Promoting Health for All in Canada

CAPSA’s second annual Working On Wellness (WOW) event is taking place Friday, September 15th, 2023, at City Hall in Ottawa

Working on Welness (WOW) Festival

Working on Wellness (WOW) Festival – Substance use health, mental health and physical health – Friday, September 15, 2023 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM – image: event’s flyer, CAPSA

WOW was created with the purpose of modelling accessible, inclusive and integrated systems of care that support the health of the wider population of people living in Canada. Integrated care reflects all aspects of a person’s health and is an essential model in all health systems and communities to meet the needs of people seeking care. WOW brings leaders from national organizations and over 100 community partners from Physical Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Health services, together under one tent. It is a day to connect, learn and commit to eliminating stigma and barriers to care.

CAPSA is a national organization bringing expertise to needed systems change, impacting health outcomes related to substance use through evidence, compassion and integrity.  Working On Wellness builds upon the success from its previous event, known as Recovery Day Ottawa, that was held since 2013. CAPSA made the important decision to officially change the name of our longstanding event to reflect a journey of learning, by understanding that the term recovery can have different meanings to many people; it is often understood as abstinence only.

From Barriers to Integration

Many people in Canada use substances along a spectrum and will continue to use substances. In fact, 78% of people over the age of 15, living in Canada, use substances. CAPSA supports equitable health systems that have many pathways to improve health outcomes and do not require that individuals meet certain diagnostic criteria to access these services. This evolution opens the door to be more inclusive by using an All People All Pathways™ approach that promotes and celebrates all pathways to wellness and provides opportunities for equitable access to knowledge and information of services.

This year’s WOW event, welcomes more than 100 community partners and for the first time, is happening in conjunction with Carleton University’s second annual STAR Symposium – Using a Substance Use Health lens to transform research, policy and practice for people living in Canada. The WOW event will be livestreamed through social media channels (@CAPSACanada), and you can make a difference no matter where you are. Learn more about Substance Use Health and the work CAPSA is doing, by visiting or e-mail us at