Want to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in style? There’s no better place to be than Ottawa – Canada’s Capital – in 2017!
From Jan. 1, 2017 all the way through to January 2018, you’ll find exciting, one-of-a-kind events going on all over Ottawa. Intrigued? You should be. We’ve put together 17 reasons you should be in Ottawa in 2017. This is a year in Ottawa that you definitely don’t want to miss!
1. Canada Day – July 1, 2017:
Ottawa is THE place to be each year on Canada Day as Ottawa’s downtown core is shut down to motor vehicles, creating one big party! This year, in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canada Day organizers are extending festivities over the entire long weekend from June 30 to July 2, 2017! Official events include live entertainment and activities on Parliament Hill, in Major’s Hill Park and at the Canadian Museum of History, plus fireworks at 11 p.m.—all free! Canadian Heritage will announce specific programming for 2017 celebrations shortly.
2. Canadian History Hall – July 1, 2017:
On July 1, 2017, the Canadian Museum of History will unveil its much awaited Canadian History Hall. In this new, expansive hall, you’ll find 1,800 priceless artifacts that recount 15,000 years of Canadian history. Among the artifacts is the Moffat stick – the oldest hockey stick known to be in existence – as well as the handcuffs used to restrain Louis Riel during his execution in 1885 and Maurice “The Rocket” Richard’s Montréal Canadiens hockey sweater, to name a few.
3. Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge – July 2, 2017:
This special post-Canada Day event offers grass picnic spots on the Alexandra Bridge, which overlooks Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River. Bring everything you need to enjoy a picnic with a fantastic view! This is a special 2017 event.
4. La Machine – July 27-30, 2017:
This Signature 2017 event is a North American first and will see two magical, larger than life creatures take over Ottawa’s downtown core! See a fire-breathing dragon and a giant spider roam the streets of Ottawa. You’ll want to have your camera ready for this unique, FREE and family-friendly event.
5. Kontinuum – July 16-September 14, 2017:
Over the summer of 2017, Ottawa’s Lyon Street station will become home to an underground, impressive and immersive multi-media experience. Get ready for large-scale light displays, music and more. Kontinuum, a free and interactive event, is a world first!
6. Red Bull Crashed Ice – March 3-4, 2017:
The final leg of the Red Bull Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, known as ‘Red Bull Crashed Ice,’ will take place in Ottawa in the spring of 2017. Get ready for this high-energy, action-packed event that will be framed by the beautiful facades of the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill and the historic Fairmont Château Laurier. This is ice skating like you’ve never seen it before. Red Bull Crashed Ice is the fastest sport on skates!
7. Stanley Cup Tribute – March 2017:
If you’re a hockey fan, you’ll want to be in Ottawa from March 15-18, 2017. Over these four days, you can attend an NHL alumni star-studded gala, see the famous Stanley Cup at Lansdowne, take in a Stanley Cup 125th Anniversary Tribute Concert and more. This is your chance to get a photo with the Stanley Cup!
8. Sky Lounge – July 7-22, 2017:
Want to know what it’s like to enjoy a meal high above Ottawa? Here’s your chance! For about 15 days in July 2017, people will get to enjoy a meal suspended at 150 feet above Ottawa. This will be a fine dining experience to remember!
9. 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings – December 2017:
If you like curling, this is a 2017 sports event that you don’t want to miss. Roar of the Rings are the Canadian Olympic curling trials and they will be taking place in Ottawa from Dec. 2-10, 2017! This competition will determine which teams will represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
10. Canada Scene at the NAC and around town – June 15 to July 23, 2017:
Major renovations taking place at the National Arts Centre (NAC) will be unveiled on Canada’s official 150th birthday on July 1, 2017. In the meantime, from June 15 to July 23, 2017, the NAC (and other locations throughout Ottawa) will be home to Canada Scene. This multidisciplinary cultural festival features over 1,000 artists from across Canada taking part in over 100 events—some of which are free!
11. YOWttawa – August 21, 2017:
This outdoor live music event at Lansdowne brings together American headliner Guns N’ Roses and Canadian opening act, Our Lady Peace on August 21! Before the show, other Canadian artists—including francophone and indigenous talent—will be featured at the on-site “All Canadian Tail Gate Party”.
12. Ignite 150 – Throughout 2017:
Throughout Canada’s big year, special events will be taking place all over Ottawa! To be announced on social media, these fun impromptu events will include a yoga session on a floating barge, a movie on a downtown rooftop terrace and more. Keep an eye out for these events!
13. 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ outdoor hockey game – December 16, 2017:
The Ottawa Senators play the Montréal Canadiens in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ outdoor hockey game. The game, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the very first National Hockey League game, will be held at TD Place at Lansdowne.
14. Free entry into Canada’s National Parks in 2017:
If you’ve always wanted to experience Canada’s natural beauty, 2017 would be the year to do it! To mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, Parks Canada will waive all entry fees into the country’s beautiful national parks and national historic sites for the entire year. Additionally, lockage fees on the famous Rideau Canal and other waterways will also be waived. Happy exploring!
15. JUNO Week & the 2017 JUNO Awards – Spring 2017:
From March 27 to April 2, 2017, Ottawa will be the place for all things JUNO! Throughout the week, enjoy various music performances, workshops and other activities that showcase the diversity of Canada’s vibrant music scene. The week will then culminate with a grand celebration of the country’s musical elite at the JUNO Awards, which will take place at the Canadian Tire Centre on April 2, 2017.
16. The 105th Grey Cup and Festival – November 21-26, 2017:
Lansdowne will host the Grey Cup festival from November 21-26 leading up to Canada’s 105th Grey Cup on November 26, 2017! This exciting championship game decides the champion team for the 2017 Canadian Football League (CFL) season.
17. Special Exhibits – Throughout 2017:
As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa is home to seven national museums that are worth visiting at any time of the year. But in 2017, some museums will focus on a Canadiana theme. At the Canadian Museum of History, you’ll find two special exhibits; Hockey in Canada – More Than Just A Game (from March 3 to Oct. 9, 2017) and Canada – Day 1 (from June 1, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018). Also at the Canadian War Museum, you’ll find Vimy – Battle, Memorial, Icon (from April 7, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018) and the Bytown Museum will present A Century of Community (from Feb. 3, 2017 to Feb. 19, 2018).
But even with these 17 reasons, we’re only just scratching the surface of all the great things that will be going on in Ottawa in 2017. There is still much more to come! For more information on what’s going on now and on more plans being made for Canada’s big birthday, explore Ottawa Tourism’s Ottawa in 2017 website section. Also, stay tuned!