GenNext program. In December of 2021, they rallied their customers to help put an end to youth homelessness by donating to GenNext.
Between these charitable endeavours, advocacy work, and collaborations with local small businesses, Dominion City Brewing Co. ensures their own successes benefit their community at large.
Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo have consistently contributed to our region by being the founders and artistic creators of loveOttawa experiences, a unique online initiative that celebrates Ottawa and its rich and dynamic community, highlighting everything from culture to culinary, business to education, and lifestyle to tourism. Dwayne and Anita have lent their expertise in countless ways by offering help and support to people, families, and small businesses.
Anita and Dwayne have spent many years offering their time and photography skills to young mothers completing their high school diplomas at the Youville Centre. Every year since 2010, they take portraits of Youville’s moms and babies leading up to Christmas, free of charge. These portraits hold a special place in these young moms’ lives as they often face financial and time barriers that would not normally allow them to have pictures taken with their children.
“We’ve had a strong mandate to always help nonprofits. But also, in the last year, to do our very best to help and highlight small businesses who are doing their best to keep their heads above water.” — Dwayne Brown, Co-Founder and Artistic Creator of loveOttawa
They have always supported charities, giving so much to them through their photography by capturing clients, donors, staff and volunteers. They’ve helped paint a picture of the important work that charities do across Ottawa. Whether it’s Youth Services Bureau, The Ottawa Food Bank, The Parkdale Food Centre, The Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, HighJinx, Welcoming Ottawa Week, Connect Ottawa or United Way East Ontario, these organizations are grateful to Dwayne and Anita for lending their talents.
In the summer months before COVID-19, Dwayne and Anita also volunteered to take exchange students in Ottawa on sightseeing tours all over the city, mentor them, and introduce them to influential local people.
“Through photography and through what we’ve done in the last few years to help, it’s really important just to be there for people.” — Anita Ruivo, Co-Founder and Artistic Creator of loveOttawa
For four years, loveOttawa and United Way partnered for Giving Tuesday to capture images and stories that showcase United Way’s work, sharing the impact being made across our region online with their followers. The stories our partnership has captured have helped us tell so many inspiring stories while explaining the importance of generously giving during the holiday season.
Know someone doing great work in their community? Nominate a Community Builder today.