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The Ottawa residents’ guide to making the most of 2017

An exciting tourism year for the nation’s capital begins with us

Canada Day Parliament Hill
Canada Day Parliament Hill

After years of preparation and planning, Ottawa is ready to host the world for Canada’s 150th birthday.

You could say we already broke the ice to get this party started with Red Bull Crashed Ice a few weeks ago. That was just the beginning. 2017 is packed with amazing events and attractions intended to wow and entertain residents and tourists alike.

Tourism is Ottawa’s third-largest economic generator. But while the 150th promises to draw more visitors to the region than ever before, residents do have a big part to play in the success of 2017.

“You become part of the tourism story whenever you have friends and family coming to Ottawa,” said Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications, Ottawa Tourism. “This is the year to be a tourist in your own town. Take advantage of the resources we have at to learn about all the amazing events and to make plans – get to know your city all over again.” 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. There is even an availability calendar for local hotels – search dates and contact hotel staff to book rooms for your out-of-town guests. 


Here is just a sampling of what you can enjoy in Ottawa this year:

JUNO Awards & Juno Week, March 27-April 2: Throughout the week, enjoy various musical performances, workshops and other activities that showcase the diversity of Canada’s vibrant music scene. 

Canadian and Indigenous Galleries opens at the National Gallery of Canada, June 15:

Canada’s Masterpieces: Our Stories will feature a re-envisioned 45,000-square-foot gallery that will tell the story of art in Canada, interweaving Indigenous history and art. 

Canada Day Celebrations: July 1: This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Be prepared for the biggest birthday bash this city has ever seen.

Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge, July 2: Stretching between Ottawa and Gatineau, the Alexandra Bridge walkway will be covered with sod to create picnic spots overlooking Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River.

Canadian Track and Field Championships, July 6 to 9: A competition for the nation’s best Olympic and Paralympic athletes that also serves as selection trials for the national team.

VOLTA | Cirque du Soleil, Aug. 3-27: Cirque du Soleil presents a new show called VOLTA on the Zibi development site near the Portage Bridge. 

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, Aug.21-27: Stars of the LPGA Tour will light up the nation’s capital. 

YOWttawa Concert, Summer: A large-scale, outdoor, ticketed musical event that will feature national and international artists. Headliners to be announced.

Canada Science and Technology Museum reopening: Nov. 17: The museum celebrates its 50th anniversary and reopens after $80.5 million in building repairs and upgrades. 

There is of course more, much more, in addition to regular draws like The Canadian Tulip Festival, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival and RBC Bluesfest.

Check out the full lineup at

Residents can also take a more active role as an ambassador for their hometown with the new hospitality training tool, Ottawa Host 150.

“You can get certified as an Ottawa Host 150 to beef up your hospitality training and customer service skills, which is not only great for your clients but also great for your CV,” said Van Kregten. “This is the year for Ottawa to shine as the proud capital of Canada’s birthday celebrations. Become a part of Ottawa’s tourism story.”

To get certified, visit

For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter, @Ottawa_Tourism.