Light It Up! For NDEAM: Over 230 Locations in Almost 100 Cities Across Canada to Shine Purple and Blue Light on Importance and Benefits of Disability-Inclusive Recruitment and Hiring

3D Toronto sign lit purple and blue at night. Picture taken at sharp angle.
The City of Toronto 3D “Toronto” sign, lit purple and blue for the first Light It Up! for NDEAM on October 22, 2020.

Whitby, ON — This year, the fall colours shining across Canada will be purple and blue, as communities nationwide Light It Up! For NDEAM™ the night of Thursday, October 21 to raise awareness about the importance of making sure disability-inclusive hiring is part of the business conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Light It Up! For NDEAM is literally shining a spotlight on the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and communities across Canada, and how they help companies be successful and competitive,” explains Jeannette Campbell, CEO of the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN).

From buildings, to bridges, to municipal signs, to an old CN caboose and even an iron-ore haul truck. Over 230 structures and spaces — including the Halifax Seaport District, The Supreme Court of Canada and world-famous Canadian landmarks — will be specially lit in the first-ever, co-ordinated, nationwide lighting event of its kind during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Campbell says, “While Light It Up! For NDEAM is a single, one-night event, what it’s been doing is incredible. It’s been sparking engagement and conversation about disability-inclusive hiring in many ways, between many community agencies and businesses, and local governments, all over Canada. That’s going to have a lasting effect that I believe can affect change.”

Says Joanna Goode, Executive Director of CASE, “CASE, and our members across Canada, are excited to help bring Light it Up! For NDEAM country-wide.” 

Goode adds, “This event is a catalyst for conversations about the contributions of employees who experience disability and the benefits of disability-inclusive hiring. We’re collaborating on a local, provincial and national level to create awareness and take action on removing barriers to employment.”

In 2021, there’s more awareness of, conversation about, and action on disability inclusion in business and employment than ever before. However, disability-inclusion efforts still too often get left out or left behind when business priorities change. Over 600,000 Canadians who have a disability, can, and want to work. But the employment rate of this demographic is only 59%.

A July RBC Economics report noted that there’s 3.6% labour shortage across all business sectors. The report says that “ as shortages grow, so will the urgency for Canada to turn to new and under-utilized sources of labour force growth.”

“We can’t have a true post-pandemic economic recovery if businesses aren’t operating at full potential because they don’t have enough staff. It’s imperative that businesses recruit from the disability talent pool, to stay successful and competitive in the years ahead,” says Campbell.

ODEN started Light It Up! For NDEAM last year in Ontario as part of its annual October NDEAM campaign. This year, ODEN has collaborated with The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE); MentorAbility Canada; and community-based disability employment service providers in all three organizations’ networks, to take Light it Up! For NDEAM nationwide.

“Outside Ontario, people have been hearing about Light it Up! For NDEAM for the first time. The enthusiastic response by so many is thrilling,” says Campbell.

ODEN and CASE fostered participation by creating a Light It Up! For NDEAM PR Kit downloadable from the ODEN website.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people across the country to participate in Light It Up!  For NDEAM, and engage with their local businesses and municipalities about the importance of disability inclusion in business,” explains ODEN’s Dean Askin, National Campaign Co-ordinator of the event. “And that’s clearly happening, by the huge response and level of participation.”

Even the federal government is participating in Light It Up! for NDEAM. The Property Facilities Management Directorate of Public Services and Procurement Canada is lighting up 34 federal buildings across the country. These include the Supreme Court building in Ottawa and the New Quebec Custom House National Historic Site in Quebec City.

“They said they definitely wanted to participate because of the message about disability inclusion that’s behind Light It Up! for NDEAM” Askin says. “They felt it’s really in line with the federal accessibility strategy for the public service, and they were excited about supporting our initiative. Having the federal government involved in this first national event is really exciting.”

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also participating in Light It Up! For NDEAM. The federal department is lighting up purple and blue eight of its Research and Development centres, in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

The official list of over 230 participating locations in almost 100 cities and towns, includes: The Burrard Street Bridge and BC Place in Vancouver; several City and Town Halls, in Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan; Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown; Alloway Hall at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg; the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton; the Newfoundland and Labrador Lieutenant-Governor’s House in St. John’s; the Greenstone Government of Canada building in Yellowknife; and the new interactive “Ottawa” sign in the Byward Market.

As well, these world-famous Canadian landmarks are lighting up next Thursday night: The Terry Fox Memorial at Mile 0, at the Port of St. John’s, NL; The Big Fiddle at the Port of Sydney, NS; The Big Nickel in Sudbury, ON; Niagara Falls (the Horseshoe Falls); and the CN Tower. Both the CN Tower and the Niagara Parks Commission participated in the first Light It Up! For NDEAM.

(Editors and writers note: the full list of Light It Up! For NDEAM participating locations is attached at the end of this news release.)

“It’s going to be a historic night,” says Campbell. “I hope, and think, the conversations about disability-inclusive hiring that Light It Up! For NDEAM is igniting, will continue long after the night is over.”

The social media hashtags for Light It Up! For NDEAM are: #LightItUpFor NDEAM, #LightItUp1021 and #EngageTalent.


For more information, and to arrange interviews, contact:  
Dave Bennett, Xposure PR 905-339-6668
Dean Askin, Communications Strategist, ODEN  416-818-1514 (cell)


ABOUT ODEN: The Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN), created in 2008, is a professional body of more than 130 employment service providers united to increase employment opportunities for people who have a disability. Members are from every corner of the province and support people of all disability types. Beyond Ontario, ODEN ( has connections with organizations in other provinces and territories of Canada. Light It Up! For NDEAMTM is a trademark of the Ontario Disability Employment Network.


ABOUT CASE: The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) is a national association for the supported employment sector. CASE works with service providers, employers and community allies to promote employment inclusion of people who experience disability. Find out more about CASE at


Light It Up! for NDEAM Confirmed List of Participating Locations



Corner Brook
Joseph R. Smallwood Building

Labrador City
Labrador West Employment Corporation
Iron Ore Company of Canada (Haul truck
at main entrance)

Green Bay Community Employment Centre

St. John’s
The John Cabot Building
Bannerman Brewing Co.
Avalon Employment Inc.
Lieutenant-Governor’s House
The Salvation Army Ches Penney Centre of Hope
Enviroblu Solutions Inc.
Warehouse Transport Group
M&M Properties Ltd.
Indigo Parking Management
Ossetra Wondrous Earth
Scrub Er Down Extreme Auto Detailing
St. John’s City Hall
Terry Fox Memorial at Mile 0



City Hall Tower
Confederation Centre of the Arts
Jean Canfield Building
RCMP “L” Division Headquarters
Daniel J. MacDonald Building

City Hall
Joseph A. Ghiz Building


Nova Scotia Works Cansa Building

Career Connections Nova Scotia
Farmers’ Market Insurance Company 

Nova Scotia Works – Employment Solutions

Cape Breton (Sydney)
Sydney Government of Canada Building
Nova Scotia Works – Island Employment
The Big Fiddle (Port of Sydney)
Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design
Bank of Montreal Museum

Career Connections Nova Scotia
Guysborough County Community Business Development Corporation
Municipality of the District of Guysborough (Municipal Office)
Guysborough PharmaChoice

City Hall
TEAM Work Cooperative Offices
The Salt Yard Develop (Develop Nova Scotia)
Halifax Seaport District (Port of Halifax)

Hatchet Lake
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Kentville
Research and Development Centre

Mulgrave Memorial Centre (Town of Mulgrave)

New Glasgow
Career Connections Nova Scotia
IGNITE Atlantic

Pictou County Chamber of Commerce office
Tim Hortons 687 East River Road
Tim Hortons 750 Westville Road
Pizza Delight 688 East River Road
Subway 677 East River Road
Burnnott Limited Office 677 East River Road
Canadian Tire
Global Courseware Inc.

Municipality of Pictou County (Municipal Office)

Town Hall

Town of Trenton (old CN caboose 79294)

Town Library

IGNITE Atlantic



Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick Building
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Fredericton
Research and Development Centre

Miramichi Pay Centre

Gulf Fisheries Centre

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(310 Baig Blvd.)

DSS Building (Government of Canada
Pension Centre)


Place du Centre
Place du Portage III
Place du Portage IV
Office of the Information Commissioner
of Canada
Galerie Gatineau
Fontaine Building

Organisation de l’aviation civile
internationale (OACI) (La maison de l’OACI)
The Sofitel Hotel
Dominion Square

Quebec City
Transport Canada
New Quebec Custom House National
Historic Site (Canada Border Services
Agency Quebec Region)


Joe Meloche Ford

Bridge Street Bridge

Michael Dawthorne (ODEN Board Chair) Residence

Bracebridge Falls
Community Living South Muskoka

City Hall Clock Tower
WCG Services (Employment Ontario)

Career Edge offices

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre

Town Hall

Town Clock
Government of Canada Building

Watton Employment Services 

Town Hall and Downtown Core lamp posts

Community Living Essex County (Head Office)

Fleming College – Haliburton School
of Art & Design

Fleming CREW Employment Centre

City of Hamilton Signature Sign
VPI Working Solutions – Offices

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Harrow Research and Development Centre

Employment Services Centre

Community Living Huntsville Office
YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

Kenora Association For Community Living

City Hall Façade
Springer Market Square

Lanark County
Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc.
(Home Office)

VCCS Employment Services
Fleming College – Frost Campus

City Hall
Fountain at the Forks
J.A. Taylor Building
Canada Life
Sifton Properties
March of Dimes Southwest Regional Office
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – London Research and Development Centre

Municipal water tower

Civic Centre Clock Tower

Riverwalk Commons
Fred A. Lundy Bridge

Niagara Falls
Horseshoe Falls

North Bay
City Hall
Canadian Mental Health Association (Employment Centre Bldg.)
March of Dimes Bldg.
Vic Fedelli – MPP Office
EarlyON Centre
Community Living North Bay Offices

Town Hall

“Ottawa” Sign in Byward Market
L’Esplanade Laurier
Minto Place Canada Building (Property 54614)
Sir William Logan Building
Department of National Defence Carling Campus Building 5
Supreme Court of Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Ottawa Skyline Buildings (Tower 7)

Fleming College campuses
Fleming College Muskoka–Kawarthas Employment Services Office
Employment Planning & Counselling Peterborough
Agilec office
Fleming CREW Employment Centre
Alternatives Community Program Services 

Community Living Prince Edward
Prince Edward County OPP Detachment

Port Hope
Community Employment Services

City Hall

South Gravenhurst
Employment North

St. Catharines
Brock University Tower

St. Marys
Community Living St. Marys & Area Office
GC Boyle Law Firm
Town Hall
Action Health Care
Troyers Spices
Lyric Flowers

Taxation Data Centre
Government of Canada Building
Elm Place Tower
The Big Nickel

Employment North
“Timmins” interactive municipal sign at Timmins Museum

Canada Life Building
Pearson Control Tower
CN Tower
3D Toronto Sign
Canada Centre
Environment Canada Building
The Azrieli Foundation
Can Pro Investments Ltd.
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
March of Dimes Canada National Office

Welland Bridge 13

East Windsor Lowe’s Store #3010


Home Hardware
Rexall Pharmacy
Chicken Delight
Vickie’s Snack Bar
Superior Inn & Conference Centre
Beausejour Bowling Lanes
Association for Community Living – Beausejour Branch
Supported Employment Options
Colin’s House
Pennyweight Market 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Brandon Research and Development Centre

Manitoba Museum – Alloway Hall
Reaching E-Quality Employment Services
City of Winnipeg – “Winnipeg” signature sign


City Hall

La Ronge
NorthSask Special Needs

North Battleford
Prairie Employment Program Building
Battlefords Trade and Education Centre

Prince Albert
Eagle’s Nest Youth Ranch Inc. – 6 residential
Wintersun 420

City Hall Foyer
Clare Parker Homes (403 & 406–2206
Dewdney Ave)
Juliana Pizza
Farm Credit Canada

SARC Administration Building sign
Prairie Wind in River Landing
Autism Services Saskatoon

Eagle’s Nest Youth Ranch Inc. – 6 residential houses
University of Saskatchewan Campus
River Landing East Tower
River Landing Nutrien Tower
River Landing Plaza

Swift Current
Original Joe’s


Calgary Tower
TELUS Spark Science Centre
Olympic Plaza
Arts Commons
Stephen Avenue Galleria Trees
Reconciliation Bridge
Jubilee Theatre

High Level Bridge
Canada Place

Jasper Employment and Education Centre

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Lacombe Research and Development Centre

City Hall

Red Deer
City Hall


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Agassiz Research and Development Centre

Downtown businesses
Garrison Crossing businesses

ASLC – WorkBC Centre Naksup
(Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services)

The Bastion

North Vancouver
North Shore Disability Resource Centre

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Summerland
Research and Development Centre

RCMP “E” Division Headquarters (Green Timbers)
Burnaby Fraser Valley Tax Services Office
(9737–9755 King George Blvd)

BC Place
Property 16596 (formerly the federal Henry
Herbert Stevens Building)
City Hall
Burrard Street Bridge

Connexus Community Resources

P.L. James Place


Greenstone Government of Canada Building