About

About Us

Established 2022

Established in February 2022, the James Joyce Association of Ottawa is a registered non-profit organization run entirely by dedicated volunteers. 

Our mission is to promote awareness and accessibility to the works of literary icon, James Joyce. Through various mediums, we foster a platform for open dialogue and shared knowledge to a wider audience. 

Previous events include our annual Bloomsday celebration in Ottawa, highlighting readings from Ulysses, a Reading Series and musical events throughout the winter from Dubliners  . Now, with formal organization in place, we are pleased to offer a greater variety of selections and increased community interaction, further solidifying our engagement with the Ottawa area. 

Join us in our passion for preserving and promoting the works of James Joyce.

Meet Our Team

Rosemary O’Brien

Rosemary O’Brien

President

Rosemary hails from Laois, Ireland  and has been living in Ottawa for many a year. She has  been involved in the Ottawa Irish community in many different roles. She has celebrated Bloomsday and James Joyce for many years in some form or other, each time learning more and having great fun. As COVID isolation began to ease she brought all the players from previous Ulysses productions together for an outdoor reading. She produced “The Dead” from the Dubliners in 2020 on line to great reviews and has continued to search for more venues and insights into the depth of Joyce’s works.

Eileen Cassidy

Eileen Cassidy

Vice President

Eileen is proud to have recently finished reading all eighteen episodes of Ulysses. This was her fourth time reading James Joyce’s masterpiece and she can attest that reading Ulysses is more fun with each repetition!”

Niamh O'Brien

Niamh O'Brien

Public Relations Officer

Niamh is an Ottawa born Irish Canadian. She loves all things literature, theatre and costumes and as a member of JJAO she can have all three. Though the Molly Soliloquy still makes Niamh blush every time she has been enjoying learning and reciting Joyce at multiple Bloomsday Events and the Reading Series. 

Nora Pat Marshall

Nora Pat Marshall

Associate

Nora Pat Marshall has been involved in community theatre for over 40 years. She loves all things Irish, especially her harp.

Susanna Doherty

Susanna Doherty

Trerasurer

Susanna Doherty is a performer from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Since arriving in Ottawa, she has been an active volunteer within the Irish community. She has been a member of several boards and committees, including, the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, Irish Film Festival Ottawa, Darkness Into Light Ottawa, and the James Joyce Association of Ottawa.

Susanna enjoys performing regularly as part of the local theatre and music community.

Paula McCann

Paula McCann

Secretary

Paula arrived in Ottawa from Dublin in April 2023 and quickly immersed herself in the vibrant Irish community here. She is very impressed by Ottawa’s deep Irish roots. Within a short time of arriving, she attended a reading of Dubliners, which introduced her to the James Joyce Association of Ottawa.  Then, she joined the Ottawa Celtic Choir, and soon she was also involved in the Irish Women’s Network and book club (Between the Wines) as well as an Irish song circle.  She knows her tribe!  Paula maintains close contact with the Joycean community back in Dublin, including Joyceborough and the James Joyce Centre on North Great George’s Street.  For many a Bloomsday, she and her friends explored Dublin on the trail of Leopold and Stephen.

Sharon Labelle

Sharon Labelle

Website Administrator

Sharon is an Irish Descendant.  Her Scharfe relatives (paternal) immigrated to the Ottawa area from Kilkenny, Ireland in 1820 and found their way to West Quebec to farm.  Her McNally relatives (maternal) immigrated to Canada from Belfast, Ireland in 1922 because they could not live in a divided Ireland.  Her upbringing centered around her Irish ancestry and gave her a love of the Irish Culture.  She studied Literature at University and came to love Joyce.  She is currently taking an on-line course on Ulysses from the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.

Ian Ashe

Ian Ashe

Past Secretary

Ian left Ireland in 1972 , having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with degrees in business, law (LL.B) and a B.A. in English Literature.

In Canada, he worked in banking and trusts and he is now retired.

Margaret Harvey-O’Kelly

Margaret Harvey-O’Kelly

Past Treasurer

Margaret Harvey-O’Kelly used to run up and down the spiral staircase in the James Joyce tower in Sandycove for fun when she was growing up. She had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to fully appreciate Joyce’s writing. Since emigrating to Canada in the 80s,  Margaret has been involved in many Bloomsday celebrations, each time learning a bit more about Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus. Since 2020, Margaret has tuned in weekly with a zoom group from DunLaoghaire, known as the Friends of Joyce Tower, to read through Ulysses and delve into thousands of rabbit holes. They hope to reach the final YES sometime in 2024. Margaret is delighted to be a founding member of the James Joyce Association of Ottawa

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses

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