Established in 1986, The Guyana Ottawa Cultural Association (GOCA) is a voluntary non-profit organization which fosters and promotes the country’s rich cultural heritage among Guyanese born and children of Guyanese parentage residing in the National Capital Region (NCR). GOCA also promotes respect for Canadian values and institutions and proactively pursues a close working relationship with similar Associations of CARICOM member countries serving their members in the NCR. Given the ever changing social and economic Canadian environment, GOCA works to build awareness among its membership, focusing especially on ways to effectively deal with, and adapt to some broad challenges in the areas of health and education. The Association also works with some NGOs in Guyana in providing limited assistance to enhance the well-being of specific disadvantaged groups in Guyana.
To foster and promote the country’s rich cultural heritage among Guyanese born and children of Guyanese parentage residing in the National Capital Region.
- To promote and share knowledge, appreciation and the experience of our Guyanese heritage, traditions and customs;
- To provide a medium for the exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge among the members of The Association;
- To undertake social, educational, cultural and recreational, activities for the benefit of members of The Association and of the local communities;
- To work with other Organizations and to assist, where and when possible other groups in need, as identified by The Association.
Eligibility for Membership:
- General Membership is open to all persons of Guyanese ancestry and their spouse.
- Associate Membership is open to anyone of any nationality and, who shall have all the same obligations and privileges as that of a General Member, except the right to vote or hold office in The Association.
What We’re Always Striving To:
- Participate/Volunteer in local community events
- Collaborate with other Caribbean Associations
- Host more Cultural/ Educational/ Social events
- Continue/ Increase sponsorship in Guyana
- Increase GOCA membership
- Increase/ update our social media presence (GOCA website, Facebook, etc)
- Update our directory of Guyanese living in the National Capital Region
What We’ve Done So Far (2016-2017):
- Participated in the annual ‘Promoting Healthy Lifestyles’ seminar, a collaboration between 12 community organizations
- Held our Annual Republic Anniversary Dinner & Dance, Christmas Party, and Charity Night at The Raceway
- Donated to The Bridge of Hope Charity in Guyana
- Held three main events as part of Guyana Independence Jubilee Celebrations
- Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall
- Gala with the Ottawa Valley West Indian Hindu Cultural Association
- Cultural Explosion event
Some of Our Upcoming Big Events
Annual Mother’s Day Brunch – May 14, 2017
- This is one of our most popular events
- This year it will be held at the Sandy Hill Community Centre from 2pm -5pm
- Family friendly games for adults and children (but especially for moms) with lots of prizes and giveaways.
Canada’s 150th Celebrations: Ottawa Welcomes The World- Guyana Day – May 21, 2017
- This is a collaborative event between the Guyana High Commission, the Guyana Consulate Toronto and Guyanese Diaspora communities from Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal
- It will be in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, starting at 10am
- There will be Exhibitions from Guyana, Performances, Arts & Crafts, Guyanese food on sale, Kids Activities, etc
- We encourage all Guyanese to come out dressed in their Guyanese colours!
Annual General Meeting – June 11, 2017
- This will be held at the Hintonburg Community Centre from 1pm – 4pm
- We will be holding elections to appoint a new executive board, or to keep the current executive board for another term
- There will also be a review of the amendments to our current constitution
- We encourage old and new members to come out to this very special meeting
Carivibe Parade – June 17, 2017
- GOCA will have a float in this year’s parade
- There will be costumes and t-shirts at a nominal price for those who wish to join our band and chip on down to the beach
- We encourage everyone to come out and celebrate the diversity of the Caribbean culture
The Guyana Ottawa Cultural Association (GOCA) Executive:
- President: Michelle Morrison
- Vice President: Dennis Waithe
- Treasurer: Joseph Pompey
- Assistant Treasurer: Roy Taite
- Secretary: Derrice Payne
- Assistant Secretary: Eleanor Evans
- Culture & Education: Ina Foster
Address: Guyana Ottawa Cultural Association Inc, C/O OCISO, 959 Wellington Street W, Ottawa, ON, K1Y 2X5
Submitted by Derrice Payne, Secretary, GOCA