Hometown game with benefitsPublished on March 15, 2019

Scott McLaren, left, and Kevin McMahon Photo by: Mark Holleron

While it sometimes seems that technology has taken over every aspect of our lives, there’s an encouraging new trend that’s bringing classic tabletop games back to the family room. The timing is perfect for the launch this year of an Ottawa-themed Monopoly game.

The game, which is the brainchild of longtime friends and local businessmen Scott McLaren, president of Festival Promotions, and Kevin McMahon, founder of the consulting firm Urban Logic Ottawa, will not only bring hours of fun but the proceeds will go entirely to benefit local children’s charities.

“We’ve had custom Monopoly available as a product in our promotional world for years,” said Scott. “We figured, why don’t we make it for Ottawa and do it as a charity project?” He added that they approached Hasbro, the maker of the Monopoly game, and is working with its custom division to manufacture the product for release in November, in time for the 2019 holiday season.

“We were looking for an innovative fundraising solution to raise as much money as possible for amazing charities, provide a tangible benefit for local business, and engage the entire City of Ottawa—all while having fun at the same time,” said Kevin.

The original Monopoly game reflects the neighbourhoods of 1920s Atlantic City, but the new Ottawa version will have all names we recognize here in the nation’s capital. Players can buy up Bank Street instead of Boardwalk; Richmond Road instead of Park Place; and Illinois Avenue is Preston Street. The old railroads will now be our new LRT stations, with builders Colonnade BridgePort picking up the Westboro and Tunney stations.

All aspects of the game are Ottawa themed, including the game tokens. “The #11 Alfie token is going to be pretty coveted,” said Scott.
Even Ottawa At Home Magazine will be part of the fun, as the face of the three “Community Chest” spaces on the board along with the always-generous deck of cards. The project has also received incredible support from the city’s private sector.

Scott is thrilled that the vast majority of people think the new game is very cool, as many still have a traditional Monopoly game so they understand its staying power. “I could probably go back to my parents’ house and pull out the game that they purchased in the early ‘90s—they’re very durable. For somebody to become a sponsor and spend a few thousand dollars to get on the board today, that’s going to be around like a time capsule of this city as it was in the year 2019,” he said.

With limited availability on the board, spots have filled up quickly and are now 80 per cent sold out.

Since Scott and Kevin are both dads and Monopoly is a fun family game, they decided to give 100 per cent of the proceeds to local children’s charities. They’re hoping to raise $75,000 and divide it between Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa, DIFD and the Royal Ottawa Youth Mental Health Foundation, plus a group of grassroots organizations yet to be finalized.

“We’re hopeful that the public response will be as positive as the response from local businesses,” said Kevin. “It’s an excellent opportunity to make a difference within our community simply by purchasing a unique, Ottawa-themed board game that they can enjoy that they can enjoy with their friends and family.”

Pre-sales of Monopoly Ottawa are available at: monopolyottawa.com

Alexia Naidoo

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