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January 2011 Journal

January, 2011
How do you spell "Reason to Dream?" O - T - E - S - H - A
Riding on Hope   
The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal   
January 2011    
New Home
Office on Ice
Volunteer Opportunities
Postcard of the Month

Hopeful Home Tour: visit us!
March 6
For details & to RSVP:    

Start of Spring Tours
May 1

Signs of Growth in the Winter 

From new tours to a new office, there is lots of exciting change unfurling within Otesha right now. In this journal, we announce our first-ever adult-friendly tour, and invite applications for tour members to test drive a brand-new Otesha play. 


There are loads of ways to get involved, described below! 

- new volunteer opportunities section 

- development director opening

- artists sought for creative painting 


Fast Fact:


If only 10% of U.S. coffee drinkers demanded fair trade coffee, the area of coffee-producing land that could be converted back to the traditional shade-grown, organic method:


135,000 hectares = 72,241 football fields

(The Otesha Book

Real Revolution: All-Ages, Play Creation, Food Exploration 

bikes on the roadReady, Set, Apply!

We're accepting applications. There's a taste for everyone our 2011 tours:

- Craft a new Otesha play


- Join the all-ages week "on" (see article below)


- Get your hands dirty on the food systems tour


- Explore the beautiful Sunshine Coast



Why Apply? Words from one who knows:   

 "Otesha was a life changing event for me. It was a real revolution, and I still think and reflect on my experiences that I had on tour frequently. I hold the lessons that I learned close to my heart,and I try to influence those around me in ways that are both positive for people and the environment. I have also learned to value community much more than I had before the tour." 

- 2010 Tour Member 


Get Inspired by a 2011 Tour Team


Otesha's bike tour teams use performances and workshops to sharing a message of sustainability and hope that our everyday actions can and do make a difference. Invite them to your community!  


How? First, check the tour routes at for a general of idea of where our dynamic cycling superheroes will appear. Then, contact the tour coordinator, listed below, for the tour you'd like to meet.  Looking forward to showing up at your community's front door!

Cycling tour welcomed by Toronto



Kitchener/Waterloo to Sudbury:  

Guy Marsan, People's Performance Tour  


Kitchener/Waterloo to Ottawa

Kira Burger, Phenomenal Food Tour  


Ottawa area  

Matt Schaaf, Pedal to Plate Tour  


Vancouver to Victoria

Kayla Siefried, Sunshine Coast Tour




Take a Week "On" This Summer


Opening the Otesha door to more!  

If you have always wanted to be part of an Otesha touring community but couldn't consider two months on the road, or you recall the year 1980 fondly, this tour is for you. Introducing the nine day, all ages cycling tour in the Ottawa area: 


Pedal to Plate Tour 2011 

July 9-17


Tasting your way across the landscape of Ottawa's food systems - meeting local producers, pitching in on farms, connecting with food-oriented organizations and cooking up a storm. Unlike our Spring & Fall tours, we will consider youth and adult applicants of any age. More info here.  


Apply before May 1 and contribute/fundraise only $900 ($975 after May 1).
Bursaries available on a case by case basis.


Home Sweet NEW Home   

We're excited to announce that Otesha will be joining the wonderful community of change-makers at a new office within a collective office building called Heartwood House. We'll make the big move to our new office space in March, and we want you to be part of the excitement!  

Here's how you can help:Heartwood House Logo

1) Calling all artists: Help create a creative space by drawing, painting a mural, or adding some inspiring artistic flair to the walls of our workspace. If you or someone you know is looking for a creative outlet and a blank canvas, please contact Darrell.

2) Moving help!  Assist with move preparation in February and early March, and then once the boxes are packed join in the great big Otesha move party. For more details and to help out, please contact Darrell


Last Hopeful Home Tour  

If you've been meaning to come, now is the time. You'll meet The Otesha Project and take a tour of our eco-conscious office and living space. This one-hour event will include refreshments and provide background on Otesha's youth-engagement programs, including the Otesha Book and our Cycling and Performing Tours.  March 6.  


Please RSVP to: or 613 237 6065
Office on Ice: So You Think You Can Curl?

A warm winter welcome to Guy Marsan & Kira Burger  (pictured below, 2nd from right, top & bottom), who have jumped to the phones and are furiously finding fantastic venues for upcoming bike tours, in their new roles as Tour Coordinators. 

In with the new, out with the...staff curling field tripyoung? After three years of faithful,  fabulous & funk-ified service, our Development Director, Jen Valbergis moving to the country - literally - to get her hands dirty as part of a new food-inspired adventure.

Think you can curl?
Join our Team!

We are on the hunt for a new Development Director. If you think you can help Otesha grow, have experience in fundraising and building partnerships, we want to hear from you! Check out the job posting here. 


Book Launch: A Reason to Dream


Capturing inspiring Otesha stories from tour members and hopeful high school hooligans alike, the Reason to Dream book has finally arrived after years of crafting, dreaming, writing and editing.

Reason to Dream booksTo celebrate we had a party in Toronto with Otesha's donors, alumni and friends.  Hosted byChris Fraser, the book's author, audience members heard stories firsthand and enjoyed an evening full of laughter, tears and Otesha magic.


We owe a special thank you to Meng Jian who captured the event with her wonderful photography. If you want to support our favourite Toronto-based up-and-coming photographer, get in touch with her here.


We are now selling copies of the Reason to Dream book for $20 each. Order your own copy

Volunteer Opportunities 
This winter we have the following volunteer openings. Please express interest, including the position & your current resume.


Promotion Person

Timeline:  5 hours a week, Feb & March

Help get Otesha's message out to the masses, inviting new populations to come on a bike tour. 

Skills needed - strong editing abilities, attention to detail, understanding of Otesha a plus



Timeline: 10 hour project, anytime

Update Otesha's Wikipedia article.  

Skills needed - strong writing abilities, wikipedia editing or willingness to learn independently 


Video Creation

Timeline: 20 - 30 hour project, anytime (winter & spring 2011) 

Create a comic, high energy, emotive trailer/teaser to be posted on Youtube.  Provide potential host schools with a look at Otesha's theatre programming.

Skills needed - Video editing, understanding of audience (high school educators)  

Postcard of the Month

After every Otesha presentation, we invite our audience members to change the world by committing to one new hopeful action. Each individual receives a postcard, writes the action on the back, and if they complete the action, they mail it in to our office. We now have thousands of postcards from acros

s Canada, and they are our proof that we are building a movement. Here's one of our favourites from this month:

colourful hope card


"My school did an election on Sept 27 and I was one of the candidates. My 3 ideas are all Green: To plant a garden at school, recycle more and to plant trees. I got voted so I will be on TV Oct 4 planting trees.  


PS. Hope everyones safe on the bikes because of the accident.  "

- Rachel, 12, Fredericton NB 


Find us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter     View our videos on YouTube   

Wish list
Thank you so much for the cerial boxes and fabric this past month.  We love taking in gently used items we can put to use! Here are our current areas of need:

Boxes - sturdy cardboard ones for moving  

Functional computer mice 

Desktop computer speakers


Drop offs are welcome between 9am and 5pm 
from Monday to Thursday at The Otesha House (72 Riverdale Ave.)