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Ottawa Events

Canadian Tulip Festival

This event heralds the awakening of spring with thousands of tulips in bloom on the 15km (9-mile) Tulip Route covering 50 different tulip varieties. The highest concentration of tulips can be viewed in the flower beds of Commissioners Park, on the banks of Dow's Lake, where 300,000 flowers bloom.

Date: 12 May 2017 - 22 May 2017
Venue: Various venues.

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

Now 20 years old, the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is the largest event of its kind in North America and takes place at Mooney's Bay Park. Highlights include racing, free concerts, family entertainment, extreme sports demonstrations, local delicacies, multi-cultural and heritage performances and more over four days.

Date: 22 June 2017 - 25 June 2017
Venue: Mooney's Bay Park.

Canada Day

Canada Day, the anniversary of the birth of the nation, is celebrated with music, pageantry and popular participation, and nowhere more so than in the capital, Ottawa. On Canada Day, hundreds of thousands of people fill the streets and parks of the city centre where the main attraction is the stage on Parliament Hill. Live music and entertainment are laid on in lavish quantities and there are concerts, picnics and street performances taking place in various locations. A colourful street parade features the military, the Mounties and other Canadian icons. Typically, the parade begins on Laurier Street at Confederation Park and ends at the Supreme Court of Canada building. The grand finale is a show of fireworks, detonated at the Astrolabe, just behind the National Gallery. The central parks and the banks of the Ottawa River are good places to enjoy the display.

Date: 01 July 2017 - 01 July 2017
Venue: Various locations in Ottawa.


Ottawa Bluesfest

Top blues musicians from around the world perform at the second-largest blues festival in North America.

Date: 06 July 2017 - 16 July 2017
Venue: Lebreton Flats, downtown Ottawa.

Ottawa Chamberfest

The world's largest chamber music festival, with more than 100 concerts by around 250 performers played in beautiful Ottawa venues, including churches.

Date: 22 July 2017 - 04 August 2017
Venue: Various locations.

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Ottawa sparkles and shines during the Christmas season when 300,000 colourful lights illuminate the city's winter landscape across 60 different locations in what's become a national tradition.

Date: 07 December 2017 - 07 January 2018
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various locations in Ottawa.


Winter festival with skating on the Rideau Canal, ice sculpture and snowboarding competitions, beavertails (Ottawa's unique, deep-fried pastry) and hot chocolate. Other highlights include: learn-to-skate clinics, a hockey tournament, a winter triathlon, children's entertainment and the Snowflake Kingdom children's snow playground. Foodies can enjoy unique culinary events created by some of the capital's best local restaurants — wine and food pairings, chef demonstrations and walkabout winter feasts.

Date: 02 February 2018 - 19 February 2018
Venue: Various venues.