Ottawa Police Service Gala

Ottawa Police Service reaches $1 million dollars raised for local charities at Gala

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the Ottawa Police Service celebrated its 11th Gala, raising an estimated $50,000 for Mamawi Together and YouTurn Youth Services.

Since its inception, the OPS Gala has raised just over $1 million for local charities, helping organizations across Ottawa help those most in need.

We wanted to share with you Interim Chief Steve Bell’s speaking notes at last night’s event...

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Bonsoir and Good Evening,

It is wonderful to be back here in person to celebrate the exceptional efforts of our members and the good work people are doing out in the community.

I was not sure this Gala was going to happen again.

A real Gala, with real people. 

I was worried I was going to be permanently stuck in the upper left corner of your computer screen in an endless series of zoom meetings.

It’s so much better in person, where I can see all of your beautiful faces.

But I am a bit disappointed that Matt Skube didn’t show up in one of his famous Christmas suits.

Each year I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

And Stefan Keyes, I’m surprised to see you still awake after your move to CTV mornings.

Thank you sir for making it a late night with us and helping to host this year’s gala.


We are here tonight to support two very worthy local charities.

Mamawi Together is focused on helping to build awareness about Indigenous culture and issues through events and education in line with reconciliation initiatives across Canada in order to heal our past.

I know Mamawi Together is invested in helping the residents and youth of this city understand Indigenous culture on a path to reconciliation.

Their focus is on building awareness and inspiring civic action to help heal the past and move forward to embrace and celebrate an open, diverse, and respectful society that is inclusive of everyone who calls Ottawa home.

And YouTurn Youth Support Services is dedicated to helping at-risk youth in Ottawa, Stormont-Dundas and Glengarry, Renfrew, and Prescott-Russell.

It’s a large area to cover and deliver services, but their team manages to tailor programs unique to each young person to help change lives.

YouTurn’s client-focused approach ensures that every youth they help has his or her own unique program.

They evaluate not just the youth’s physical needs, but their mental, social, and emotional needs as well.

These organizations are committed to making a difference.

They are invested in a city that is growing in its diversity and is rich in culture and tradition.

Just like the members of the Ottawa Police Service.

We all want to live in a city where every voice matters and adds to our collective knowledge of how to build safe and inclusive communities.


But first, let’s take a moment to recognize our sponsors.

I would like to thank Stefan and Matt from Bell Media as one of this year’s platinum sponsors.

We know we can rely on you both for your leadership and personal investment in our city.

I would also like to thank Loblaw’s Senior Vice President of Asset Protection, Dean Henrico, as our other platinum sponsor.

We know the good work Loblaw’s does in the community, to help those most in need.

Your annual food drives and investments help to get meals to those who are struggling by supporting Ottawa’s Food Bank year-round.

I would also like to thank TAAG, the Bank of Canada, Telus, and Versaterm for their gold sponsorship donation.

Thank you to all of you for your contributions.

And thank you to all of our guests this evening.

Your combined support is helping these organizations change lives.


We have been through a lot lately.

Whether it was a violent storm that uprooted trees, destroyed homes, and took out power lines across the city.

Or dealing with the illegal protest that caused so much stress and hardship for our city.

Or the multiple waves of the pandemic and the isolation it caused.

We have faced and overcome so many challenges together.

Because that’s what community does during times of crisis.

We come together.

And we emerge stronger because of that.


One of the things I have learned during the course of my time as a police officer is that you cannot do this work alone.

You have to work on developing strong relationships and partnerships within the neighbourhoods and community you serve.

And that starts by building diverse and capable teams within our organization.

Teams that drive change and provide stable leadership that members and community can trust.

Public trust is vital to our service.

It allows us to do our jobs and to make important changes, together.


Policing is about helping people.

One of my favourite parts of tonight is the Commendations section.

You will hear tonight about some of the heroic actions our members have done.

They have saved lives, built community, helped youth, recovered property, gave aid to mortally wounded victims, seized guns and solved crimes.

These women and men represent the very best of our Service.

Their dedication and professionalism deserve to be recognized.

They were someone’s hero in a time of need.

I am proud of their work. 

Their work is just an example of the things we see every day in policing.

Our members care about the community.

They are your neighbours, family members, and friends.

They want to make a difference.

Just like the charities we are celebrating here tonight.


I would like to take a moment and ask Inspector Jim Elves and Community co-chair Catherine Clark to come up to the stage.

This event could not have happened without their hard work and the work of their dedicated team of volunteers, and the volunteers from Mamawi and YouTurn.

Please join me in thanking them for putting on yet another amazing event.

And after tonight, we have managed to raise over $1 million for local charities to-date.

That’s a lot of people this gala has helped over the years. 

And that’s how we build a strong, safe, and inclusive community.

Like you, I am proud of Ottawa. We have all have built a life here.

We all see the way it is growing and evolving.

We have a lot to be thankful for. Part of being thankful is giving back.

We must also meet the changing needs of our communities.

We have heard the calls for a new approach to community safety and well-being.

And we are taking steps to do just that.

We are actively addressing systemic racism with new practices in place to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.

We have employed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion lens on virtually everything we do as a police service.

This includes revamping our hiring process to eliminate barriers for diverse and marginalized applicants.

We have built new responses to neighbourhood issues and improved the way we deliver service.


I want to thank all of the members of the Ottawa Police and our community for allowing me the honour of leading us through some of these challenging times.

I am proud to be a member of the Ottawa Police Service.

I am proud to be a member of this community.

Together, we are moving in the right direction to get to a better place.

Thank you and I hope everyone has an amazing evening.

Youturn Youth Support Services is focused on providing individualized services to help youth, with complex needs, develop skills that will help them thrive. This includes bilingual 24-hour on-call support for youth in Ottawa, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Renfrew and Prescott-Russell. The program develops a tailored approach for each youth, coordinating with family and caregivers in order to ensure full access to a wide array of integrated services.

Màmawi Together’s mission has been to promote understanding of Indigenous peoples culture and history, promote better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and, ultimately, Reconciliation. It has received support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and most recently worked with the OPS to host a spiritual cleansing of the National War Memorial and the Aboriginal Veterans’ monuments.


The Ottawa Police Service has been hosting its annual Gala since 2010 and has raised over $1 million to date.

Past recipients have included:

  • 2010: Project S.T.E.P. (Support | Treatment | Education | Prevention)
  • 2011: Ottawa Mission
  • 2012: Youth Services Bureau
  • 2013: Christie Lake Kids
  • 2014: Boys & Girls Club
  • 2015: Ottawa Food Bank and The Caring and Sharing Exchange
  • 2016: Distress Centre Ottawa and Youville Centre
  • 2017: Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ottawa Victim Services
  • 2018: Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Foundation, Great Canadian Theatre Company and Beechwood Cemetery
  • 2019: The SnowSuit Fund, Operation Come Home and Beechwood Cemetery
  • 2022: Youturn Youth Support Services and Màmawi Together