Festival season in Ottawa is already in full swing! With the Canadian Tulip Festival over, and somewhat chilly, we hope for better weather for the numerous upcoming festivals that will take us right into autumn. Do you have a favourite or one that you absolutely will not miss?? Let us know!
Ottawa Italian Week Festival – June 6 to June 16th
Bringing Italian culture to life for everyone! Sharing food, music, dance, history and more to thousands in Little Italy. This long running festival is an Ottawa favourite. This event takes place along Preston Street and at numerous locations throughout Ottawa. Many events are free. Even a stroll through Little Italy at this time of year will let you take in the sights and enjoy this great festival!
Ottawa Fringe Festival – June 13 to June 23
This festival provides both established and emerging performing artists the opportunity to show their work – of all forms, styles and genres. It is very popular with Ottawa’s local crowd and a great way to introduce yourself to some up and coming artists. Over 50 live shows, with both late night and family programming this is not to be missed. A truly unique festival of which Ottawa is very proud. Comedy, dance, music, theatre and more!
Festival Franco-Ontarien – June 13 to June 15
A short running festival but a popular one taking place at Major’s Hill Park. Access an all inclusive world of Francophonie from dancing to dining…explore this culture. Suitable for the whole family this is a great way to celebrate Ontario’s Francophone culture.
Bank Street Glowfair – June 14 to June 15
A magical festival of music, light and art. This will be the 5th year for the Glowfair where Bank Street is transformed into a non-stop celebration of music, entertainment and street performers!
Ottawa Ribfest – June 19 to June 23
Eat the best ribs in the world on Sparks Street during this popular festival. Chefs and rib enthusiasts come from all over North America to celebrate the best of grill and sauce. They compete for Ottawa’s Champion Belt and we get to enjoy the process by eating absolutely delicious food. Patios open, beverages flowing, ribs everywhere! Vegetarian options too! What more could you want?
Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival – June 20 to June 23
Taking place in Vincent Massey Park this festival allows you to experience the diverse Indigenous cultures of the National Capital Region. This family oriented festival attracts tens of thousands a year and offers FREE admission, live music and theatre performances, interactive arts and crafts, workshops, a pow wow and more.
Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – June 20 to June 23
The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a non profit founded in 1993. The festival currently has 200 teams in all categories and is one of the most popular sporting events of the season. There is more than the racing however with a free concert series, beach bars and beach activities, plus food and a family fun zone. Don’t miss it!
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival – June 21 to July 1
Some say this is the festival that really kicks off the summer music scene in Ottawa! Taking place at various venues throughout the heart of Ottawa, the 38th edition of the Jazz Fest attracts thousands of fans and the world’s most renowned jazz artists. This year will see The Roots, Chicago, Norah Jones and more perform. Get your tickets now! The VIP tent is worth it!
Torchlight Shakespeare in the Park: Romeo & Juliet – July 2 to August 17
Taking place in various parks throughout the city, this Shakespeare in the Park series will be long running this summer in Ottawa. Featuring a riotous take on the classic love story it is great for the whole family.
RBC Bluefest – July 4 to July 14
Ottawa’s most famous music festival, Bluesfest is not to disappoint. Taking place at Lebreton Flats for ten days in early July the lineup is always sure to never disappoint. It is ranked among the Top 10 best music festivals in the world. In the lineup this year are Eric Church, Backstreet Boys, Kygo, Alt-J, Logic, Jessie Reyez, Kane Brown, The Killers and more. Get your passes now!
Northern Lights – July 9 to September 8
This sound and light show takes place all summer long on Parliament Hill and is an Ottawa favourite. It takes you and the whole family on a thrilling journey through our nation’s history. Show times vary by month so visit the website for details.
HOPE Volleyball Summerfest – July 13
The largest one day volleyball event with live entertainment in the world. This charity volleyball tournament is designed to Help Other People Everywhere (H.O.P.E.) and has given back to the local charitable community in Ottawa now for 37 years. Register a team or go and enjoy the shows!
Capital Ukranian Festival – July 19 to July 21
Ottawa’s 5th annual Ukranian Festival celebrates the music, dance and food of the Ukranian culture. Performers from across North America will attend. A great event for the whole family with food, performances, interactive family crafts and more.
Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival – July 25 to August 8
Also known as Ottawa Chamberfest, this music festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Bringing together the boldest names in ensemble and solo performance you will not be disappointed. This is the world’s largest Chamber Music festival. There will be live music, family concert, lectures and more.
2019 Chinatown Night Market – July 26 to July 28
Taking place at the beautiful Chinatown Royal Gateway on Somerset and Bronson, this event celebrates with the energy of an Asian Night Market. Cultural performances, delicious food and more will not disappoint.
Ottawa International Buskerfest – August 2 to August 5
Join the biggest lineup of street performers to see them perform some amazing feats during this awesome festival. Over 140 family friendly shows and all happening on Sparks Street. There will be interactive circus schools, live performances, acrobats, music, a fire show, food and more!
TD South Asian Fest – August 9 to August 18
Taking place at various locations across Ottawa, this even gives us a great glimpse into South Asian culture with music, dance, food, live performances and more. A family friendly event.
The Great India Festival – August 9 to August 11
Taking place at Ottawa City Hall, this event aims to enhance inter cultural connectivity and promotes multicultural understanding and appreciation of diversity. There will be music and dance, food, workshops and more. Don’t miss it!
Ottawa Maker Faire – August 17 to August 18
Taking place at the Arts Court on Daly Avenue, this festival is the best show and tell on Earth. A family friendly festival that celebrates invention and creativity. Gathering tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, thinkers, food artisans, hobbyists and more…this event has something for everyone.
Fuse Street Festival – August 17 to August 18
Westboro Village hosts a block party on Richmond Road for FREE! Live music and entertainment all day and all night with activities for all ages, food and fashion all jammed into a 24 hour period.
Ottawa Capital Pride Festival – August 18 to August 25
Taking place at various locations throughout Ottawa, this festival includes a dozen signature events and over 50 community events with many of them being FREE. Visit the website for details!
Lumiere Festival – August 24
This festival is a night of live performances by musicians, acrobats, dancers and more. Food, fun, music, dancing…what more could you ask for? Taking place at Stanley Park.
CityFolk – September 11 to September 15
Taking place at Lansdowne Park this event is fast becoming one of the most popular music festivals of the season. There is a wide variety of musical acts, artisans, food and beverage vendors and much more. This event is family friendly, community-focused and committed to celebrating festival season in Ottawa. Performers this year include The Strumbellas, Leon Bridges and Robert Plant.
The Festival of Small Halls – September 12 to September 29
This festival is about sharing the love of small music venues through Ottawa’s smaller communities. There are over 30 concerts in rural communities across Eastern Ontario.