Ottawa residents and visitors alike will be in for a year of culture in 2022 as Ottawa Tourism shines the spotlight on events and campaigns that focus on the creative arts.
While the pandemic halted many of the city’s beloved events and festivals and crippled the tourism and hospitality sector, there remains an opportunity in 2022 to re-envision tourism in the capital and find ways to make it more sustainable, says Jantine Van Kregten, director of communications at Ottawa Tourism.
The year will see food festivals, exhibits and outdoor gatherings safely return to the community, along with new ways for residents to get involved in the reimagining of their city.
“We want our community and our tourism leaders to find their part in the rebuild and have a sense of agency in uplifting Ottawa as a travel destination,” she says. “We want to hear from residents, from the workforce whose livelihoods depend on tourism and from visitors to the capital on what makes Ottawa great – and how we can make it better.”
Looking ahead into 2022, there will be ample opportunities for residents, talent and visitors to get involved:
Have a voice in your community
Throughout 2022, Ottawa Tourism will be working on its 10-year Destination Master Plan – an in-depth look ahead at how the city can grow and evolve as a tourist destination throughout the next decade.
While visitors are a major piece of the destination development puzzle, hearing from residents on what they would like to see in their city is equally important, says Catherine Callary, vice-president of destination development at Ottawa Tourism.
Residents will be invited to participate in surveys, focus groups and stakeholder interviews to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have a voice in Ottawa’s recovery.
“We want to know what Ottawa’s strengths are as a city, but also what the gaps are for the people living here,” says Callary. “We are giving people the chance to have their opinion heard because tourism is truly a shared community asset.”
Join the tourism workforce
One of the issues plaguing the tourism sector is an on-going shortage of talent – a problem Ottawa Tourism is continuing to face head on in 2022.
To help businesses servicing the tourism sector, Ottawa Tourism has created a specially curated job board dedicated to the local hospitality industry, highlighting the various opportunities available in the community.
“This is an incredibly interesting time to join the tourism sector because although things are in flux, we are looking for those innovative bright minds to bring new ideas to the table,” says Van Kregten. “People should be enthusiastic about tourism because it’s in that rebuilding mode.”
Ottawa Tourism is also looking forward to launching a new online training and awards program for frontline hospitality staff called Shine On.
Users will learn valuable information about Ottawa as a tourist destination that will help them better serve clients, as well as useful tips on how to deliver top-tier customer service. Shine On participants can also be nominated for awards for exemplary service, and will be connected to a larger network of tourism talent.
“Shine On will teach users how to take care of customers’ needs from A to Z,” says Callary. “That could mean recommending restaurants, attractions or tours based on your specific customer, which is a skill worth learning.”
Events and activities to add to your calendar in 2022
Whether you’re an Ottawa resident or a visitor passing through, there are plenty of notable activities and events to look forward to in the Year of Culture:
- Hop-on/hop-off bus tours are available in Ottawa until April 2022 thanks to Cobblestone Tours.
- Mādahòkì Farm (meaning “share the land” in Algonquin Anishinaabe) is a new agritourism venture by Indigenous Experiences.
- New Peak to Peak Ziplines — three ziplines totaling 4,478 feet will be available at Camp Fortune this summer, along with the new 400 ft drop mountain coaster that debuted last year.
- A new live music venue opens in early 2022 in the Old Ottawa South neighbourhood. Red Bird also plans to offer music lessons, coffee, craft beer, and Italian finger foods.
- Celebrate the Year of the Garden in Canada with several self-guided tours to discover some of the region’s best gardens!
- Crave Food & Wine Festival brings gourmet food and great wine to the Shaw Centre April 1-3, 2022.
- The 70th edition of the iconic Canadian Tulip Festival takes place May 13-23, 2022
- RBC Bluesfest and partners will present the immersive Beyond Monet experience from late spring through summer 2022 at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne.
For more information on upcoming events, festivals and experiences visit Ottawa Tourism’s event calendar.