Annual Events and Festivals in Ottawa

Like other metropolitan cities of the world, there are a host of annual events and festivals in Ottawa , Ontario, Canada. Here is a brief introduction to many of them, and a link to the page that provides more information for you.

And if we are missing your annual Ottawa area event, please send details via the contact page. We will be happy to add it.

Balloon Festival

Gatineau Balloon Festival by nightLet’s start with the Balloon Festival, located adjacent to Ottawa in Hull, Quebec. This annual event attracts local families, and balloonists from around the world, with colorful balloons and family friends entertainment the whole day. Here is more information on the Ottawa area Balloon Festival.

Canada Day in Downtown Ottawa

Canada Day on Parliament HillIf you are Canadian, you owe it to yourself to be in Ottawa on Canada Day – any July 1, another of the annual events and festivals in Ottawa.  Parliament Hill and the the whole downtown area around the hill closes to vehicular traffic and the streets are alive with revelers, buskers, food stations, comfort stations, music, and entertainment almost all day on Parliament Hill. Here is more information about Canada Day in Ottawa.

Ottawa’s Tulip Festival

Gorgeous tulips at the Canadian Tulip FestivalEver since Princess Margriet of the Dutch Royal Family was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital back during the second world war in the 1940’s, Holland has rewarded Canadian’s with a gift of tulips. Every year tulips arrive. Over the years the bulbs have been planted in many places around Ottawa, and in May each year, we celebrate with the Tulip Festival. More information about the Canadian tulip festival can be found here.

Ottawa Sound and Light Show

Ottawa's Parliament Buildings as a movie screen.Over the years images have been projected on a wide variety of surfaces. In Ottawa, during the Ottawa Sound and Light Show, the “screen” on which the images are projected is Canada’s Parliament Buildings. Great images, great sound. Here is more information on this great, summertime evening, daily event in downtown Ottawa.


Typical ice carvings can be seen at Ottawa's WinterludeFebruary is typically the coldest darkest point in an Ottawa winter. Rather than hunker down beside the fire, Ottawan’s take to the downtown to celebrate winter in a host of different ways. When winter winds howl and the snow is blowing, join us outside alongside the Rideau Canal and other spots to enjoy Winterlude in downtown Ottawa.

If your Ottawa annual event or festival is not listed here, please contact us with details so your information can be added.