Ottawa Tourism

Festivals & Events

Things to do in Ottawa this Weekend!
Things to do in Ottawa this Weekend!
August 17
Summer fun in Ottawa continues this weekend! Here is a list of activities happening in and around Ottawa this weekend, from August 18-20, 2017. Catch one of the final performances of the Changing of the Guard Ceremony on Parliament Hill, which wraps up on Thursday, August 24. This is the last full weekend to catch the ceremony! FREE! Head to the plaza in front of the Capital Information Kiosk located…
Changing of the Guard
Changing of the Guard
 
July 10 to August 24, 2017  Every summer morning Parliament Hill is alive with music and colourful drills. The Changing of the Guard began as a morning routine on the Hill in 1959, and has turned into an annual tradition. This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.…
Experience Ottawa The Amazing Race Canada Way
Experience Ottawa The Amazing Race Canada Way
August 8
Competitors from The Amazing Race Canada visited a few of Ottawa’s best sites and attractions during episode 6 of season 5, and we can help you follow in their footsteps! Read on for our tips on how to experience the beautiful and exciting locations the racers visited in Canada’s Capital – without the cut-throat competition and fear of being eliminated by Jon Montgomery! Ottawa City Hall and the Ottawa 2017…
First-Ever All-Star Baseball Game Hits a Home Run with Ottawa...
First-Ever All-Star Baseball Game Hits a Home Run with Ottawa...
August 1
(Almost) Major League baseball It was a historic night for baseball fans at the first-ever professional baseball All-Star game held in Canada’s Capital. Featuring the Can-Am League versus the American Association League, the 2017 All-Star game was held at Ottawa's RCGT Park, home of the Ottawa Champions. Starring top players from both leagues, the 2017 All-Star game began with a pre-game tribute to former Ottawa Mayor, Jim Durrell, an appearance…
La Machine – Giant Creatures Roam Downtown Ottawa in Summer...
La Machine – Giant Creatures Roam Downtown Ottawa in Summer...
 
July 27-30, 2017 In late July, two enormous mechanical creatures from La Machine – a fire and smoke-breathing dragon called Long-Ma, as well as a water-spraying spider called Kumo – will walk through Ottawa’s downtown core. Throughout the four days of July 27 to 30, 2017, crowds can take part in the free ambulant street theatre as the creatures perform scenes based on the story “The Spirit of the Dragon-Horse,…
A Remarkable Night Out in Ottawa: Dinner in the Sky...
A Remarkable Night Out in Ottawa: Dinner in the Sky...
July 20
If you're looking for unique experiences this summer, you’re in for some surprises in Ottawa! Special celebrations are taking place all year long to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Don’t miss this high-flying gourmet experience and multi-sensorial shows this summer.  The Sky Lounge Sky Lounge is a temporary gourmet event that takes you 150 feet above the city from July 7 to 22, 2017. The lounge lifts up at Ottawa City Hall, so from…
Best Places to Photograph this Canada Day Weekend in Ottawa
Best Places to Photograph this Canada Day Weekend in Ottawa
June 29
There will be a plethora of Instagram-worthy options in Ottawa over the Canada Day long weekend as Canada’s Capital celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation! We’ve gathered a handy list of some of the best Canada Day-themed events, places and things you’ll want to capture. Best of all, most are within Ottawa’s downtown core, where much of the free official festivities take place. And make sure to tag your photos…
Extend Your Stay: What To Do Around Canada Day Weekend...
Extend Your Stay: What To Do Around Canada Day Weekend...
June 28
Each year, Ottawa, as Canada’s Capital, hosts the country’s biggest birthday party on July 1. 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 are free and include live entertainment and activities in Major’s Hill Park and at the Canadian Museum of History over the three days, numerous live musical acts…
An Action-Packed Weekend at Canada's First-Ever Red Bull GRC Series
An Action-Packed Weekend at Canada's First-Ever Red Bull GRC Series
June 27
Excited rallycross fans gathered in Ottawa from June 17-18, 2017 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to witness history; Canada's first-ever Red Bull Global Rallycross Series held in Canada's capital! There was plenty of racing action for rallycross fans who attended this two-day event, with a non-stop action-packed schedule of heats, semi-finals, and finals. In a year featuring many spectacular celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, this Ottawa 2017 event was a huge hit with racing fans, who…
Official Canada Day Weekend 2017 Festivities
Official Canada Day Weekend 2017 Festivities
June 26
Don’t miss the biggest Canada Day party ever in Ottawa as we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation over the entire long weekend, June 30 to July 2, 2017! Three official sites will feature programming over the three days, including live entertainment by a range of Canadian artists, as well as the President’s Choice® Canada Day fireworks, the largest Canada Day pyrotechnic show ever which will be taking place around 11:00 p.m.…
Canada Day Weekend Tips and Packing Guide
Canada Day Weekend Tips and Packing Guide
June 23
If you’re coming to Ottawa for Canada Day this year, you’re in for a super-sized treat! In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, Canada’s Capital is celebrating over the entire long weekend—from June 30 to July 2! (To learn more about official Canada Day weekend programming, visit our Canada Day webpage.) From the boisterous energy of Parliament Hill to the busy reveler-filled streets of the city’s downtown core,…
Music & Beyond
Music & Beyond
 
This unique festival, which couples timeless classical music with several other beautiful art forms, kicks off Ottawa’s annual July music festivals list! Music & Beyond is taking place at various venues throughout Ottawa from July 4-17, 2017. Over 14 days, this festival hosts about 80 concerts that feature orchestras, wind ensembles, instrumental and vocal recitals as well as smaller ensembles. These ensembles are partnered with dance, theatre pieces, visual art, poetry, yoga,…
CityFolk
CityFolk
 
September 13-17, 2017 Stimulate your senses with the unique and eclectic sounds of CityFolk. Set at Lansdowne, just south of downtown Ottawa, CityFolk aims to celebrate artistic creativity as well as community. The festival offers various musical performances, music workshops, family-friendly activities, craft beer, artisan and craft vendors, and much more. Some of the performers this year include Jack Johnson, Father John Misty, Amanda Mashall and Post Malone.  Fast Facts…
Ottawa Chamberfest
Ottawa Chamberfest
 
July 22 – August 4, 2017 Expose your mind and soul to the extraordinary sounds of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (Ottawa Chamberfest). The largest chamber music festival in the world, Ottawa Chamberfest presents more than 100 performances from renowned artists at incredible venues across downtown Ottawa. The festival endeavours to satiate fans of this form of classical music, as well as create inclusive atmospheres to introduce the style…
RBC Bluesfest
RBC Bluesfest
 
July 6-16, 2017 The Ottawa River acts as the majestic backdrop to one of North America’s most eclectic music festivals. Every July nearly 300,000 music lovers descend upon LeBreton Flats — a short walk west of Parliament Hill — on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum for RBC Bluesfest. Five stages sit around the bank of the river and inside the museum, creating one of the most unique and…
RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremonies
RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremonies
June 20
June 23-25, 2017 What better way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation than by attending the world-famous RCMP Musical Ride show in Canada's capital? The iconic image of the Mountie on horseback is recognized around the world as a symbol of Canadian heritage and identity. The Sunset Ceremonies is a time-honoured tradition in Ottawa, featuring a performance by the world-famous RCMP Musical Ride and their signature flag-lowering ceremony at sunset,…
Ottawa’s Summer Music Festivals
Ottawa’s Summer Music Festivals
June 19
If you’re looking for great music acts in the great outdoors, look no further than Ottawa in the summer! When the weather heats up, Canada’s scenic capital, which is nestled on the banks of the majestic Ottawa River, becomes home to several world-class music festivals. From Jazz stars, to Pop and Country headliners, to Indie and Folk, there’s a music scene that is sure to suit you. And the best…
17 Reasons to visit Ottawa in 2017
17 Reasons to visit Ottawa in 2017
June 15
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…
Fall Rhapsody
Fall Rhapsody
May 22
Autumn is a special time to visit Ottawa, as vibrant fall colours frame the Capital’s national sights, and Fall Rhapsody celebrations and activities attract thousands to nearby Gatineau Park – just a 15-minute drive from Parliament Hill.  An annual event organized by the National Capital Commission (NCC), Fall Rhapsody invites everyone to enjoy over 90 kilometres of trails that run through the Park – on foot or by bike –…
Extend Your Stay in Late May: Ottawa Race Weekend and...
Extend Your Stay in Late May: Ottawa Race Weekend and...
May 18
Over the last weekend of May each year, Canada’s Capital buzzes with excitement as thousands of participants and spectators take part in the popular Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. In addition to the race festivities, there are many other events and activities to choose from between May 26 to May 28, 2017—including special celebrations in honour of Canada 150th anniversary of Confederation! Here are just a few highlights: Ottawa Race Weekend…
Canadian Tulip Festival – Marvel at Over a Million Tulips...
Canadian Tulip Festival – Marvel at Over a Million Tulips...
 
May 12-22, 2017 Each year, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates the return of spring by showcasing over a million tulips across Canada’s capital region. The festival is the largest of its kind in the world and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe. In 2017, the festival is celebrating its 65th edition as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation under the theme One Tulip, One Canada.…
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
 
  May 27-28, 2017 Join thousands of runners from around the world for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend! During the final weekend of May each year, children, youth, and veteran runners alike participate in six individual race events including a two-kilometre run, a 10k and a marathon. The centrepiece of the weekend is the prestigious Ottawa Marathon. As the largest marathon in Canada, and cited as one of the must-run routes, it attracts some…
2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ Outdoor Hockey Game
2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ Outdoor Hockey Game
April 17
On Saturday, December 16, 2017, the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will play in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ at TD Place at Lansdowne. The outdoor game will honour several major milestones in 2017 including Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the 25th anniversary of the modern Ottawa Senators NHL team. The 2017 Scotiabank…
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival
 
June 22 - July 2, 2017 This annual foray into jazz and surrounding genres is one of the biggest draws during Ottawa’s lively festival season. The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival mixes big names from the world of jazz with a number of other inimitable artists. The combination of large outdoor concerts at Confederation Park and smaller, intimate shows at indoor spaces like the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage, allows for…
Stanley Cup Tribute – March 15-18, 2017
Stanley Cup Tribute – March 15-18, 2017
March 14
Ottawa is the place to be for all things related to the legendary Stanley Cup in 2017! From a special gala event to a concert, to a brand new monument, it seems that the city just can’t get enough of this timeless award. Did you know that 2017 is the 125th anniversary of the first year the trophy was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston to be awarded to Canada’s…
St. Patrick’s Day in Ottawa
St. Patrick’s Day in Ottawa
March 8
With Ottawa's Irish Festival running from March 9-18 there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do throughout the week. Not only are there are activities to participate in as part of the festival, and many Irish pubs around the city that are sure to be celebrating Irish heritage for St. Patrick's Day on March 17. Proclamation - March 9 Join Mayor Jim Watson at Ottawa City Hall as…
Red Bull Crashed Ice – March 3-4, 2017
Red Bull Crashed Ice – March 3-4, 2017
February 28
One of Ottawa’s most anticipated 2017 events, the final leg of the Red Bull Ice Cross Downhill World Championship will take place on the Ottawa locks of the Rideau Canal, overlooking Parliament Hill and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Since it’s being set up in Ottawa’s downtown core, there will be various sites from which to view this event. And, general admission is free. Red Bull Crashed Ice is the fastest sport…
JUNO Week & the 2017 JUNO Awards
JUNO Week & the 2017 JUNO Awards
February 15
Beginning on March 27, 2017, Canada’s Capital will come alive with Canadian music. Throughout the week, enjoy various musical performances, workshops and other activities that showcase the diversity of Canada’s vibrant music scene including JUNO Cup, JUNOfest, JUNO Fan Fare. Bruce Cockburn will the host 2017 JUNO Songwriters’ Circle at National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Songwriters’ Circle is an intimate and interactive concert benefiting MusiCounts,…
Maple Syrup Fun
Maple Syrup Fun
February 12
These maple syrup experiences celebrate this sweet Canadian treat. Often seen as a harbinger of spring, the maple syrup season usually starts in late February. Ideal temperatures of +5° Celsius (41° Fahrenheit) during the day and -5° Celsius (23° Fahrenheit) during the night start the sap running through the trees. It takes 40 litres of sap to reduce down (by boiling) to one litre of maple syrup. It’s definitely worth…
Winterlude
Winterlude
January 16
February 2 - 19, 2018 Come celebrate winter in Canada's Capital during three fun-filled weekends in February, which is known as Winterlude! There are so many things to see and do that celebrate Ottawa's enchanting snow-covered season. If you're in Ottawa on Feb. 2, don't miss the Winterlude Kick-Off party! Taking place at Confederation Park amongst the beautiful ice sculptures, you can enjoy live music and an exciting outdoor dance party!…
Winterlude Packing Guide
Winterlude Packing Guide
January 10
So, you’re coming to Ottawa for Winterlude. Glad to hear it! Especially if this is your first visit to Ottawa in the winter, we urge you to refer to this packing guide to make sure you enjoy yourselves to the fullest. Because no matter how amazing the ice sculptures, how romantic the outing on the Rideau Canal Skateway, or how slippery the ice slide at Snowflake Kingdom, you won’t have…
Nature Nocturne
Nature Nocturne
December 16
Looking for something fun and different to do on a night out in Ottawa? Consider attending Nature Nocturne; one of the city’s favourite monthly events! For one night each month, Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature comes alive from 8 p.m. to midnight, transforming itself into a bustling nightclub complete with a DJ and bar service. Dance the night away among the museum’s famous dinosaurs – this is a great photo…
Ring in the New Year, Ottawa Style!
Ring in the New Year, Ottawa Style!
December 9
Ottawa is THE place to be this New Year's Eve! On Dec. 31, Ottawa will welcome 2017 and kick off celebrations for Canada's 150th anniversary all across the country. There are several things to see and do. This is an Ottawa party that you don't want to miss! Please avoid driving into the downtown core on New Years Eve. Due to all the road closures it is best to take…
Sesquicentennial Celebrations – Dec. 31, 2016
Sesquicentennial Celebrations – Dec. 31, 2016
December 6
Taking place earlier in the evening on Dec. 31, this is Ottawa 2017’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Head to Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Ave.) for this family-friendly event that will welcome 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary year. This event is free. Please avoid driving into the downtown core on New Years Eve. Due to all the road closures it is best to take advantage of the free service by OC…
Canada 150 Kick Off – Dec. 31, 2016
Canada 150 Kick Off – Dec. 31, 2016
December 6
If there’s one place you want to be this New Year’s Eve, it’s Ottawa! Taking place on the historic Parliament Hill, the Canada 150 Kick Off will usher in 2017 and kick off celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary year all across the country. Get ready to celebrate all night! And the best part? This major event is free. Please avoid driving into the downtown core on New Years Eve. Due…
Fun Winter Activities in Canada’s Capital
Fun Winter Activities in Canada’s Capital
November 16
Whether you want to stay indoors and hide from the cold, or you want to head outside and embrace the crisp breeze of the cooler season, there are many ways to enjoy winter in Ottawa! From indoor activities such as visiting a National Museum – we have seven – or going shopping, to fabulous hiking, skiing and skating, Canada’s Capital is sure to have a winter activity to suit your…
5-day Itinerary: A Holiday Season Getaway to Ottawa
5-day Itinerary: A Holiday Season Getaway to Ottawa
November 16
When it comes to the holiday season, there’s no denying the charm of Ottawa, Canada’s Capital. From its lovely, decorated museums and storefronts to thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights, it’s hard not to walk around the city and be in a cheerful mood.Thinking of a little getaway this holiday season? Well, we can help with that. Check out these ideas for a 5-day trip to Ottawa. Follow this itinerary…
Christmas Lights Across Canada
Christmas Lights Across Canada
 
Ottawa sparkles and shines during the Christmas season with Christmas Lights Across Canada. From early December to early January, thousands of colourful lights illuminate the National Capital Region’s winter landscape. The radiant event, which more than three decades ago, became such a hit that cities across Canada now participate in what’s become a national tradition. The 33rd edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada will take place from December 7, 2017…
Get into a Holiday Season Mood with these Activities!
Get into a Holiday Season Mood with these Activities!
October 19
If you need a little bit of help getting into the holiday spirit, Canada’s charming capital has many activities to offer. As the cooler winter season weather arrives, Ottawa becomes bathed in a crisp breeze and the soft glow of thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights. From beautiful colourful cityscapes created by Christmas Lights Across Canada, to unique theatre presentations and culinary delights, it’s impossible for you not to be…
Ottawa Ambassadors – Carli Smelko
Ottawa Ambassadors – Carli Smelko
October 14
According to Smelko, whether you’ve been to Pumpkinferno before or not, 2016 will be the year to attend.In an interview with Ottawa Tourism, Smelko noted that there are “all kinds” of new elements to Pumpkinferno this year. Among them is a new display entitled A Night at the Gallery. In this art museum-style display, Smelko said the team at Pumpkinferno has recreated some famous portrait paintings in huge dimensions. “They’re…
Haunting season spooks its way into Ottawa this October
Haunting season spooks its way into Ottawa this October
September 19
If you’re coming to visit Ottawa during the month of October, you’ll definitely learn that Ottawa doesn’t mess around when it comes to Halloween festivities. Ready to be spooked? Here are a few of the events that will send shivers down your spine:Haunting SeasonSaunders Farm | Sept. 24 – Oct. 31, 2016 (select days)Days of fall-tastic family fun and nights of locally grown frights! Younger children will certainly enjoy the…
5 Ways to Discover Ottawa’s Craft Beer Scene this Fall!
5 Ways to Discover Ottawa’s Craft Beer Scene this Fall!
August 11
Though we wish we could hold onto summer and its glorious heat, the arrival of fall in Ottawa means a crisp, fresh breeze, beautiful fall colours and… Delicious craft beer events! Ottawa is home to an exploding craft beer scene that has seen many local breweries and craft beer events emerge over the last few years. From Ottawa’s rural areas to its bustling downtown core, you’ll either find a craft…
Oktoberfest in the Capital Region
Oktoberfest in the Capital Region
August 5
There are a variety of places and ways to celebrate Oktoberfest, the original outdoor beer and food festival, in Canada’s Capital Region this fall. Whether you want to be in the heart of downtown or surrounded by nature, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of Oktoberfest events going on in Ottawa!Beau’s Oktoberfest 2016Vankleek Hill, ON | Sept. 23 – 24, 2016Food, beer, music and fun for the whole…
Discover Ottawa’s secrets during Doors Open Ottawa!
Discover Ottawa’s secrets during Doors Open Ottawa!
May 13
Doors Open Ottawa, a free, annual architectural event is taking place on June 4 and 5, 2016. This is a great opportunity to see Ottawa from behind the scenes, as some of the city’s most interesting buildings welcome the public over one weekend. From embassies, to fascinating museums, to churches and Canadian heritage sites, you can spend the whole weekend exploring more than 130 culturally and historically significant buildings. This…
Pedal your way through Prescott-Russell this summer!
Pedal your way through Prescott-Russell this summer!
May 5
Located south of Ottawa’s downtown core, the rural area of Prescott-Russell offers green, open spaces and scenic country roads. If you’re looking to get out of the city and enjoy a quiet, country bike ride on your own or with the family, this is where you want to be. And Prescott-Russell’s summer 2016 season has no shortage of cycling events!See the list below to discover events that will allow you…
Different ways to experience the beautiful Tulip Festival in Ottawa!
Different ways to experience the beautiful Tulip Festival in Ottawa!
April 13
If you’ve never been to Ottawa for the Canadian Tulip Festival, this year would be the perfect time to add it to your 2017 bucket list. Taking place from May 12 to 22, 2017 this popular springtime festival – the largest of its kind in the world – celebrates the Liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War and the resulting gift of the tulips to Ottawa. This outdoor…
A Few of Ottawa’s World-Class Must-Sees
A Few of Ottawa’s World-Class Must-Sees
March 24
As Canada’s vibrant capital city, Ottawa offers a host of fabulous activities in any season. Whether you want to see cultural marvels, priceless, world-class art or get outside and have some fun, Ottawa will have a special exhibit or event that is sure to delight even the most discerning of visitors. Thinking of coming to Ottawa for a getaway? Discover some of the gems that make this city worth visiting…
Ottawa’s Film Festivals
Ottawa’s Film Festivals
March 4
If you’re a movie lover or if you like anything from cartoons to documentaries, then the film festivals going on in Ottawa this year will interest you! Discover Ottawa’s major film festivals below:In MarchOttawa International Short Film Festival (March 17–24, 2016):Over the span of seven days, 100 feature films screened in both Ontario and Quebec are presented at the Ottawa International Short Film Festival. Partnered with the Outaouais Film Festival…
Ottawa Shines as Bangkok Passes the OYW Baton
Ottawa Shines as Bangkok Passes the OYW Baton
December 9
It was a hot, humid November night as the exotic Thai city of Bangkok handed the coveted One Young World Summit baton to Ottawa –the 2016 Summit host.On hand to accept the torch from the Governor of Bangkok, Sukhumbhand Paribatra, was Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, whose positive energy and excitement stayed strong despite the sticky evening heat.Flanked by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Sergeant in an iconic red wool…
Finding Live Music in Ottawa!
Finding Live Music in Ottawa!
June 19
If you’re looking for live music, Ottawa has plenty of that all throughout the year. From cozy live music bars and pubs, to nightclub hubs as well as state-of-the-art concert venues, you’ll be able to find a live music act on any given night of the week. Here are a few places to get you started: The ByWard Market district: If you’re looking to get acquainted with Ottawa’s live music…
Exploring Ottawa’s Music Scene
Exploring Ottawa’s Music Scene
December 16
If you’re looking for a bustling music scene, Canada’s Capital does not disappoint. From local music celebrities, to state-of-the-art concert venues, to cozy live music bar and nightclub hubs as well as a myriad of outdoor music festivals, Ottawa has a music scene for every type of music lover. Come to Ottawa to take in a major stadium or arena act or see some up-and-coming names. Famous bands such as…
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
 
June 22-25, 2017The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a four-day celebration of the arts, sports, culture and heritage that attracts over 75,000 visitors late June each year.The Festival, which now boasts 200 teams in competitive, corporate and community categories, is one of the hottest sporting and entertainment events in the Nation's Capital.Recognized as North America's largest dragon boating festival the four-day celebration offers free admission to multiple stages…