Ottawa Rose Centre

Vanessa Foran

Vanessa Foran is a 21 year old completing her Bachelor of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa with a specialization in International Development and Globalization and minor in Business Administration. She also works for Heritage Canada as a Capital Information Officer, ready for Canada 150 celebrations. Vanessa won a Celebrating Youth Award in 2012, which showcases youth community leaders in the Town of Whitby. In 2015, she was Vice President of Internal Affairs for the University of Ottawa's International Development Conference. Once she graduates, Vanessa intends on working for an international development organization - specifically one that advocates for the need to address climate change in all development projects and emphasizes the importance of sustainability in international development.  Her family has been involved with Toronto's St. Patrick's Day Gala and Parade in previous years. On her paternal side, Vanessa's great-great-grandfather John Foran Jr. from Castlegregory Co. Kerry immigrated to Canada as a child in 1841 to Huron County, Ontario.

Vanessa was sponsored by Heart and Crown Irish Pubs

        Photo Courtesy of Alison Slattery Photography

In Her Own Words: Notes from the 2017 Ottawa Rose

These past two months have been pleasantly busy for me as the Ottawa Rose as I have been attending several community events and charity initiatives. I had the pleasure of meeting the current Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney during her visit to Ottawa and had the opportunity to show her around the city and visit the Canadian Museum of History as well as the Canadian War Museum. I attended the Darkness into Light fundraiser walk in May to raise money and awareness for the suicide prevention services offered by the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa and the Pieta House in Ireland. Despite the pouring rain that morning many community members came out to support this initiative and it was very inspiring to see the many volunteers dedicated to their cause. Many families were present at the walk who had lost loved one’s of their own to suicide and it renewed my passion for this cause and I am determined to continue supporting this worthy fundraiser for years to come.

        I was honoured to be invited to the Irish Women’s Network Garden Party this May which was held generously at the Irish Ambassadors residence. I really look up to the women who organized this event and other events of this kind for their passion and dedication to community engagement. Also in May I attended the Toronto Rose Selection event and was able to see Colombe Nadeau-O’Shea be selected as the 2017 Toronto Rose and I look forward to seeing her in Tralee this August! It was great to meet members of the Toronto Irish community at the gala and I am grateful for how warmly me and my parents were welcomed. In June I attended the Ottawa Welcomes the World Ireland event at Lansdowne Park and spoke to visitors at a booth with Irish Radio Canada about the Rose of Tralee Festival. At the event I was able to see the Bloomsday presentation put on by very capable actors with great Edwardian costumes! Although I have not yet read Ulysses I have read some Joyce so it was a great learning experience to see the exhibit about his life. It was great to see so many Irish community organizations present at the event and I was reminded of how large and diverse the Irish community is in Ottawa. Lastly, this June I volunteered at the Oreachtas Gaeilge Cheanada in Tamworth, Ontario and met many enthusiastic Irish language learners. The festival was a great example of the power that a small group of dedicated people can have to make a difference when they put their minds to something. Founded in 2010, the festival is the only Irish language festival in North America and a completely grassroots community driven event. I would like to thank Sheila Scott, one of the festival organizers, for having me at the festival and for welcoming me into the fold. Go raibh maith agat!

I’m looking forward to attending the Rose of Tralee Festival this August and want to thank everyone who has helped me prepare, such as last years Rose Sarah Griffin, Laura Hay, Claire Conway and Stephanie Coull, I couldn’t do it without all of you.

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