Events and News

Celebrate Our Rivers Paddle Series 2019

posted May 9, 2019, 9:54 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Jun 24, 2019, 7:47 PM ]

The Ottawa River Institute in partnership with the Bonnechere River Watershed Project is pleased to announce our 2019 Celebrate Our Rivers Paddles Series! We have 17 paddles scheduled for this summer and fall, including several new paddles and 4 on the heritage Ottawa River. Take a look and plan your summer paddles with us! Click here for more information.

Annual General Meeting - Wed May 8

posted May 6, 2019, 6:39 AM by Ottawa River Institute

You are cordially invited to join us for the Ottawa River Institute's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday May 8th at 3pm, at The Sands on Golden Lake in Deacon, Ontario. For those unable to attend in person, a Facebook Livestream can be arranged; please let us know if this would be of interest to you.

The business meeting will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 pm and will include receipt of the financial statements, elections and report of directors on the previous year's activities.

After the business meeting, we will join Bonnechere River Watershed Project members for an early spring (pre-bug) hike up the Deacon Escarpment for a spectacular view of the Bonnechere River valley between Round Lake and Golden Lake. We will meet at the corner of Tramore and Kilby Roads.

The hike will be followed by optional dinner at The Sands, and the Annual General Meeting of the Bonnechere River Watershed Project.

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend any of these events. 


7th Renfrew County Stewardship Forum - April 16

posted Mar 29, 2019, 8:05 AM by Ottawa River Institute

The Ottawa River Institute, as a partner in the Freshwater Partners Renfrew County initiative, is assisting with the 7th Renfrew County Stewardship Forum being held on April 16 in Renfrew. The forum is by invitation only, but sometimes a few important people are missed. If you feel like you would like to join in this conversation, please send an email. This forum is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

6th Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum

posted Apr 24, 2018, 8:42 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Apr 24, 2018, 8:52 AM ]

Join us for the 6th Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum, taking place on Wed. May 16, 8:30am-3pm, at the Renfrew Canadian Legion, 30 Raglan St in Renfrew. Discussions will be based on: Perspectives on Freshwater Issues in Renfrew County with representatives from Lake Property Associations, Municipal Government and Citizens Groups, and Collaborative Opportunities with representatives from not-for-profit organizations and others. The Forum will also see the launch of the new collaborative initiative, the Renfrew County Watershed Initiative. Please register at: - a fee of $20 will be collected at the door. The fee includes lunch. Everyone welcome! See Poster Here.

Celebrate Our Rivers - Group Paddles this Summer!

posted Mar 6, 2018, 7:31 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Mar 16, 2018, 7:04 AM ]

The Ottawa River Institute has teamed up again with the Bonnechere River Watershed Project and other partners across the County to bring a variety of group river paddles to you this summer. A chance to explore familiar and sometime unfamiliar waterways with other paddlers. Always a fabulous time! See our poster for details.

Our Annual Newsletter Update - 2017

posted Dec 12, 2017, 9:47 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Dec 12, 2017, 9:52 AM ]

Please take a moment to read through our 2017 ORI Newsletter Update.  At the risk of sounding our own horn, we have plenty of accomplishments to be proud of this year!

POSTPONED! Artist Kathy Haycock to speak at ORI AGM June 4,2017

posted Apr 24, 2017, 8:02 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated May 1, 2017, 11:35 AM ]

Due to unseasonably cold weather forecasted for Sunday May 7th, we have decided to postpone our ORI outing and AGM until Sunday June 4th.
Spring is here, the ice is off the lakes, birds are returning from the south, and peoples’ thoughts turn to… Annual General Meetings?

Perhaps not, but the Ottawa River Institute has a very special one coming up, and you’re all invited!!! Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member, bring a friend.

We're going to meet at 11 am on Sunday JUNE 4th at Buelow Beach on beautiful Lake Clear, on Buelow road, 15 km west of Eganville on Highway 512.

Long-time ORI board member and artist John Almstedt will lead one group in doing charcoal sketches of the Lake and Big Rock, made famous by Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson. Lake Clear and Big Rock are among a number of Renfrew County sites that A.Y. and other artists sketched and painted. Please bring your sketching supplies, or purchase a small sketchbook, pencils or charcoal.

Another group, led by me, will go on a short and leisurely photography outing along the Lake Clear shoreline, under the base of Big Rock, and into Hurds Creek and Little Lake Clear. Bring your kayaks or canoes, cameras, and something to eat.

For additional information, directions, or to arrange a spot in someone else’s boat, please contact us at

At 1 pm we’ll head over to John Almstedt’s cottage on Manning Road near the top of Big Rock for our AGM.

Well-known local artist Kathy Haycock will give a keynote talk about “The Group of Seven in Renfrew County”. We’ll hear about upcoming activities of the Lake Clear Conservancy and the Bonnechere River Watershed Project (BRWP). And, we’ll have our ORI business meeting (I promise to keep this part very short).

Consider joining the ORI Board. Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Share ideas about how Heritage Designation of the Ottawa River can help local communities.

We really hope that you can join us for what promises to be a memorable event.
Contact us for more info at:

Dip Your Paddle and Celebrate Our Rivers and Canada’s 150th This Summer

posted Apr 24, 2017, 7:04 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Apr 24, 2017, 7:22 AM ]

Over the last five years, the Ottawa River Institute (ORI) and the Bonnechere River Watershed Project (BRWP) and have partnered with businesses, other organizations and municipalities to provide about 1000 paddler trips on local waterways to residents and visitors through the Celebrate Our Rivers paddle series.  There will be even more opportunity to paddle in 2017, Canada’s 150th, with a few of the now 16 paddle events again featuring local food and music.  Some of the paddles require advance registration to help with logistics, while others do not. Any profits after expenses to organize and run the series will benefit the lead organizations. So bring your paddle craft (canoe, kayak, paddle board) and join others in Celebrating Canada’s 150th and Our Rivers!  

View our press release, with all paddle details here.

View our Celebrate Our Rivers 2017 poster here.

10th Annual Seedy Sunday - March 5, 2017

posted Feb 15, 2017, 7:02 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Feb 15, 2017, 7:04 AM ]

The 10th annual Seedy Sunday is taking place on Sunday March 5, 2017 at the Rankin Culture and Community Centre from 10am - 3pm. Always a great day! See the poster for details.

5th Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum - Our Trails, Our Future

posted Nov 19, 2016, 9:02 AM by Ottawa River Institute   [ updated Nov 21, 2016, 8:01 AM ]

The fifth annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum, “Our Trails, Our Future”, will focus on community involvement in developing trails and trail networks in the Ottawa Valley, with a particular focus on the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT) along the former CPR rail corridor.  The OVRT offers a great opportunity for local citizens to get involved in what promises to be one of the Ottawa Valley’s prime recreational assets. 

The Forum will have a keynote session on the OVRT (with particular focus on the segment between Arnprior and Renfrew) and the new Renfrew County Trails Strategy, with feedback from small group table discussions.  We also will have speakers examining trails from different perspectives, including local municipalities, trail user groups, and successful examples of community-based trails development.  There are many examples: the Shaw Woods trails, the Footprints in Time trail at Bonnechere Provincial Park, the Kiwanis Walkway in Pembroke, the Forest Lea ski trails, the McNamara Trail in Arnprior, the Emerald Necklace trails in Petawawa, the Beachburg County Forest off-road cycling trails, the Oiseau Rock Trail in Sheenboro, and the Manitou hiking and snowshoeing trails in Calabogie, to name a few.

Fee for the day is $20 and is payable at the door. Please register in advance by email:

The Renfrew County Stewardship Forum was initiated to connect people and organizations with an interest in the environment, a strong sense of place, and a concern about the future. Tackling our environmental, social and economic challenges requires collaborative action among a diversity of people and organizations with strong convictions and the courage to act on them. The Forum aims to foster intense interaction, networking and information exchange about what’s happening to our communities and our environment, so that we can adopt innovative partnerships and approaches and take effective action. Now is the time.  Together we can shape our future to sustain our collective values and communities.

The inaugural Renfrew County Stewardship Forum, “Fostering Adaptive Collaboration”, was hosted by the Bonnechere River Watershed Project (BRWP), the Renfrew County Stewardship Council and Algonquin College at its Pembroke campus in April 2012.  Discussions focused on our changing climate and the collaborative, non-regulatory approach used by Muskoka Watershed Council to advance stewardship and to foster innovation. The second Forum, “Fostering Shoreline Conservation”, was hosted by the BRWP and the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds (now Watersheds Canada) in February 2013 in Pembroke. Discussions focused on the Centre for Sustainable Watershed’s shoreline surveys, the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s research on implications of changing climate on water management, and proposed community collaboration to address water quality issues in Muskrat Lake.  The third Forum, “Celebrating Our Watersheds: Trails and Tributaries”, was hosted by the BRWP and the Ottawa River Institute (ORI) on in May 2014 in Pembroke. It featured discussions on active transportation, trail development along the abandoned CP rail line, and water quality concerns in the Muskrat and Bonnechere watersheds. The fourth Forum, “Towards Watershed Planning”, was hosted by BRWP, ORI, Sustainable Eastern Ontario and the National Capital Environmental Nonprofit Network in Pembroke.  It focused on water quality and the County’s proposed new Official Plan.

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