Cultural Events

Note: Due to COVID19, many of these are closed. However, when things reopen…



  • What: winter festival for families (skating, food, ice sculptures, parties)
  • Where: all over downtown Ottawa, Rideau Canal
  • When: first 3 weeks of February (+/- last weekend of Jan)
  • Cost: Free


Canadian Tulip Festival

  • What: A celebration of tulips !
  • Where: Parks across the city: Commissioner’s Park, Major’s Hill Park, Dow’s Lake…
  • When: beginning-mid May;
  • Cost: free


Italian Week

  • What: A multitude of cultural events and parties (comedy, soccer tournament, food and wine show, dancing, drinks, local artists and chefs)
  • Where: Little Italy, Ottawa
  • When: 2nd and 3rd weeks of June
  • Cost: free and variable based on event

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

  • What: North America’s largest dragon boating event, not for profit and raising money for over 40 local charities
    • Nonstop dragon boat racing, free concerts, free arts and cultural activities
  • Where: Mooney’s Bay Park, Ottawa
  • When: last week of June
  • Cost: free  (unless racing dragon boat, fee to participate)


Almonte Celtic Festival

  • What: Family oriented smaller festival of Celtic culture and music, 30 minutes outside of Ottawa
  • When: First weekend in July
  • Where: Almonte (ON)
  • Cost: free

Osgoode Medieval Festival

  • What: Family oriented medieval festival, jousting, dance, archery, live music, food
  • When: First weekend in July
  • Where: Osgoode (ON)
  • Cost: Adults $10; Children 4-12 years $6; under 4 years free

HOPE Volleyball Tournament

  • What: world’s largest one day volleyball event benefiting multiple local charities, and also live music!!
  • When: mid-July one day
  • Where: Mooney’s Bay Beach, Ottawa
  • Cost: free

Ottawa Lebanese Festival

  • What: Lebanese food, dance, music, culture
  • When: 3rd week of July
  • Where: St. Elias Cathedral,700 Ridgewood Avenue, Ottawa
  • Cost: free

Capital Ukranian Festival

  • What: Ukranian food, music, dance, culture
  • When: 3rd week of July
  • Where: 952 Green Valley Crescent, Ottawa
  • Cost: free

Highland Games

  • What: music, dance, scottish games;
  • When: last weekend of July / first weekend of August;
  • Where: Maxville (ON);
  • Cost:
    • Day pass: 20$;
    • Weekend pass: 35$.


Festival of India

  • What: Indian culture, food, music, dance, crafts workshops, movies/documentaries
  • When: first weekend in August
  • Where: Ottawa City Hall
  • Cost: $9 day pass, $14 multi-day pass

TD SouthAsian Fest

  • What: Cultural performances, food, music, art
  • When: Second week of August
  • Where: Ottawa City Hall
  • Cost: free

Greek Fest

  • What: greek cuisine, dance, music and visual art;
  • When: 2 weeks in the middle of August;
  • Where: 1315 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa;
  • Cost: free entry (food for purchase).

Festival de la Curd de St-Albert

  • Quoi : musique, volleyball, rodeo, cuisine, camping;
  • Quand : 3e semaine d’août;
  • Où : St-Albert (ON)
  • Coût :
    • Passeport 3 jours : 65$;
    • Passe quotidienne : 25$

Capital Pride

  • What: Ottawa’s LGBTQQ pride festival, music, parties, parades, celebration of all things LGBTQQ including a QueerCon
  • When: 3rd week in August
  • Where: downtown Ottawa
  • Cost: free 

Ottawa Palestinian Festival

  • What: food, culture, arts
  • When: last week of August
  • Where: Ottawa City Hall
  • Cost: free


Ottawa Turkish Festival

  • What: Turkish food, culture, and dance!
  • When: 2nd weekend of September
  • Where: 335 Michael Cowpland Drive, Ottawa
  • Cost: free


  • What: Eastern Ontario’s premier Bavarian festival with beer, food, music, dance
  • When: last weekend of September
  • Where: Clark Fields Park, Barrhaven (ON)
  • Cost: free entry (food for purchase)

One World Film Festival

  • What: documentary film festival focusing on human rights, social justice, environmental issues
  • When: last weekend of September
  • Where: downtown Ottawa
  • Cost: variable


Writer’s Festival

  • What: Live music, arts, writings, book signings
  • When: 3rd week of October
  • Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Sparks Street
  • Cost: free


Christmas Lights Across Canada

  • What: lights display projected onto Parliament and lighting across the city
  • When: all of December
  • Where: downtown and Parliament
  • Cost: free