Author: Keenan Wellar
Starting in 1997, Keenan Wellar has served as Co-Leader and Director of Communications for LiveWorkPlay, a charitable organization based in Ottawa that helps the community welcome and include people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons, and individuals with a dual diagnosis to live, work, and play as valued citizens. LiveWorkPlay was honoured as the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal’s Best Ottawa Business Awards as the best Ottawa Non-Profit of 2019 and was the recipient of the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) 2020 Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment as the top service provider of 2020. As both a professional spokesperson and volunteer advocate, Keenan supports change locally in the Ottawa area community, as well as provincially as a founding member of the From Presence To Citizenship initiative, nationally in partnership with housing, employment, and other advocacy organizations, and worldwide via Inclusion International and other allies. Keenan makes frequent media appearances, mainly as a spokersperson for LiveWorkPlay, but is also called upon for commentary about local sports as an avid fan who closely follows the Ottawa RedBlacks and Atletico Ottawa, as well as general news commentary. After many years as regular panelist on the 1310 News Talk Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe (Mark is now the Mayor of Ottawa) in fall 2022 Keenan became a monthly regular on the the 580 CFRA Morning Live (Saturdays) Weekly Rundown Panel with Andrew Pinsent. Keenan has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Carleton University as well as undergraduate degrees in History and Education (Ontario Teacher Certification) from the University of Ottawa and many professional certifications such as Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing (Sprott School of Business) and Certified Governance Trainer (BoardSource). Keenan is a founding member of the Carleton University Alumni Mentor program and has supported more than a dozen students making their way from academics to the world of work. Previous volunteer efforts include more than 10,000 meals delivered with Meals on Wheels Ottawa, three years as Focus Area Champion of United Way East Ontario, and two years as Provincial Advisor to People First of Ontario. He is currently serving as a member of the Public Services and Procurement Canada Accessibility Advisory Panel and as Co-Chair of the Freedom From Harm sub-committee at the Council for Community Living Ontario. When not working and advocating, Keenan enjoys back country camping, kayaking, and nature photography with his wife Julie.