Through recognizing and sharing the success stories of today’s female leaders, our Leadership Programs inspire and cultivate acts of courage in others.

Ordinary Women doing Extraordinary Things

Famous 5 Ottawa celebrates the achievements of all women by putting names forward for local, provincial and national awards. In Ottawa, more than 40 Famous 5 volunteers are amoung the many women who have received the Province of Ontario Leading Women Building Communities Awards. One of our members was a first recipient of the prestigious Order of the City of Ottawa. We encourage the nomination of women in all aspects of life, and facilitate and promote their achievements.


The Enbridge Famous 5 Ottawa Speaker Series profiles extraordinarily successful women. Our speakers talk candidly about their leadership journeys, and about the passion, vision and determination that drive them. They discuss our role in our society and the ethical responsibilities and consequences of our actions. 

You will hear about challenges and triumphs; stories of joy and loss; humbling moments of reflection and inspiring calls to action. Throughout each keynote address you will gain insights to help address your own leadership dilemmas, whether your work is in business, politics, education or community development. We hope you will leave feeling inspired and energized to pursue your own courageous journeys.


In partnership with the international law practice, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Famous 5 Ottawa organizes the Norton Rose Fulbright Mentorship Program. This program provides an opportunity for young women to gain experience in public speaking and media. Famous 5 Ottawa believes that young women should be at the front of the room speaking and not at the back of the room organizing. Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, supports the opportunity for women to be mentored, coached and supported in public speaking and on media platforms.


Famous5 Ottawa is partnering with TD Bank on a monthly Lunch and Learn program at Youville Centre aimed at motivating pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers with stories of inspiration and encouragement. Youville Centre, based in Ottawa, provides young mothers with crisis intervention, intensive mental health therapy and treatment, parenting programs, a licensed child development program and a fully accredited secondary school.   

The TD Bank Famous 5 Ottawa Lunch & Learn Program at Youville brings in women from the community to chat about their lives and career paths in areas such as the trades, the armed forces, government work, entrepreneurship and other vocations. The goal of the program is to provide encouragement, suggest skill development and practical strategies, support goal setting and share stories of overcoming adversity as women. Youville has applauded the contribution by TDBank and Famous5Ottawa and says the program is a big success that is helping young mothers be inspired by women in the community who have experienced real life challenges.





Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne takes centre stage at the National Arts Centre (NAC) April 30, 2015 where she will be honoured as a nation builder by the Famous 5 Ottawa.

“We are proud to honour Ontario’s 25th Premier and the first woman to serve in that role, Kathleen Wynne, as a nation builder in the legacy of the Famous Five,” said Isabel Metcalfe, chair of Famous 5 Ottawa.

“Premier Wynne has shown strong leadership by introducing practical progressive solutions to make Ontario stronger and equal for all, as originally demonstrated by the actions of the Famous Five.”

Wynne, who was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 as the MPP for Don Valley West, became the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in January. She has served as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of Education.

Famous 5 Ottawa luncheon will also acknowledge the women who have been awarded the Leading Women Building Communities Award by the province of Ontario.

Wynne will also attend the NAC’s Ontario Scene while in the nation’s capital, as well. The event celebrates the province’s dynamic culture represented by some 600 artists from all disciplines who will be performing at the NAC from April 29 to May 10, 2015.

The Famous Five – Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Irene Parlby – opened the doors of the Senate of Canada to women through the Persons Case, a milestone in Canadian legal history.

Famous 5 Ottawa honours women who, like the original Famous Five, are Nation Builders; women who through their leadership and courage have advanced the cause of equality for all in ways that have enriched our communities and our country.




Following in McClung’s trail blazing footsteps, for the first time in Canadian history, the 2015 federal election will see the campaigns of all three leading political parties run by women.

Famous 5 Ottawa will honour these women – Jenni Byrne, the Conservatives’ campaign manager, Anne McGrath, the NDP’s campaign director and Katie Telford, the Liberals’ campaign co-chair – as nation builders at a luncheon March 9, 2015 at The Westin Ottawa Hotel.

“As women leading their respective political parties for the upcoming national election, Famous 5 Ottawa will celebrate their achievements at the national level and the work they do to support those in public life,” said Isabel Metcalfe, chair of Famous 5 Ottawa.

The luncheon will be attended by McGrath, Telford and Conservative Sen. Marjory LeBreton. Byrne has accepted the honour but is unable to attend.

LeBreton is a good friend of Famous 5 Ottawa. In 1998, she seconded the motion for the Senate of Canada to approve the placement of the Women Are Persons! monument on Parliament Hill. It commemorates the efforts of the original Famous Five Alberta women – Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Louise McKinney – for the political battle they fought to secure the right of women to serve in the Senate of Canada and beginning a long road of constitutional change in Canada.


Kim Campbell