Arts & EventsUltimate guide to Ottawa’s summer festivals

Ultimate guide to Ottawa’s summer festivals

Ultimate guide to Ottawa’s summer festivals

They don’t call Ottawa “Festival City” for nothing! As our city begins to come out on the other side of the ongoing pandemic, we are so excited to see the return of street festivals––something that our gorgeous National Capital has become known for, especially in the warm summer months.

Though it’s hard to pinpoint precisely when Ottawa hosted its first festival, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia, musician Herbert R. Fripp directed a music festival called Sacred Music Festival here in the city all the way back in 1865––just ten years after Ottawa was officially incorporated as a city. So, it’s safe to say that festivals have been an important and exciting part of this city’s fabric and culture for a very long time.

This summer alone, the city is expected to host dozens of festivals ranging from food to music to art, and much more. Throughout the summer, we’ll share our top festival picks every month so keep checking back!

Ottawa Fringe Festival

When: June 16 - 26
Where: Venues across the city
Tickets: via Ottawa Fringe Festival

The best time to catch local, innovative, independent theatre is during Ottawa Fringe! Over 40 shows will be presented across five different venues in various genres ranging from comedy to dark drama. Don’t miss this chance to support the very best of Ottawa’s thriving theatre scene!
Photo: Ottawa Fringe Festival

Ottawa Ferrari Festival

When: June 17 - 19
Where: Preston St. (Little Italy)
Tickets: N/A, free to attend

Back for its 15th edition, the popular FCA Ottawa Ferrari Festival is taking over Little Italy this month! Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss checking out the dozens of Ferraris that will parade through and line up along Preston St. While you check out the cars, don’t forget to grab lunch at one of Little Italy’s many cafes and restaurants. 
Photo: Ottawa Ferrari Festival

Lebanese Film Festival Canada

When: June 17 - 20
Where: Ottawa Art Gallery
Tickets: via Lebanese Film Fest Canada

Emerge yourself in Lebanese culture and the art of filmmaking at this year’s Lebanese Film Festival! The festival will include various film screenings, a red carpet opening ceremony, live filmmaker talks, and more.
Photo: Johnny Khoury

ArtsPark

When: June 18
Where: Parkdale Market & Parkdale Park
Tickets: N/A, free to attend

Enjoy a full day of beautiful local art, food, children’s activities, and more at the annual ArtsPark event at Parkdale! Open for all and the perfect way to spend your Saturday.
Photo: Hintonburg Community Association

The Best of Times

When: June 18 & 19
Where: Downtown Bank (between Gladstone & Waverley)
Tickets: N/A, free to attend

This brand new festival, hosted by Downtown Bank, is a celebration of all things retro and vintage. Put on your best 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s outfit and get ready to be carried away to a past era. Bank Street will be lined with various backdrops, installations, buskers, street dancers, and even an outdoor roller rink! Don’t miss it.
Photo: Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

When: June 21 - 26
Where: Mādahòkì Farm (4420 West Hunt Club Road)
Tickets: Free, advanced registration for some activities required

Celebrate the coming of summer and Indigenous cultures at this year’s Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival! Returning in-person for the first time since 2019, this year's festivities promise to be bigger than ever with workshops, live performances, food events, kids’ activities, a pow wow competition, and more.
Photo: Ottawa Tourism

Cranium

When: June 23 - 25
Where: Snider Plaza, Bank Street
Tickets: Free registration via Eventbrite

Ottawa’s biggest hip-hop showcase and conference is back! Cranium Arts Project is a mix of concerts, professional panels and workshops, and interviews. All events are free this year! The Cranium Block Party, taking place at Bank Street’s Snider Plaza, is one of the most exciting parts of the three-day extravaganza, so don’t miss out!
Photo: Cranium

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

When: June 24 - 26
Where: Mooney’s Bay Park & Beach (2960 Riverside Dr.)
Tickets: N/A, free to attend

One of the most exciting sporting events in the National Capital Region is finally back in-person! Get ready for three days of thrilling boat races, free concerts, food trucks, and sunny, hot weather. Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is one you will not want to miss.
Photo: Dadadoo Photography

Ottawa Jazz Festival

When: June 24 - July 3
Where: Various locations in Downtown Ottawa
Tickets: Festival passes and single-show ticketsvia TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

After two years, the sweet sound of jazz and other genres of music are about to fill the streets of Ottawa again! This year’s lineup includes internationally renowned names like Corrine Bailey Rae and Blue Rodeo, as well as dozens of local bands and orchestras.
Photo: Ottawa Jazz Festival

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