Wabano Opening

Wabano Centre expansion “a grand story,” ED Allison Fisher


The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is located at 299 Montreal Road in Ottawa. (Photo: Vicky Laforge for Wabano Centre)

The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa celebrated the official opening of its newly expanded building on May 9, 2013.

“Tonight is about a grand story,” said Executive Director Allison Fisher to a captivated crowd. “It takes foresight to know that space isn’t just bricks and mortar—it is beauty. It revolves around optimism. It is a trust in the power of space to humanize us, to protect and enrich us.”

From the undulating glass to the fluid steps of its new entrance, water is the theme that flows through this spectacular space, designed by Douglas Cardinal and built under the oversight of Bret Cardinal and Mark Conley.

The landmark facility will offer enhanced maternal wellness services and social enterprise initiatives. The centre will also be a hub for culturally-based education for health professionals and the broader community to work with Aboriginal people.

“Wabano is a place that secures a future; that transforms us each day; built on our strengths, but also interdependent on other members of this great community,” said Fisher.

Fisher’s speech  followed remarks from Ministers Madeleine Meilleur and Bob Chiarelli, Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Bélanger, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and Wabano Board President Pierre Gauthier. 


The evening featured colourful performances and the lighting of a qulliq—a seal oil lamp—from Expo ’67, donated to the centre by Wabano Vice-President Valorie Whetung.

Established in 1998, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is a leader in community-based, holistic health care. The centre offers a range of health, cultural and social support services to more than 10,000 people each year. The new 25,000-square-foot expansion provides new meeting spaces for community groups, outreach and after school programs, crisis intervention initiatives, and career training and workshops while showcasing Aboriginal art and culture.

To learn more about the Wabano Centre, please visit wabano.com.

Grand opening press release

Allison Fisher grand opening remarks