Canada 150
Arts & EventsAround the World in a Weekend

Around the World in a Weekend

Around the World in a Weekend

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals and events!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.


It’s Canada’s 150th birthday, and this summer the capital has been celebrating the many cultural backgrounds of those proud to call themselves Canadians. With that in mind, here’s a look at all the worldly festivals coming to Ottawa this weekend.

GreekFest: Aug. 10-20

The sound of musicians picking away at bouzoukis, beautifully golden Baklavas and Loukoumades, and nights full of traditional dancing, what’s not to like? The festival has been held in the capital annually since 1976, and has since grown to welcome close to 70,000 attendees throughout the 11 days of festivities. Also showcasing local artists’ handcrafted works and a tour of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church where the event is held, there are plenty of opportunities to get a taste of Greece.

TD SouthAsianFest: Aug. 11-20

With plenty of live music from local artists, Bollywood dance showcasing and lessons, and of course plenty of delicious food, the festival’s 9th iteration promises to offer 10 days of cheer for the city’s South Asian population 50,000 strong and anyone who would like to learn more about the culture! Events are scattered among Parliament Hill, the Byward Market and City Hall, so no matter where you are you can enjoy the party.

Festival of India: Aug. 11-13

Want to learn more about Indian culture? Head over to City Hall this weekend to witness dancing, cricket lessons, Indian cuisine cooking demos, henna design and of course plenty of music throughout the three days.

Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival: Aug. 9-13

Currently in its 6th year of programming, the festival hopes to highlight works that examine Indigenous issues and topics both local and international. Packed with film screenings, music, and a gallery crawl, make sure to stop by at one of its many locations for an enriching experience.

Torchlight Shakespeare Festival: Jul. 3 - Aug. 19

A Company of Fools, Ottawa’s original professional Shakespeare company, returns once again to deliver Shakespearian summer magic to the capital! Playing at 7 p.m in Whalen Park on Saturday, then at 7 p.m in Andrew Haydon Park, you’ll get the chance to witness A Midsummer Night’s Dream as directed by Mary Ellis. The show is free, but a hat will be passed around so feel free to donate whatever you can!

JAMDAY: Aug. 12

Love Jamaican patties? Reggae? You’re in luck, because this Sunday Mooney’s Bay will be THE place to be for all things Jamaican. With fun for the whole family, your trip to the beach just got so much better.

Latin Sparks - Part 2: Aug. 12

Missed the first one or just hungry for more? Canada’s largest Latin dance party hosts 4,000 people in an entirely outdoor festival. Can’t dance? Don’t fret, the festival offers many workshops on all variations of Latin dancing, so you can join the fun. Oh, and if you get tired, there will be plenty of Latin street food vendors to satisfy your cravings.

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