National We Day: Ottawa, April 1st, 2015.

This is my 2nd year photographing National We Day in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre!

What is We Day?
We Day is the movement of our time, empowering a generation of young global citizens through an inspirational event and a year-long educational initiative.

You can’t buy a ticket to We Day—you earn it through service. Through the year-long We Act program, schools and groups take on one local and one global action and report back to Free The Children to earn their way to We Day.

The energy and motivation in the arena just makes me want to come back every year. Seeing kids support each other, in their communities and globally, is definitely a refreshing change from the current issues we see facing bullying, etc. in schools (and even later in life)

We Day NationalThere were over 16’000 people at this, The 50th, We Day event!
National We Day Ottawa lights
JRDNJRDN, Juno Award-Winning artist and ambassador for Free the Children.

4 kardi MSP_9843Kardinal Offishall and JRDN opened the performances with their song “Freedom” (I think! Haha, there were so many screaming kids and I was focusing on getting the shots, staying out of production’s way and not having thousands of kids trash my equipment – the kids were pretty respectful though)
Mustafa The poet ottawa we day Mustafa the poet,  18 year old poet, writer, actor and emcee
Mr and Mrs Heyman OttawaAmbassadors Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Heyman, just before 2014’s We Day they moved to Canada from Chicago. Here Liz Trinnear asked them “Ottawa Senators or Chicago Blackhawks” and Mrs. Heyman said “Chicago”… and everyone booed! Then Mr. Heyman said Ottawa unless they’re playing Chicago; safe answer, sir!
Marc Kielburger We Day Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder of We Day
National We Day April 2015Youth being recognized for their community support
Recording artist AndeeCanadian Recording Artist, Andee, had everyone dancing
10 MelanieShieldsPhotographyOttawa-1475Mia Farrow We Day On the left we have an excited volunteer whose job is to ‘Pump the crowd’ 
Right, Mia Farrow Award Winning actress and activist imparts her wisdom all I actually can recall her saying was that she had 15 children!
Marlee Matlin We Day 12 MelanieShieldsPhotographyOttawa_Marlee-1631Marlee Matlin; very inspirational Academy Award-Winning Actress and devoted social activist.
One of the funniest things all day was she told a story how she was on a plane, using sign language to communicate to whoever she was travelling with and the flight attendant brought her a menu in braille! Also, I love her shoes! I would be about 6″4 in them but you go girl!
Neverest Ottawa We Day Neverest, Canadian band,  performed again this year! Last year they had a very high energy performance which was amazing and had me singing “Rewind” for days but this year they performed “Someday”
Neverest teams up with RBC for this new song “Someday”. RBC is donating a portion of the proceeds from every download to the We Create Change campaign.

Spencer West Spencer West, Me to We Motivational Speaker
16 famous hannah alperIn the hallway on the way to the photography suite I had to do a double take. The banner on the right of Hannah Alper, is a picture I took at last year’s National We Day. Of all the We Day’s she has motivated people at and they chose my image? (High five’s self)

Ottawa Senators 17 melanie-shields-photography-weday2Ottawa Senators, Erik Karlsson, Chris Neil and Chris Phillips speak to a crowd who rushed the stage!
Is Chris Phillips taking a selfie while his teammate speaks? Uhm, yes!

Majic 100 morning OttawaMagic 100 morning hosts: Stuntman Stu, Angie Poirier, and Trisha Owens tackle bullying with their #nomorebullies talk. Be careful where you hold your mic with printed t-shirts, #nomorebull #nomollies
In all seriousness, this is a great initiative by founder Stuntman Stu to raise awareness and decrease bullying in schools.

trip Winner At each We Day this year they are giving away a trip to Ecuador for a teacher and 3 students. They asked me to capture this lucky woman’s reaction to the news. She was delightful!
Jonathan Pitre Jonathan Pitre, joined by Craig Kielburger, was very inspirational and had such a positive message about being different and how it shouldn’t stop you in anything you do. The crowd rose to their feet! I personally writhed around in pain along the floor to stay out of production’s way (just saying!)

Start up dance troopThe Start Up dance crew did the We Day dance.

Kardinal OffishallKardi getting the crowd involved
Kardinal Offishall Ottawa

Melanie Shields We Day SunriseI woke up so early it had to be documented! Everyone else parked by the door but I parked by the sunset… Until next year!!
www.melanieshieldsphotography.com
www.weday.com for more information about the events

About melanies

Ottawa Wedding and Portrait Photographer since 2003.
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