• By: Keith Whittier

The Bulbs are Back: Canadian Tulip Festival Injects Colour in the Capital

It’s been a long spring — if one could call it that. Finally, Ottawa will be exposed to bright, bold colour (and hopefully some sun) at this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival. The event runs from May 9 to 19, offering ten fun-filled days of family events and activities. Claimed to be the largest tulip festival in the world, it was first established in 1953. The purpose was to preserve the role of Canada’s heritage and our significant role in liberating the Dutch during World War 2.

TULIPZ2Ottawa’s official flower is the symbolic tulip that was given as a gift in perpetuity to the Canadian people for having safe-harbored the Dutch Royal Family during the German occupation of the Netherlands. The tulip remains a sentimental symbol of friendship and spring, with especially personal meaning to Canadians and our National Capital Region.

The National Capital Commission, the official gardener of Canada’s capital, is responsible for designing, planting and maintaining the impressive tulip displays. These remarkable designs can be viewed at Commissioners Park on the banks of Dows Lake, where nearly 300,000 tulips in different varieties bloom each year in 30 flowerbeds.

During May 9, 14 and 17, the festival will blast an extravaganza of fireworks set to an original musical score over Dows Lake, presenting a special tribute on the opening night (May 9) deemed “Red Friday” to honor the veterans. The fireworks program this year is an impressive showcase of international floral firework competitions, which is also planned as a recurring signature event each May, recognizing the National Capital’s reputation as a floral destination.



No matter how bright the sun is, one will likely need to throw off the sunglasses to get a closer look at the delicate tulip displays that will take your breath away.

For more information and details on events, visit: http://tulipfestival.ca.