Isabel Metcalfe receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization, April 2018


Isabel Metcalfe is an award-winning businesswoman with a distinguished record of community involvement. With knowledge and professional networks spanning four decades, Isabel offers her experience and efficient strategic support to clients in the Indigenous community, news media business, energy, international development, labour, culture, agriculture and the NGO sector.


Having worked in the offices of three Prime Ministers — Pierre Elliott Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chrétien — she has also been a candidate for the House of Commons and the City of Ottawa.


A current member of the Ontario Health & Long Term Care Citizen’s Council and The Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy she is a former Chair of the Community Advisory Committee of the Ottawa Hospital; City of Ottawa 2017 Committee; Boards of Directors of The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, The Ottawa Hospital, The National Screen Institute and the Ontario Trillium Fund. A juror for the Governor General’s Persons’ Case Awards she was a founding director of the National Capital Dragon Boat Festival and Secretary of the Hong Kong Canada Business Association (Ottawa).


An International Election Observer for both the Government of Canada and the National Democratic Institute she has helped advance democracy in Ukraine, Lebanon, Albania and Azerbaijan as well as providing election training to female candidates.  The Founding Chair of Famous 5 Ottawa – the group that ensured placement of the Women Are Persons! Monument on Parliament Hill and women recognized on the $50 bank note – Famous 5 Ottawa honours women as nation builders.

In 2017 Isabel was recognized by the Government of Ontario with the #OC150 Award and by the City of Ottawa with the Mayor’s City Builder Award. She is also the recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. She has been awarded the Leading Women Building Communities Award and the Volunteer Service Award by the Province of Ontario. In 1998 she was named a Judy LaMarsh Woman of Distinction. 

Isabel Metcalfe holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University, as well as Grade 8 Piano and Grade II Theory from the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music. She is the proud mother of three university-educated children and the grandmother of three girls.


  • #OC150 Award, Province of Ontario
  • Mayor’s City Building Award, 2017, City of Ottawa
  • Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012
  • Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
  • Leading Women Building Communities Award, Province of Ontario, 2010
  • Ontario Volunteer Service Awards, Province of Ontario, 2010
  • Judy LaMarsh Woman of Distinction, 1988


  • Second busiest lobbyist in Ottawa, 2014 Maclean's Power Issue
  • Member, City of Ottawa 2017 Committee, 2015 - current
  • Member, Citizens’ Council, Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, Ontario, 2015 - current
  • Member, Advisory Board, the Canadian Centre for Progressive Policy, Ottawa, 2014 - current
  • Chair, Famous 5 Ottawa, 1999–current
  • International Election Observer & Trainer, 2002 – current (Lebanon, Albania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Ontario Trillium Foundation, 2004–2010
  • Juror, Governor General’s Persons’ Case Awards, 1998–2003
  • Chair, Community Advisory Committee, The Ottawa Hospital, 1999–2003
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Ottawa Hospital, 1998–2001
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, 1988–1998
  • Founding Director, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, 1994-2000
  • Secretary, Hong Kong Canada Business Association, 1992 - 1997