Canada travel guide




Ottawa Travel Guide

Festivals in Ottawa

Every February, Canada's Capital Region is host to Winterlude, North America's greatest winter festival. Three fun-filled weekends of excitement and activity await the whole family! From spectacular ice carvings to an amazing playground made of snow, Winterlude is a great way to take in the best of our Canadian winter.

Canada Day
July 1 The country's national day celebrated in style with parades, processions and much flag waving.

National Wildlife Week
The National Capital Region Wildlife Festival, which is a local celebration of National Wildlife Week, has events taking place in April. National Wildlife Week takes place each year in the week surrounding April 10th, the birthday of Jack Miner, a pioneer of Canada’s conservation movement. Proclaimed in 1947 by an act of Parliament, NWW is a time to celebrate our natural heritage and play a part in its conservation.

Canadian Tulip Festival
Held in mid-May, this is the oldest of Ottawa's festivals - it began in 1945 when the Dutch sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to the capital to thank the Canadian soldiers who helped liberate the Netherlands. More bulbs arrived the following year from Queen Juliana, who had taken refuge in Ottawa when the Netherlands were occupied. The major events take place in Major's Hill Park and Dows Lake - but few are free, and the festival now has a reputation for being rather touristy.

The Changing of the Guard Ceremony
One of Canada's most outstanding attractions, this half-hour ceremony is presented daily on the lawn of Parliament Hill at 10 a.m., from late June until late August, weather permitting. It offers an unrivaled combination of colour, tradition, pageantry and military precision.

Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Mid-July. One of Ottawa's most popular festivals, showcasing more than 400 musicians. The main stage is in Confederation Park with concerts several times daily. In addition, local bands play around Byward Market and at city clubs.

Sound and Light Show
the Spirit of a Country uses fantastic lighting gigantic images and a rich tapestry of words, music and sound to tell the story of our nation.

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