Igbo Association Ottawa-Gatineau


New Yam Festival 2024

Welcome to the New Yam Festival 2024!

Celebrate Igbo culture with thrilling dances, mesmerizing masquerades, sumptuous meals and a live performance by Ogene master Ejyk Nwamba!

The Igbo Association Ottawa-Gatineau invites all Igbo daughters and sons from Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Rivers, and the public from all over Canada, to the 2024 New Yam Festival, also known as Iwa Ji and Iri Ji Ohuru!

This First Annual New Yam Festival will showcase thrilling cultural dances and mesmerizing masquerades. A special feature of the festival will be a live performance by the Ogene highlife musical maestro, Ejyk Nwamba – the Ogene master!

And of course, no New Yam Festival is complete without a taste of home! We’ll have a delicious spread of Igbo delicacies: spicy Ugba, hearty Ji Nmiri Oku, flavorful Nkwobi, and savory Abacha.

It’s a day to celebrate our heritage, reconnect with loved ones, and create new memories!

We acknowledge with deep respect that we gather on unceded Algonquin Anishinabe Territory. We are deeply grateful to live, work, dance and play on this land.


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” (Marcus Garvey)

The New Yam Festival is a deeply cherished cultural heritage celebrated by the Igbo community worldwide. For the Igbo Ottawa/Gatineau Association, this event is a landmark celebration with significant cultural, spiritual, social, and economic impacts.
We express our gratitude to Jehovah, “He That Makes To Be,” for making this possible, and we acknowledge the labor of past leaders and members of the Igbo Ottawa/Gatineau Association who have sustained it over the years. Special credit goes to the new Executive led by High Chief Engr. Chidiebere Ahaotu and dynamic PRO, Mazi Chikezirim Nwakanma.

Why do we celebrate the New Yam Festival? What is the cultural symbolism of the ‘Yam’? The festival offers thanks to the Supreme deity, “Chukwu Okike Abiama,” for a bountiful harvest and seeks blessings for the upcoming season. Yam, as the king of crops, holds a sacred position among the Igbos and symbolizes wealth and success.
The festival not only promotes our rich cultural heritage but also serves as a means to preserve it. The Igbo society values unity and community, as reflected in the saying, “I am because we are and since we are, therefore I am.” The Igbos’ adaptability and community spirit are crucial traits that have helped them thrive globally.
The New Yam Festival plays a pivotal role in promoting and preserving our cultural heritage. As Chinua Achebe noted, gathering together for such events strengthens our bonds and highlights our shared values. This year’s festival is particularly significant as it marks the first New Yam Festival in the history of our Association in Ottawa and coincides with the recent accreditation of the Igbo language in the Canadian education curriculum.
The festival offers an opportunity to showcase our rich cultural music, dances, attire, and costumes. It is a time for social interaction, allowing families and friends to come together and for our children to learn about our cultural heritage and values.
We use this maiden edition as a clarion call to all our Igbo brothers and sisters in Ottawa/Gatineau to join the Association and make our community great. “Ofu onye adighi nma n’ije” (One person alone does not make a journey successful).
Igbo kwenu! Kwenu! Kwezuonu!

By: Hon. Uchendu Precious Onuoha
Writer, Author/Poet

I have seen firsthand the positive impact this organization has had on the local Nigerian and African communities. Their dedication to preserving and promoting Igbo culture through education, socialization, and collaboration is truly inspiring. I am proud to support their mission and look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of the organization.
Jeanne McIverness