Canada Day is just days away. While this will surely be Canada’s biggest birthday party ever, don’t think that July 1 is the end of celebrating in Ottawa! Au contraire – the action continues throughout the year. There is still lots of time to plan an exciting summer, and to invite your friends and family to participate.
There are of course Ottawa’s fantastic lineup of festivals, unique neighbourhoods, and free Parliament Hill favourites like yoga, Changing of the Guard and the Sound and Light show, Northern Lights. But we also have signature cultural exhibits, sporting events, death-defying acrobats and mechanical monsters to keep your friends and relatives entertained.
“The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation isn’t just one day or even a long weekend in Ottawa – it’s a full year of celebration,” said Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “And residents of Canada’s Capital Region can all play the role of ambassador so their friends and relatives can enjoy all we have to offer. Let’s spread the word that our party continues for many months to come!”
OttawaTourism.ca is the best resource for residents and visitors alike to plan their 150th activities in the nation’s capital. Check out the online events calendar and download the easy-to-print PDF of all the signature events.
And to book a hotel, your best bet for Canada Day weekend is to contact individual hotels directly; for the rest of the year, consult the options at OttawaTourism.ca – rooms are available during all the exciting programming.
Lots to See and Do:
Ottawa Welcomes the World, year-round: More than 75 high commissions, embassies and international partners highlight their culture in a series of free cultural events at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne.
May 20 – Sept. 4: On York Street in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, Inspiration Village—comprised of modified shipping containers—highlights Canada’s provinces and territories with a succession of special exhibits and performing arts events. Snap a selfie at the OTTAWA sign, too!
June 15: The National Gallery of Canada unveiled Canada’s Masterpieces: Our Stories, including the transformation of the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries as part of its 2017 celebrations. The re-envisioned 45,000-square-foot gallery tells the story of art in Canada by interweaving Indigenous history and art.
June 15 – July 23: The National Arts Centre hosts a diverse cultural festival called Canada Scene. On July 1, the NAC unveils its dramatic new entranceway and atrium.
June 21: A new permanent Arctic Gallery opens at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
June 30 – Oct. 15: MosaïCanada 150, an impressive free horticulture event in Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau, featuring sculptures, paintings and a one-kilometre stroll through fantastic plants. A Gatineau 2017 event.
July 1: The new Canadian History Hall opens at the Canadian Museum of History.
July 1: The Bank of Canada Museum (formerly the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada) reopens in a totally renovated building on Sparks Street.
July 1 – Ottawa’s Weekend-Long Bash: In honour of Canada’s 150th, Canada Day organizers are extending festivities over three days, from June 30 to July 2. Free entertainment will be available at official sites around Ottawa and Gatineau on July 1, followed by fantastic fireworks on Parliament Hill at 11:00 pm.
July 2 – WE Day Canada: The world’s largest youth empowerment event takes over Parliament Hill. A star-studded lineup joins international activists, WE co-founders and some of our country’s most remarkable future leaders. Rousing stories and performances anchor an open-air, festival-style evening of inspiration and celebration. Admission is free.
July 7-22 (excluding July 10): Sky Lounge, a gourmet experience 150 feet in the air at Ottawa City Hall with Chef Stephen La Salle of feast + revel.
Coming this Summer: Kontinuum, an underground multimedia experience, brings a free interactive sound and light fantasy voyage into an unfinished underground light rail transit tunnel – a world first!
July 6-9: Canadian Track and Field Championships at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
July 27-30: La Machine takes over downtown Ottawa with a roving, larger-than-life mechanical spider and fire-breathing dragon. A North American first!
Aug. 3-27: Cirque du Soleil presents a new show called VOLTA on the Zibi development site near the Portage Bridge, overlooking the Ottawa River.
Aug. 21-27: Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.