Les Grands Feux is so much more than fireworks!
Spoiler alert — the National Capital Region’s most impressive fireworks show doesn’t happen on Canada Day, and the best place to watch them is not on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill.
Ottawa is a marvellous place for fireworks, and there is nothing like seeing the Peace Tower framed by an artistic display of multi-coloured exploding lights, but the best place to take in the beauty is on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.
This summer, the Les Grand Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy, the multi-day fireworks spectacular that integrates cuisine and fun activities for all ages, is returning to the grounds of the Canadian Museum of History.
The show is bringing an exciting itinerary that will impress everyone. Expect to see larger-than-life spinning tops, a giant interactive art installation, Hydro-Québec’s exciting boîte d’art numérique, special exhibits at the Canadian Museum of History, and, of course, fireworks.
Ottawa Life spoke to Marc-Antoine Massicotte, president and director general of the festival. Massicotte explained this year’s theme is fire which “has many different aspects where it transforms elements.” Massicotte says guests will experience this transformation “in cooking, but it also lights up, and (the festival) also integrated it into the multi-media aspect where the theme stays with fire, and the sub-theme becomes light.”
Massicotte is extremely excited about the food offerings. From picnics to street food and classy dining, he says there is something for everyone. “We are working with a big talent group of chefs between all of our four experiences,” says Massicotte. So plan to spread a blanket on the museum’s lawn and leave the hassle of preparing a meal to the festival.
Special picnic boxes are available for order from one of seven different Outaouais restaurants, and, in keeping with the theme of fire, Les Grand Feux is jumping on the BBQ trend but don’t expect your standard grill pit. Massicotte describes the grill masters as some of the “best talents in the Gatineau region.” Renowned chefs will take turns cooking delicious grilled fare every night of the festival. The list of top gastronomes includes Chef Yannick La Salle, executive chef at the Supreme Court of Canada, Jonathan Larouche, chef and co-owner of Les Brûlés – Artisans Fumeurs, and Alexandre Gonnot, chef at Le Cellier.
There will also be seven food trucks on location at the museum offering various cuisines, from street food classics like poutine and wraps to Quebec-style smoked meat and desserts like BeaverTails and ice cream. Rounding out the food experiences is a high-end indoor dining option offered on two nights.
The fireworks kick on August 2nd, featuring the theme origins and highlighting the strength, respect, mutual aid, and sharing that defines the deep roots of the First Nations right here at home.
What makes Les Grand Feux Casino De Lac Leamy so impressive is the pyrotechnical professionals from all over the globe. The roster of countries includes Italy (August 5th), South Africa (August 9th), The Philippines (August 12th), and Ukraine (August 16th) — giving the festival a truly international flair. Massicotte says the festival is “an international grade event with teams and firms from countries all over the world.” He notes that the Ukrainian team was scheduled to perform in 2020, but Covid hit and then the war in Ukraine began in 2022 as the world was reopening.
The festival wraps up with the Grand Finally on August 19th, featuring Mystery, a sensory experience in which the audience will be both charmed and transported into a mysterious and enchanting world. All performances will follow the theme origins
Tickets for Les Grands Feux Du Lac-Leamy are available for individual performances and full festival passes that allow you to see as many of the shows as you’d like.
Before you go, make sure to book your three-course gourmet dinner experience or your picnic box in advance on the website.
Get out and enjoy this great Ottawa tradition in its 26th year!
For more information, visit feux.qc.ca