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Isabel Metcalfe is an award-winning small business owner and advocate with a distinguished record of community involvement. With knowledge and professional networks spanning 45+ years, she provides astute, efficient and trusted support to clients in the Indigenous community, news media business, energy, international development, labour, culture, transportation 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 Board of Directors of the Ottawa Arts Council, she is a past member of the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy Advisory Council, Ontario Health & Long Term Care Citizen’s Council and the City of Ottawa 2017 Committee. She is a former Chair of the Community Advisory Committee of The Ottawa Hospital and served on the 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 candidate.

From 1999 to 2019 she was the Founding Chair of Famous 5 Ottawa — the group that ensured the placement of the Women Are Persons! Monument on Parliament Hill — and got women recognized on the $50 bank note as nation builders.

In 2018 Isabel received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization; in 2017 she was recognized the Province of Ontario with the #OC 150 Award and by the City of Ottawa with the Mayor’s City Builder Awards. She is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’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.

Isabel Metcalfe earned 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 four girls.



  • Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Award (2022)
  • Ottawa Distinguished Women Lifetime Contribution Award (2022) — View Award Site
  • Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
  • #OC150 Award, Province of Ontario
  • Mayor’s City Building Award, City of Ottawa (2017)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2012)
  • Leading Women Building Communities Award, Province of Ontario (2010)
  • Ontario Volunteer Service Awards, Province of Ontario (2010)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (2002)
  • Judy LaMarsh Woman of Distinction (1988)


  • Member, Board of Directors, Ottawa Arts Council (2023-present)
  • Volunteer, Community Drop In, Shepherds of Good Hope (2019 – present)
  • Member, City of Ottawa 2017 Committee (2017 – 2018)
  • Member, Citizens’ Council, Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, Ontario (2015 – 2019)
  • Chair, Famous 5 Ottawa (1999 – 2019)
  • Member, Advisory Board, the Canadian Centre for Progressive Policy, Ottawa (2014 – present)
  • International Election Observer & Trainer (2002 -present — 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)
  • Founding Director, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival (1994-2000)

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